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5 Things I learned in college


1. Time Management

Procrastination is a bad habit. Sad to say, I am a senior in college and I have not mastered the art of time management. No, the workshop did not inspire me at all. If you have a class at 8 a.m. and know you are not a morning person, do not go to that frat party at school. No, you will come home early and do it after the party. That is how you miss classes and lose attendance points. If you know you have one or more papers, or projects due the next day, stop snap-chatting and get off Facebook. Sure you can stay up all night doing your paper, but then you run the risk of not getting up the next morning or worse, missing class to do homework for another class. Prioritize and make lists. Lists are helpful. You might have to miss that one party, or going out with friends, but I promise you in the long run it will be worth it.

When all else fails, all-nighters will occur. Be prepared. There will be days or perhaps a whole week where sleep will be nonexistent. Naps will become your best friend. You will reach the point where you just want to get the assignment over with. Even if you have to drink 2 coffees and a Redbull, lock yourself up in the library, or your room and get it done! Shut off your phone, your social media networks and just do it. Sure you will finish at 6 a.m., but you’ll be glad it got done.

2. Dating

Most college freshmen are not looking to date. No one wants to be tied down when they first get to college. Majority of the time, everyone wants to party or be single. It is all fun and games until it gets old. Other people come into college tied into a relationship, then reality hits. Your high-school relationship might not make it to college and that is perfectly normal. Go out, socialize, and meet new people! Going back to time management, you are going to be so busy with a million things that you might not have time for a relationship, let alone meeting someone for a cup of coffee. Again, this is perfectly normal. If you meet someone, good! If you do not, do not stress over it.

In college, there are a million labels you can be with someone: Together but not together, friends with benefits, together but seeing other people, the list goes on. It is hard to reach the actual label of boyfriend-girlfriend because of the hook up culture college has embraced. When you meet someone, make sure you are both on the same page before feelings, sex and everything else kicks in. Use some judgement, it is not that difficult to figure out if he, or she is just playing games, or really wants a committed relationship.

3. Being Healthy

Freshmen 15 is not a myth. I wish I had known that going into college my freshmen year. Drinking, eating junk food, and snacks between every class started to add up. Four years later and I still have yet to use the school gym. Your school has a free gym so try to use it! If exercise is not your thing, join a Zumba, or dance class. There are other forms of exercise apart from the gym. Take a walk for fresh air if you have to. Stay away from the vending machines. Try to include some form of healthy food in your diet. Sure you can have cheat days, but you will regret that McDonald’s in the middle of the night when you wake up.

4. Money Management

Do not spend all your money on food, clothes, or unnecessary things. If you commute, eat at home once in a while. A home-cooked meal is better then junk food. If you live on campus, you have a meal plan so use it. Try to get a job, because if your parents send you money, chances are, it will not be enough. If you do not have transportation, try looking for a job around campus. Do not spend all your money at the bar. Take some money out beforehand so you can have a limit. Opening a tab at the bar never ends well. Spend your money wisely, you do not have to buy all the books at the bookstore. There are sites for rentals and people on campus who will sale the book cheaper. Set aside some money for the future. You never know when you are going to need some extra cash for a trip or something important.

5. Friendships

While high school might be considered the period in which you find yourself, college is where you form yourself as an individual. You will probably grow apart from your friends in high school. Because lets face it, after high school you find out who your real friends are. By the end of college, you will hang out with a different group of people then you did the first semester. Not everyone you meet in college will be your friend. You will grow apart from people because of different classes, lack of time, etc. You will see who your real friends are as time progresses. An old saying but nevertheless true, “If someone wants to see you, they will make the effort.” Throughout my four years, I have only met a handful of people I consider real friends. That is another thing, you will learn the difference between a friend, acquaintance and “that girl you had that one class with.”

You will change, have different interests and might not have the same things in common with your friends anymore. Better yet, you will find people who have the same weird interests as you. College is very diverse. You will find that one kid who is obsessed with anime, or that one social activist girl who is determined to make a change. Yes, there are clubs for that. College can be many different things for everyone. You either find yourself, or learn to embrace yourself and others. You have four years, do not waste them.

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Stephanie is a senior at Kean University double-majoring in Communications and Psychology. She loves to dance and write in her spare time.
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