UCF's Reflection Pond at dusk. Photo by Gia Doxey.

Lessons I’ve learned in college: From a girl who’s almost done


As finals are upon us, I’ve been reflecting upon my time in college thus far.

Freshman year:

  • Worrying will never solve anything. Stop.
  • Grow where you’re planted.
  • Do something every day that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Ninety percent of anything is organizing your time and your thoughts. Lay down solid groundwork first; it’ll ease the process.
  • There is nothing more precious and nothing more stressful than time. There’s almost never enough. Organize it early and be ready to re-organize as life gets in the way.
  • People will break promises. People will come and go. When they leave, realize it’s because they’re on their own journey. You didn’t do anything wrong.
  • What’s meant to be will always find a way. If you believe you’re not done with someone, trust that instinct. If people are meant to come back, they will.
  • Try everything. But be safe! You’re so glad you did.
  • Take the time to heal.
  • If you hit rock bottom, you become a phoenix. And you will rise from the ashes if you decide to. You have to decide to.
  • Stay home and recharge your batteries if you need to. You’ll get over your FOMO.
  • Take at least one hour a day for yourself. You must enjoy your own company.

Sophomore year:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Realize that people will only know what you tell them. Never stop communicating.
  • You come first.
  • Breathe. If you’re feeling nervous, count to three before saying or doing something. This is not meant to minimize all anxieties but it can fortify your confidence to better articulate your thoughts.
  • Eat something.
  • Stop glorifying busy. Realize that there is an appropriate amount of time for every task.
  • Buy that dress. You deserve new memories in new clothes.
  • Be grateful.
  • Trust your friends. They see you through an entirely different lens, and they love you.
  • Social media is a blessing and a curse. You know the downsides; don’t let them destroy you. Take a break if you need to!

Junior year:

  • If you can talk, you can write. If you can write, you can talk. Practice every day.
  • Travel! Save money to travel!
  • Enjoy your mornings. You love your mornings.
  • You realized a problem with the American dream. We are taught we can do anything we want, but rarely can we do everything we want. You’re still working on that. Keep trying.
  • Trust yourself. Trust someone new. It’s ok.
  • Loyalty does not mean being close-minded.
  • Meet your f*&#ing deadlines.
  • Keep being a friend.
  • Don’t rush any process. The chips will fall where they may and there isn’t anything you can do about it.
  • You’re so special and you can be one of the greats. Just write down your thoughts and get them out there! Nothing is stopping you.