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College Life Lessons From the Older Sister You Never Had

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OSU chapter.

College is an entirely new chapter of life–it’s a time of change, growth and tons of firsts. You’ll meet the girls that you’ll have beside you at your wedding, and you’ll lose people you never imagined life without. Sometimes it can be hard to navigate the constant change and chaos that comes with being a twenty-something-year-old in school, but I’m here to share with you some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over my college career.

Do Not Invest in Low-Energy Friends

You may assume that this is just a given, but until you’re in a situation where you’re surrounded by low-vibrational friends, you don’t realize how difficult it can be to cut people out of your life. If I have learned anything about friendship over my college career, it’s that it simply isn’t worth it to spend time with people who bring you down. Instead of investing your energy into people who don’t align with your values, don’t treat you with respect or don’t enjoy the same things as you, consider maturely moving on and investing more energy into those who treat you well. Life is too short to waste your time and energy on people who don’t support your goals!

Say “Yes” more

I know life can be exhausting and it can be tempting to sit out plans, but these are the years to say “yes!” College is the only period of time you will ever be living this close to your best friends with the time to be social. While I don’t think anyone should partake in plans that they won’t enjoy, it’s worth taking a moment to consider your response the next time you’re asked to dinner or invited to hang out with friends. Once graduation hits and everyone heads their separate ways, you won’t want to regret not spending more time with friends or wishing you’d gone out more; just go!

being single is a privilege

I think I speak for all of us when I say that it can be impossible to sit and watch everyone around us enter relationships while we can never seem to get there, and with social media constantly reminding us of this, it’s easy to get discouraged. I’m here to tell you that being single at this age is a privilege — it allows you time to work on yourself and figure out what you want independent of any other person’s influence. Being single at this age, I encourage you to meet new people and keep an open mind when it comes to dating and relationships. College is a great time to experiment and learn what you want and don’t want in a relationship, and if you’re lucky enough to find your partner there, that’s great! Just remember, you have your entire life ahead of you, and you are not “behind” if you don’t have a significant other. 

work on yourself

Investing in my self-development and building my confidence has been the best decision I have ever made for my well-being. In 2022, I made the decision to start paying more attention to my mental and emotional states, and the results have been amazing. I got back into journaling, started therapy, read every self-help book under the sun and spent some time getting to know myself better. As I continue all of these practices, I cannot express enough how much more confident, healthy and happy I am now that I have prioritized myself and my well-being. I’m also not the only one benefitting from all of this work — all of my relationships have begun to flourish as well! Buying a journal or practicing gratitude is a great way to start your self-development journey.

practice gratitude

If you’re reading this, chances are you are attending college right now —maybe you just started, maybe it’s your last semester. Perhaps it’s exam week or maybe spring break is about to start. Whatever the case, take a moment to step back and appreciate all that you have. You are fortunate enough to attend college and receive an education, and that in itself is amazing. Practicing gratitude and taking the chance to recognize how lucky you are is one of the best things you can do for yourself — it develops your character while also attracting more blessings into your life. 

Lizzie is a fourth-year student at The Ohio State University, where she studies English on a pre-education route with a minor in Professional Writing. She has written for various publications, including The Lantern and Columbus Jewish News. She currently works as a Professional Writing Intern at The Ohio State University Airport, where she composes articles and social media content. When she's not writing, Lizzie loves shopping, listening to music, going on walks, spending time with friends and reading.