It’s that time of year again! The weather may still be hot as ever, but you’ve gotta trade your beach bag for a backpack. Seeing all the “back to school” posts always makes me nostalgic, so I thought I’d share my best advice since I’m basically super ancient and wise now (I’ll be 25 in three days!) 😉 . I had a little different experience than most – I attended a private Christian university! I honestly don’t think I missed out on much, though. My college experience is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. Here are the 4 most important things I learned during my 4 years!
1. You will change immensely throughout those four years – and that’s a GOOD thing!
By the time graduation rolled around, I was a completely different person than I was when I started out as a freshman. (Scroll to the end of this post for some MAJOR glow-up pictures!) No, I didn’t alter myself to “fit in” with the people around me. I didn’t change because I felt that was what others wanted me to do. I changed in that I became so much more confident. I found out that I was capable of way more than high school me ever could have fathomed. Do not EVER feel that you need to change who you are – the core of your being – in order to please anyone else. I figured out that I didn’t have to only be friends with the people I met at the very beginning of school. As I grew and learned more about myself, I realized how much more I had in common with different people. Allow yourself to get outside your comfort zone and discover who you really are without the box that “high school you” has been in for so long.
2. You DO NOT *I repeat* DO NOT have to find your husband there.
My school was actually *affectionately* nicknamed “the marriage factory” for good reason. I can’t tell you how many of my friends met their current spouse there. And a lot of them got married while they were still in school! In that kind of environment, it’s HARD to feel normal being single. I actually didn’t date anyone until right after I graduated, so I was single for ALL FOUR YEARS. TALK ABOUT A PARIAH AM I RIGHT? Kidding. Mostly. But really, don’t listen to the people who tell you that your chances of finding a spouse go down drastically after college. It’s simply not true. There are plenty of guys after college who have *hopefully* already gone through their “wild” phase and figured out how to be actual functioning adults, so it’s a win across the board.
3. The friends you make there will be the friends you’ll have for the rest of your life.
Well, not all of them. But definitely some. I loved my high school friends, but I’m only in touch with a couple of them on occasion! But my best friend at the end of college is still my best friend today, three years later. I’m incredibly thankful that I wasn’t so focused on school that I couldn’t cultivate real, meaningful relationships with my classmates. I talk to several of my college friends on the daily, especially my fellow music/theatre majors! Grades are important, but so are close friendships – those are what get you through life.
4. You are not required to use your degree after you graduate.
Do you KNOW how many people are majorly successful in a field that they didn’t major in?? SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Now, I’m not encouraging you to just get a degree in something you don’t care about. In fact, I believe you should only go to school for something you’re truly passionate about. For me, that was music. But am I teaching somewhere or currently performing full time? NOPE. I figured out post-college that I have many other things I’m passionate about (and that I’m good at)! Have I completely put my music career behind me? No way! But I have a fire inside me urging me to pursue blogging/traveling/writing right now, so that’s what I’m doing! And that’s okay. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for not going into the field you’re “supposed to.”
You may not feel the same way I do about some of the above, and that’s okay! That’s why it’s what I learned in college – not necessarily what you learned. 😉 But my hope is that at least some of what I’ve said resonates with you. As always, I’d love to answer any questions you might have! But for now, have a fantastic school year!!