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Lessons I Learned In My Junior Year of College

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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 UCD chapter.

Every year of college so far has been so unique; when I think I’ve learned enough, I learn and grow even more. Now almost finishing Junior year, I look back to the beginning of the school year or even my freshman year, and I am truly amazed by the myriad of valuable lessons I’ve encountered. Some were easily learned, while others came with greater challenges. Here is a compilation of a few key takeaways that have resonated with me, and perhaps you’ll find them beneficial too!

Start Taking Good Care Of Yourself Now

The earlier you begin to manage your diet, adopt an exercise routine, and build a mentally and physically healthier lifestyle, the quicker you can establish a strong foundation for a healthy mind and body.

You’re Going To Feel Lost

Nobody truly has life completely figured out; everyone is simply doing their best, yet they still often harbor doubts, even in times of success. Just keep pushing through and be focused on your goals.

Stop Caring What People Think  

People are gonna judge, talk shit, and be negative for no reason towards you but the way they react to you is more likely a reflection of their own issues than something you said or did. So, try not to take their negativity personally; instead, stay focused on your work.

Don’t Make Excuses, Apologize   

Immature individuals avoid taking responsibility for their actions, while professionals accept their mistakes, refrain from making excuses, and move forward. Excuses are generally not well-received; people truly want assurance that the mistake will not be repeated. Learning to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology is a valuable skill both personally and professionally.

Don’t ever expect anyone to change for you

A common mistake I notice in friendships and relationships is the desire to alter someone to meet your standards. From my own experience, I can say it doesn’t work.

If you don’t like someone the way they are, there are plenty of others who will. So, asking or expecting someone to change just for you is not only selfish but also unfair.

Start Saving Money ASAP    

Saving more than spending is the smartest money management strategy. You can save for future needs like retirement, buying a house or a car, and be ready for emergencies such as losing a job, facing a medical crisis, or a car accident. Put as much as you can into your 401K and savings account, and live frugally without making it difficult for yourself.

You And Your Friends Will Change 

During your college years and twenties, you start figuring out who you want to be, as do your friends. Sometimes, you’re all heading in the same direction, and sometimes you’re not—and that’s okay. Most friendships are not meant to last forever; they’re meant to shape who you become during different parts of your life.

If you find someone with a beautiful heart — hold onto them

In our society, we often admire people mainly for their appearance. That’s why you can find attractive people almost everywhere you look. But finding genuine authentic people with a beautiful heart is so rare. I deeply love and respect my closest friends and family because they are truly wonderful people at heart. I feel incredibly fortunate to have them in my life. Inner beauty truly shines from within.

Get out of your comfort zone — try new things, meet new people
Stepping out of your comfort zone means trying new things and facing challenges. It helps you learn and grow, discover new skills, and understand yourself better. One thing about comfort zones: when you step out of them, they actually expand. Don’t let your anxieties and insecurities hold you back. College is the perfect time to begin creating the life you want. There are more opportunities for growth and new experiences when you step out of your comfort zone. Allow yourself to explore and try new things to form meaningful relationships and make the most of this exciting stage in your life.

I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons that I hope to carry forward and I’m excited to keep learning and growing. This year was definitely a year of profound growth, perseverance, getting out of my comfort zone, forming meaningful relationships, and prioritizing my well-being. Take a moment to think about what you want in life. Consider what makes you happy, the impact you want to make on the world and the people you love, and most importantly, how you’ll achieve these goals. Live life for yourself, surround yourself with people you love and who love you, and create the type of life you want! Hopefully, some of these helped and you can apply them to your own life! 

Ritu is second-year Cognitive Science major at UCD. She enjoys working out, cooking, fashion and spending time with friends . Ritu is an advocate for self-love, mental health and spreading positivity & kindness. She is excited to be a part of the Her Campus team and hopes you enjoy reading her articles!