Real World Reality Check: 3 Things I Wish I’d Known in College

Believe Quotes

As an undergrad at Manhattan College, I quickly became consumed with classes, internships, cheerleading practices and games, all while making the most out of my social life. I graduated in May 2012 and am currently a Special Events Manager. The transition from college student with a flexible, yet packed, schedule to working full-time was a difficult one, but one that I am now used to.

Just as in college, I have my daily routine and am involved in activities outside the workplace that keep me busy. When I reflect on my time as a college student, I have countless fond memories, yet there are some things I wish I would have done differently. These are things now that are second nature to me, but with the overwhelming college lifestyle, they were things I’d sometimes forget.

Make it a point to get to the gym. I have always been active, especially as a cheerleader, but due to an injury, I had to quit cheerleading the beginning of my junior year. Instead of making an effort to get to make up for the gym time I lost, I would only go to the gym when I started to feel myself go into a slump. This would work great for about a week, but something would come up to throw me off track. Now, going to the gym with my friends is what I look forward to after a long day at work! It’s my way to let go of the stress of a workday, while catching up with my friends from home. I work out about four to five times a week and mix it up with yoga or Zumba class. I am also coaching high school cheerleading so it is extremely important that I keep up this active lifestyle. Even if you only have thirty minutes a day to get to the gym, do it! Go with your roommate or a friend to keep you motivated. Your body (and mind) will thank you for it in the long run.

Live in the moment. My campus has a small student body so most of my friends were older than me. I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m a junior/senior and have _____” (my senior night, Senior Weekend, FINALLY turn 21, etc.) Before I knew it, my graduation day crept up on me. College will be the best years of your life, but it will also be the quickest. Make the most out of the little things you take for granted while you are in school. I wish I would have appreciated the smaller moments, instead of always looking towards the future.

Believe in yourself. In high school, I was extremely shy but college really brought me out of my shell. I always reminded myself that I was accepted into Manhattan College for a reason. One of those reasons was the potential that showed in my college application. There were teams, internships, and jobs I applied for and was always nervous about the outcome, even when I was receiving positive feedback! If things did not work out in my favor, I did not let it deter me from giving up. Instead, I would have the confidence to ask what I could have improved on or if there was an opportunity in the future to apply for the role again. I keep motivational posters and quotes all over my room to reinforce this mindset. Working full-time has only tested my self-confidence and abilities. There have been numerous times where I was just told to do something, with little guidance, but knew it had to get done in a timely manner. I would remind myself that I was hired because they saw what I saw in myself; a confident girl looking to make a difference in her community.

No matter if you are in your freshmen or senior year, these are tips that will help you make the most out of your college experience. Health of body and mind which will help you during the most stressful and exciting times of college.

We want to hear from you! Share with me how your college experience shapes your life, either as a college student or a post grad, on Twitter @SusanMegan   and tag #UChic or leave a comment below!

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