Things I Now Know Because of College

I have two weeks left and then I am officially a senior in college. I am in shock and keep thinking that this can’t be right. How have three years gone by in the blink of eye? Half of me feels that it has all gone by too fast. Yet, the other half of me recognizes that it also feels like I’ve been in college for what seems like forever. It’s like being pulled in two different directions.

Looking back at my life before attending Davis, I realize how much I have changed. I am no longer the sheltered girl from Southern California that is afraid of stepping out of her comfort zone. Now, I am more understanding of the world and how you must be flexible and go with the flow because life will constantly throw things at you that you weren’t expecting.

I want to share with you some of the things I have learned since coming to college that I did not anticipate. Hopefully, these can help you with your future college endeavors, regardless if you are an incoming freshman or a current student.

Going home is good, but staying is great.

Being with your family is the best, trust me I know, but during college I recommend you try to spend as much time in Davis as possible. When you stay the weekends ─ even long weekends ─ in Davis you get to enjoy the town and what it means to be a person transitioning into adulthood. It never made sense for me to go home on the weekends because my parents live so far away, but I know they wouldn’t have let me come home away if they lived closer. My parents always encouraged me to spend the weekends with my friends, and I love spending the weekends with my friends going places or doing nothing. You could miss out on meeting new people and going to events if you go home all the time when school is in session. You only get four-ish years in college so why not live it up there?

Losing motivation for school is normal, but keep going.

Honestly, right now I am feeling so unmotivated about the school, and I often feel this as finals approach because I’m just dreading it all. This is normal. Everyone procrastinates in their own ways and falls behind in school here and there throughout their college career, especially with the quarter system. So, have your moment of lacking motivation and then move on from it. Get your books out and your laptop ready and push through.

Spending money is way too easy.

Growing up my parents paid for everything, so when I came to school I had to start using my own money. However, when your parents aren’t monitoring your spending as they did in high school, it tends to be easier to spend money like you are super wealthy or a queen. But unfortunately, I’m not a queen, so I do have to budget my money. Word of advice: think about spending your money wisely before you absolutely have to spend your money wisely.

Going out is important.

Going out and being social is SO important. Yes, you’re here for your degree and education, but that doesn’t mean you have to be holed up in the library 24/7. Take a night off and go out with your friends. Please, for me, just do it. Being social will make your college experience exponentially better. Go dancing, meet some new people, and stay up later than 10:30 pm when you feel like you need a break. Don’t get too excessive about going out, because school is also important, but make sure you live a little.

You’re going to lose some friends.

The great thing about college is that you meet so many new people that become your friends. But, that also means you’re going to lose some friends. I have lost a couple of friends in college that I thought I was going to be close with until graduation. This is normal, I promise. Almost every single girl I know at UC Davis has lost a friend close to them. You will grow apart from people, realize what good friendships are and keep those, or find a new friend group later on in your education. Looking back at it now, I am happy those people are no longer my friends because their friendships just weren’t the type of friendships I needed in my life, and this has allowed me to make closer bonds with other people. 

Your college friends are going to become your family.

This is the biggest thing I have learned in college and it is no joke. The people I call my best friends here really are my second family. They know everything about me (and I mean everything) and are there for me no matter what. I can rely on these people through thick and thin and I am so grateful for these friendships that I know will last beyond four years. Coming to college would have been a lot less scary if I had known I would be meeting an amazing group of friends that would support and love me.

Coming to college is a big step in everyone’s life. You attend a school not knowing what the next four years of your life will hold. It could hold some great memories and experiences, or some not so great. It all depends on what you make of it.

Embrace the years you have here because you will never get to do it again. I love college and UC Davis has provided me with so many amazing opportunities to make these years worthwhile. I have learned a lot in college so far, and I still have another year to learn so much more. Senior year, I’m ready for you!