I finished my freshman year of college last Friday. What a whirlwind. Here are some things I learned organized by time period:
Good sleep = Good grades
Getting enough sleep the day or preferably few days before an exam was positively correlated with getting a good grade on the exam.
You have to come up with your own idea of fun.
I go to a big football school and every Saturday for the first few weeks was an all-day event of tailgating and watching football. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sport even before I got to college, but somehow my friends convinced me to buy season tickets. Although everyone else looked like they were having a blast, I always wanted to leave early. There’s nothing wrong with loving football, but I discovered I have a different idea of fun from most people. And that’s ok.
I’m not cut out for the party life.
Partying has too many first, second, and third order consequences for my liking so I don’t really do it. No shade to those who do.
Exercise is as important for the mind as it is for the body.
I developed a pretty consistent gym routine this year and I think it helped keep my mind clear as much as it helped keep my body fit.
Time with family is super valuable…
…and will only become rarer as you get older. Treasure it.
Group study doesn’t really work for me.
All I need is a few hours of focused studying alone a few days before the exams. I’ve found study groups to be a distraction more than anything.
Young people can do amazing things.
When we band together towards a common goal, we can accomplish incredible things (like raising over $11,000,000 to fight childhood cancer which my school did).
You have to control your own career.
Your advisor can be a helpful resource, but at the end of the day it’s youreducation and your life. If you want to take a challenging class, just take it even if your advisor cautions you against it. She may have the best intentions, but you know your abilities better than anyone so don’t be afriad to challenge yourself.
There’s a silver lining to everything.
The last couple months of spring semester were spent online, but I actually didn’t mind this because I got to spend more time with my family.
This year I learned that you can change your mind, a clear head comes from a healthy body, and you don’t have to like the same things as everyone else.