Dear Lazy Girl,
I will start college this fall, and I'm kind of anxious and scared. Any tips on college, studying, or anything you would say to your younger self?
Orly of Coffee Beans and High Heels
First off, thanks for the question! When I read it, I tried my best to get back into the mindset of my 18 year old self: nervous, excited, and obsessively making packing lists. College is a huge chunk of your life, so there's a lot of advice to be given, but I'll boil things down to a few key points.
Get out of your comfort zone
It may seem like by leaving home you're already doing this, but I think it's important to remind yourself to keep doing it every day. Never stop trying to make new friends. Join whatever student organization interests you. Take a challenging class you think sounds really interesting. Actually talk to and get to know the people in your classes. All of that will make your four years much more full of life and fun than if you spend it watching Netflix and going to parties full of the same people you met the first weekend in the freshmen dorms.
Seriously. My freshman year our cafeteria had fries EVERY. DAY. Meaning my meal plan was essentially paying for hundreds of pounds of potatoes annually. As tempting as it is, maybe sometimes get a salad?
I mean this in multiple ways. On the first day of one of my classes freshman year, our professor gave us this advice, and it really rings true. Don't tie yourself down to a person, or a place, or a particular path. Dating in college is fun, but don't get so entrenched in something that you forget to have all the fun you possibly can with friends and other experiences. Additionally, don't tie yourself to one place–– be open to travel, and study abroad, and even to living somewhere else entirely come graduation. Finally, don't tie yourself down to an idea of what your life should be that you had at age 18. Looking back, I wish I had gone into college undecided–– I changed my mind about my path about a million times, and I'm still changing it. People are ever-evolving, so don't pigeonhole yourself!
Use college as a time to explore your options. I went through a million different kinds of writing in college figuring out what type it is I like best. Don't feel like you have to always have it figured out, just go with the things that make you happy. Believe me, it's a lot easier to work hard at something you love doing than it is with something you're doing because you think it's what you're supposed to do. Take advantages of the cool opportunities college provides you, like internships and electives, and figure out what it is you care about.