Lessons Learned After 4 Years at the University of Iowa

When thinking about graduation, you always hear the phrase "the years fly by so fast" and as cliche as that saying is, those people are never wrong. When I first thought about attending a big college like the University of Iowa, I was scared out of my mind. It's 3.5 hours away from home and I had been so dependent on my friends and family that I didn't know how I was going to do it on my own without them. Although I never had someone to lead a path of greatness for me, here are some of the lessons that I have I learned throughout my four years here, and that helped me cherish this place forever. 

It's Okay to Let Go of Your High School Life

Throughout college, I've definitely noticed how important it is to finally break out of your high school circle. Opening yourself up to more than just the people you know the most makes it a lot easier to make new friends and engage in new opportunities. Now I'm not saying to cut off your friends completely, but definitely make sure to become more open to meeting new people and joining things that are different than what you're used to.

Your friends will always be there, and it never hurts branch out and create memories with different people. Sticking with the same group of people may hold you back from a life that's different and maybe way more exciting than continuing the same routine.  

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help 

The amazing thing about the University of Iowa is that there are so many resources and staff that are specialized to help you with anything you need, like financial aid information, tutoring and career planning. The university really does a great job with making sure that every student has the materials and information they need to succeed throughout their time here. You should never be afraid to ask for help for anything because there is always going to be someone there to help you achieve anything you want. 

Get Involved!

Being so far away from home and the people i'm most comfortable with, definitely made the beginning of my college years rough, but once I began to join different organizations, it made the distance feel so much more bearable. When you find things to occupy your mind, whether it be hanging out with friends, or doing something your passionate about, it makes your college experience feel more like home.

It can be joining organizations through Greek life or joining Dance Marathon to help fundraise money for the hospital, your time invested with other people and doing more than just sitting in your room will make a huge difference for your college experience. Not only do you get to meet new people. but are also meeting people with your same interests which can be the perfect start to a strong friendship. Committing yourself to an organization can also help open numerous doors post-graduation, which is why it's always important to follow your passions and interests. 

Attend Events

You can say college is many things, but the one thing you can't say is that it's boring. Iowa offers so many opportunities and events that cater to all interests that it is impossible not to have anything to do. One of my biggest regrets was not taking advantage of all of the amazing shows and events that happen on campus. Numerous entertainers like Kevin Hart and Billie Eilish have graced us with their humor and music and politicians ranging from the president to candidates like Kamala Harris and Beto O'Rourke have taught us what our futures can hold. 

Many events even offer free food for those students who are tired of living off easy mac every day. Going to these functions can be your first step into not only creating long lasting memories with some of your favorite people but help give you a path of what your future can potentially hold. 

While these are only a few things that I've learned in making my college experience special, there's no bigger lesson than to keep a positive attitude throughout. There are going to be so many days when you just want to give up and go back home, but believe me when I tell you that if you keep morale and spirits high than you'll never regret the time you spent at this glorious university. 


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