College was seriously the best four (and a half) years of my life! I learned so much about myself and so many life lessons. I also learned a lot about Mechanical Engineering too 😉 Here are 9 key things I learned when I look back on my time in college.
- Take advantage of the opportunities and resources you are given.
I didn’t realize how many resources I had until senior year. And I am kicking myself for not taking advantage of them throughout college! Almost every activity you are involved in at your school will offer free stuff. Whether it’s your career center offering free resume and job help or your major specific college offering free snacks and school supplies start learning what is offered and take advantage of it! After all, your tuition is probably helping to pay for those things so why not use them?!
Some things Auburn offers that I never got to utilize include group fitness classes at the Rec, free professional clothes for interviews, free meals through the Honors College, and free concerts once a year.
- Do not sweat the small stuff.
If it won’t matter in a year, don’t get hung up on it. Failed a quiz? Accidently slept through class? Have a roommate who wore your favorite shirt to the bar and yaked all over it? Don’t let it get to you. I promise it will be okay. No need to stress yourself out and cause premature wrinkles… I used to get so worked up over things that do not matter now. So not worth it.
- School is important but so are friendships.
Just like school, friendships take work to build and maintain. Don’t expect people to always reach out to you. It’s a two-way street and you can hit them up too!
- Being independent is a beautiful thing.
There will be times that everyone is busy, and you are alone. Enjoy these times and get to know yourself! When I got bored I would either go workout, go walk around TJMaxx, or partake in a lil self-care with a face mask and movie.
- People are just people and everyone’s sh!t stinks.
Next time you are nervous AF in an interview or scared to go talk to your professor remember that they are just people like you and me. They have feelings and emotions too. They have also been in your shoes before and are *usually* very understanding!
When you come across those people that think they are better than God, keep in mind that even those guys are just people. We all put our pants on the same way in the morning and money or a title doesn’t make someone superior to you.
- Save money when you can.
I did a Co-Op throughout college – alternating semesters of working full-time and going to school full-time. When I was working, I made sure to save most of my income. Just because you are making money doesn’t mean you have to spend it right away! This REALLY paid off during those semesters I was slammed with school. I always had a “nest egg” in savings and didn’t have to live on mommas’ dime even when I wasn’t working. And when you reallyyy want those new shoes but have no job you will have some money left for occasional splurges 😉
- Drunk late-night pizza memories are worth more than the excess calories.
I used to be afraid of going out and having a great night because I know how many calories are in one vodka-sprite. Or even a vodka-water-with-lime. But at the end of the day, the memories you will make going out and enjoying yourself will be worth more to you. I’m not saying to go get drunk every night and eat like crap every day. But don’t let the calories hold you back from going out every once and a while.
- Be confident and don’t give two flips what people think about you.
It took me 4 years to finally muster up enough nerve to ride my bike to class. Like what if I saw someone I knew or fell or looked like a dork? WHO CARES?! It cut my commute time to class in half and it was fun! If someone thinks you’re weird for riding your bike, then they suck and you don’t need to be friends with them!
- You are capable of ANYTHING you put your mind to.
Literally anything. Passing that chemistry class, pulling up your GPA, losing the Freshman 15, and landing your dream job. I was cleaning out my closet last night and found a project from senior year of high school where I wrote a letter to myself with my future goals. In 2015, I wrote that I wanted to graduate from Auburn University with a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honors. On December 14th, 2019 that’s exactly what I did.