Lesson 10: Your Schoolwork is Very Important
As much as I love relaxing in my dorm room with a cup of hot chocolate and my laptop playing hours of Netflix, unfortunately in college, that is not the best way to spend your time. Getting good grades in college is essential. Not only are you now paying for your education, the things you are learning are going to be necessary for your future . Becoming a disciplined student early on in your college career will definitely help eliminate the stresses and craziness that college can carry. Making a study schedule and attending EVERY class are little ways that will allow you to have more fun when its time to relax. As my mother would alway say, “Do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.”
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Lesson 9: It is Okay to Do Your Own Thing
When you get to college, there are going to be a lot of things that people say and do that you never would have imagined to see in a million years. Sometimes, your friends will even be participating in activities that you don’t necessarily feel comfortable around. One of the beautiful parts about college is the amount of freedom you are exposed to. This can be both a good thing or bad thing. Remembering that it is okay to do something different than what the crowd is doing was a very important lesson I learned during my first semesters in college. Sometimes its even more fun to do your own thing anyway! Yoga and Starbucks date for one? I know I’m down!
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Lesson 8: Trying Something New Is Less Scarier Than It Seems
Many of my favorite memories from my freshman year involve me trying new things that I was scared to do. None of my friends were part of these clubs/activities and weren’t interested in them either. But, I knew God blessed me with gifts and I felt guilty not using them. So, one day, I got up my courage and went after what I wanted! I now am a writer for my campus chapter of Her Campus, I became a collegiate cheerleader, I did research on Caribbean Emigration, and I even started a new club with a friend involving the United Nation’s Girl Up campaign! I have learned that regardless of the situation, God did not give me the spirit of fear and I can do anything and everything with him. All it takes is a little faith and a little courage.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
Lesson 7: Popularity Doesn’t Matter
Remember in high school where for some girls the most important thing in the entire world was to be a varsity cheerleader and homecoming queen? Well, when you get to college, none of that matters anymore. Nobody really cares about the brands you wear or how much your nails cost. Here, its all about whats in your mind and heart. Honestly, its an eye opener because you spend less time looking in the mirror trying to live up to impossible standards and more time thinking about how you’re going to change the world today.
For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
Lesson 6: Real Friendships are A Major Key
What is college without your friends? There are so many different types of people in the college community. Finding that group of friends that you feel like you belong to is one of the most key parts of your college experience. Luckily, I was able to find some amazing friends on my cheerleading team and even in Spanish lecture. To all my friends that I made this year, thank you so much for all of the good times and laughter! I even found myself a boyfriend too! Healthy friendships and relationships are important and it is essential to learn how to balance them along with school and campus activities. You know what they say about college friends right? They last a lifetime!
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Lesson 5: It is Okay to Call Home
Remember your senior year of high school? You couldn’t wait to get out of your parent’s house! Adulthood looked so fun, so free! Well, to tell you the truth, I felt that way too but once I got to college, I definitely missed home. I missed home cooked meals and my warm bed. I missed having my own room and my own car. I missed basically my entire home state after I moved. I mean most first-year college kids do. I thought calling home made me seem weak and unadulty (I just made up that word lol) however, it was quite the opposite. In college, a lot of things are overwhelmingly new and foreign to you and sometimes it is comfortable hearing something you know and recognize. Accepting the fact that you will miss your family is essential in your first year. So, call and FaceTime your mom and dad even if it is just for a little bit.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Lesson 4: Your Education Outside of the Classroom is Just As Important
Although things can get really exciting in general chemistry lab, (Not!) many of the most important things I learned during my first year at my university happened outside of the lecture halls and labs. When you don’t have your mom and dad anymore guiding your decisions, sometimes it is hard to be independent. Learning how to ride public transportation, budget your debit card, and organize your day to fit in cheerleading practice, studying with your study group, and attending your favorite campus club’s meeting are vital skills to acquire in your four years in college and are necessary as you develop into a real adult. Yes, in college you are a pretend adult. Don’t be fooled.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
Lesson 3: Healthy Habits are a Must
The dreaded Freshman Fifteen…DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN! Nobody wants to gain wait when they get to college but without a conscious effort to being healthy, it is hard to avoid it. Luckily I am an athlete so I was always finding ways to be active so I could be in my tip top shape for cheerleading. However, for those who weren’t involved in athletics, it was hard to eat healthy and find times to work out on top of studying for four exams, two quizzes, and a project. In college, I learned that you really have to be proactive in your health. Making time for exercise and rest is very important for a college student because many of the habits you develop in college will be present in your life as an adult. Your health directly relates to your success in the classroom too! Even though it may be hard, putting down the cookie and picking up some carrots and ranch might save you an hour at the gym in the next decade or so. Plus, you have one body, one mind, and one heart…you might as well take care of it and make it last as long as it can.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
-1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Lesson 2: Nobody Really Knows What They Are Doing
During my first year of college I lived in the Honors Living Learning Community. So basically everyone around me had already cured cancer, went to Harvard, and accepted their Nobel Peace Prize all within the last year. Well, so I thought. Sometimes in college you encounter those students who are already set on their way to achieving those goals but, most of the time, students are feeling and thinking the same thing as you,”I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING!” Now this thought applies to almost everything in college. From biology lecture to joining a new club, nobody in college honestly knows what they are doing. Most students are taking it day by day (hour by hour for me) and are taking in everything they can. Not everyone is a straight A student, not everyone has the next eight years of their life planned out, not everyone knows if they actually understood what happened in class or if it was that easy and they did. College is about learning to be comfortable in this stage of uncertainty and developing the skills needed to enjoy it but also the drive to break it.
For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
Lesson 1: When Times Get Hard You Can’t Give Up
Perseverance! Perseverance! Perseverance! I cannot stress this enough! Let me be real with you, college is hard. If everyone could do it, they would! But, they don’t. You must keep this in mind in college. Every time something goes wrong, you can’t give up. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF ALL. When you fall down, YOU have to get back up again. Every failing grade, breakup, and lost internship is just a lesson that needed to be learned. It’s not that you are dumb or not good enough. College is about fighting for what is yours. Nobody is going to fight for you. My freshman year came with a lot of unexpected outcomes but the one thing I kept in my heart was that regardless of the situation, I am going to keep showing up. Can’t wait to show up later this summer to do it all over again!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog post! Always remember to walk by faith in everything that you do. You can accomplish any dream that is placed in your heart especially if it is college. To the Class of 2020, congrats, you made it! I hope you take some of the lessons I learned and keep them close to you as you start your freshman year. But most of all, I hope you remember that you are blessed, brilliant, and beautiful.