What We Wish We Would’ve Known Before College

By Managing Editor Kara Apel, Alumna of the University of South Carolina

Even though it hasn’t even been a year since I graduated from the University of South Carolina, it already seems like an eternity since I was in school.

When I started my collegiate journey, there are so many things I wish I could’ve said to 18-year-old Kara. Although it’s not possible to go back in time and have a conversation with myself, hopefully some of what I have to say can help those of you who are still in school.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Seriously. This is one I can’t stress enough. While whatever you’re going through might seem like it’s the end of the world, it probably won’t matter to you in a year or even six months. It’s important to keep everything in perspective. While it might be horrible to get dumped or have a close friend turn witchy, take a beat and really think. Is this going to affect the rest of your life? Will you be able to get back up and still have a successful and fun time in college after this blows over? If you can say yes to both of these questions, it’s time to take the drama down a level and stop stressing. It will get better and your situation will get easier with time.

Importance of Time Management
There are so many sleepless nights I spent finishing this or that essay or cramming for a final exam that I can never get back. Every single time I’d tell myself, “You can’t let this happen next time.” And before I knew it, I’d be in the same stressful situation yet again. There is no reason for any of this. Most professors list every single big assignment on their syllabi that you get on the first day of class. If you know a five-page paper is due in a month, why not work on it in bits at a time? Looking back, there are so many assignments and tests I could’ve done better on, had I not procrastinated. Not only will you get better grades but you’ll save yourself a bunch of stress (and beauty sleep) down the road.

Following Your Dreams
When we’re in the college bubble, sometimes it seems like we won’t ever leave. The thought of pounding the pavement of a brand new city seems absolutely terrifying. But just because you don’t live anywhere near the internship or job of your dreams, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply! Don’t let the thought of trying out a new place scare you from pursuing or applying to your dream internship/job. You will find somewhere to live and you will figure out how to pay for it all if you really want this. Believe in yourself and reach for the stars!

Get Involved in Your Sorority (or other organization)
One of my biggest regrets of college was not trying harder to get more involved within my chapter on campus. I had put my involvement in our university newspaper before everything for so long that I didn’t even realize what I was missing out on until my senior year. When I actually started trying to go above the minimum, I got so much more out of it. If you’re not in a sorority, you can still apply this advice to other organizations you’re involved in — stay present and put in effort.

This week you’ll be hearing from all of our University Chic bloggers, who go to schools from all around the country, on what they want you to know as you finish your collegiate journey. We hope you’ll tune in and read what they have to say! If you’d like to submit your own piece of advice, tweet @UniversityChic and we’ll RT your thoughts.

Image: twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!