Advice from 3 College Graduates

Mackenzie:

It’s OK to change your mind. If you aren’t happy with your major or minor, change it. College is about exploring and finding out what you love and feel passionate about, and if you aren’t enjoying yourself then what’s the point? Lots of people come to college thinking they want to do one thing, but find something else they’re much more passionate about and change their major or their field, and that’s fine.

 

This goes for your social life as well. If you don’t like a club you’re in, you aren’t obligated to stay. If your friends are toxic to your mental health or doing things you aren’t comfortable with, stop hanging out with them. I know this is easier said than done, but your happiness and comfort is more important than anything.

 

Katie:

Take in every moment, the good and the bad, because one day you won’t be able to get any of those days back. College is a wild ride. There are so many ups, downs, and in-betweens, and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in work and wishing Monday was Friday instead.

But the best thing you can do for yourself during your college career is taking it all in and don’t wish it away, because as cliche as it sounds, it literally is all over in the blink of an eye. I have truly had some of the best times of my life in college. I found a good group of friends, became a student leader, met my current boyfriend and had great academic opportunities. I also lost friends, got my heart broken, and got rejected from internship and job offers.

 

I can say this though: Every single experience has taught me something, good or bad, and I do not regret a single moment of college because of this. Now that I am graduating, I really am going to miss the late night talks with friends, being active in clubs and feeling proud of myself when I do well in my classes and my job. I wish I could go back sometimes and relive it all because it was truly the time of my life (so far) and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

Ashley:

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Join clubs, and actively take part in them. Ask questions in class, and speak up. No one is going to make fun of whatever you have to say. Classmates might try and argue with you, depending on the class and topic being discussed, but debate is a healthy and normal part of learning. Your professors will even be more respectful of you for contributing to a meaningful discussion (and participation is usually a part of your grade).

 

Break out of your shell, and you’ll have a greater college experience overall. You don’t learn as much or have enough fun when you quietly keep to yourself.

Also, don’t join clubs just to help build your résumé. Make sure the clubs and organizations you join are ones you feel passionate about, and that you enjoy going to. You can slap any club on your résumé, but you need to be able to talk about them in positive ways, and show that these clubs have helped you in some sort of way. Use organizations as a way to gain valuable experience and to make connections.