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The Advice I Wish I Was Told Before Beginning College

Constant studying, stressing, and crying in the library with existential dread. That’s how college life felt to me way before I found out and learned what was best for me. Growing up, school was always a determining factor for my future and I went through the pressures of trying my hardest to be enough for others, but never really for myself. 

person using laptop at a desk
Photo by Christin Hume from Unsplash

I went into college as a Biology major who thought that I was going to do 12+ years of schooling to become a neurologist. That all ended when I realized how much I absolutely hated and despised that field of study. I felt bored, discontent with life, and just overall felt like a robot going to school for something that I didn’t enjoy. What sucked the most was that I felt miserable studying for something that I had no interest in or care for, so it felt like wasted time. 

With time, I finally began to make more space for my own interests and realized that what I was currently doing wasn’t for me and that I needed to make the change for my own life. You have to live life your way and not by someone else’s interests or expectations for you. I learned that the hard way and now I’m more content with being a Media & Cultural Studies major that studies all forms of art. 

Person Writing in Notebook

For a long time, I felt like a disappointment to many by trying to please others when instead I should have been trying to put myself first. The important thing is that I finally began to enjoy college by studying something that I liked, not my parents, not my friends, not anyone else because, in the long run, all of my hard work is for me.  

woman typing on laptop in cafe
Photo by Bonnie Kittle from Unsplash

What I wish I was told was that it is okay to not know exactly what you want at a given moment, especially not right out of high school since we’re still so young and figuring ourselves out. Things take time and good things are ahead of us all. Being indecisive at first is completely fine because it gives us the option to explore what we truly want. I also would have told myself to not compare myself to others and their progress because we’re all working at our own pace. Just because it’s someone else’s time doesn’t mean your time won’t come. I mostly would have told myself to just not be afraid of going towards something that I’m passionate about, which in my case is writing and music. I thought I wanted one thing and the next thing I knew was me becoming a contributing writer for my school’s zine and an editor who aspires to one day be a music journalist in the future. All it takes is that big leap to go for something that will make you, and only you, happy. Why not just take the risk? 

Jasmine Aguirre

UC Riverside '21

Hi! I'm Jasmine (Jay) & I'm a 4th year Media & Cultural Studies major. I aspire to communicate through written word, in hopes that we can all learn something along the way & I love sharing all of my interests. I have a huge passion for anything music related, as I want to someday become a music journalist.
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