The past four years at St. John’s have been a rollercoaster ride. I must admit, the thought of entering college scared me at first, but here I am, four years later, wishing my stay was longer, but having no regrets. I’m proud of doing what I love, the friends I made, and most of all, the lessons I’ve taken away. I feel there are five that might be the most useful for any college student. Hopefully, you’ll take something away from my experience here, but remember: your future is always in your own hands!
Fear nothing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Chances are, you might run into the right people and get what you’re looking for. If you shy away, you will always have the “what if” question lingering in your mind. Do things as soon as you can because most things don’t last. It’s not the end of the world when you don’t achieve something you really anticipated, but persevere and some good will come out of it.
Join something. Create something. Do something. Whatever it is, make your mark in it. You might not have as much time or freedom in the real world as you do in college. Many success stories and ideas began in college (Google, Facebook [but don’t drop out]); all you have to do is put your heart into it and fight for it. If you find something you really enjoy doing, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed—part of college is about finding yourself and your passion. Doing something different makes you stand out and unique!
Keep in touch. Granted many school friendships don’t last, but like everything else, if you’re willing to put in the work and show you care, people will eventually reciprocate that effort. It’s great to network during college, especially in a city like New York where there’s literally all kinds of people. Who knows, you can crash at your suitemate’s crib in L.A. over the summer, or even become BFFs with a future Fortune 500 CEO. Be natural and be kind.
Take advantage. Obviously, not of people. Whatever free events or opportunities there are either on or off of campus, use your time wisely. Time-management is one of the most important lessons you’ll learn in college and you’ll be glad when you’re in the real world that you got a kick-start during school. You won’t have time for everything you want to do, but now is a good time to sort your priorities out and think over what’s best for you and for your future. Don’t waste your time doing something you don’t enjoy; use the resources available to you and make the most out of them.
Enjoy college. The most cliché of them all, but when I started taking on internships and jobs, I didn’t realize how limited my time at school would be and how little I’ve done on campus. It is truly never too late to jump on something, especially if it makes you happy. Semesters go by quick, and before you know it, your four (or six) years are already up. College is really what you make of it, whether you commute or dorm—no one has the perfect experience in college, but things will definitely turn out for the better if you work hard at it. Embrace every moment and never waste a day!