Four Things I've Learned During My Four Years in College

College is often described as the best four years of your life, and we are constantly warned to enjoy it while it lasts because it will be over faster than you know it. For many of us here at Northeastern, we are given the opportunity to add on one more year in order to squeeze in another co-op or international experience. In my case, however, I chose to do the standard four years and just like that, graduation is right around the corner. My college experience was definitely one for the books, from a co-op in New York to a study abroad semester in Ireland. I have made some great friends, taken fascinating classes, and feel truly prepared to enter into the real world as they say. But before I go, I thought I would share some valuable lessons that I have learned along the way.

1. Nothing is set in stone.

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I think we can all relate to Chris Traeger on a personal level here. Coming out of high school, you may have no idea what you want to do with your life. That is okay. On the other hand, you may be 110% sure of what you want to do and then change your mind. That is also okay. The great thing about college is that it’s fluid and there is always a way to make changes and adapt to new circumstances. If you have too many interests, you can combine or double major, or add on a minor. If only one thing interests you, you can focus on entirely that. No matter what, your major does not need to define you or determine where you end up after college. Whatever you decide to study in college should not be viewed as a shackle to a certain career path, but rather an open door to explore something that interests you and utilize what you learn in whatever situation you may find yourself.

2. Do what is best for you.

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Preach, Kevin G, preach! Pressure can come from all different directions: family, friends, teachers, society; you name it, they will probably have an opinion about it. While some people may think they know what is best for you, you need to stay true to yourself and follow your own passion. It may not be conventional or what your parents had hoped for, but this is the time for you to take control of your own life, make your own decisions, own those decisions, and make the most of it.

3. Take risks.

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It’s kind of hard to argue with Beyonce on this one. There’s so much to see in the world and so much to do, and this is definitely the time to do it. The opportunities are at your fingertips, whether that be to work at a cool company, study in another country, do research about something fascinating, or all of the above. Be confident in your abilities and ask for those opportunities. The worst they can say is no, but the possibility cannot exist without you putting it into motion.

4. Make your own fairytale.

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All hail Queen Blair for setting things straight. If you want something done, make it happen. Don’t expect anything to be handed to you, but instead work towards your own goals to make the reward that much sweeter. Prove the haters wrong and prove to yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind to. If there’s a will, there’s a way! In the end, when it comes time to graduate, you’ll be left with one thought and one thought only:

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