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I, like many others, have spent my entire life wishing to be older. My parents always said that I was 2 going on 25. So, in elementary school I was ready to graduate high school and by middle school I was “prepared” for college. I watched YouTube videos for college tips and tricks, dorm reveals, and move in vlogs. Recently, I watched one of those videos and it really got me thinking. One of the questions was “What advice would you give to your younger self?” 

I would start off by telling my younger self to live in the present and take the future as it comes! The YouTubers in 2012 couldn’t prepare me for high school graduation during a global lockdown, nor a year of online school. Time is what taught me that things have a way of working themselves out in a fashion that I could never even dream of.  

Here are 10 things I wish I knew before college. 

  1. College is not for everyone. Trade school, apprenticeships, certification programs, and joining the workforce are all viable options for someone just out of high school. 

  1. Improve financial literacy.  Learning how to budget, build credit, and save money are super important for college success. One way people save money in college is completing general education courses at a community college. 

  1. College is not like the movies. The media portrays college as different parties every night and meeting your forever friends. And while that might be true for some, others experience overwhelming loneliness through their first-time leaving home and trying to make friends. 

  1. Find out about free resources on campus. Most colleges have free counseling services, health and wellness centers, and student disability resources. Do a web search with the college’s name and “free resources” to find what’s available. 

  1. Don’t buy textbooks from the school store. Finding cheap textbooks online, renting textbooks, price-matching them, using the library, and buying old editions are great alternatives to the overpriced school store books. 

  1. Organize everything. From tuition bill receipts to course syllabi, students are expected to keep track of it all. The best way to do so is developing an organization system. 

  1. Make connections with advisors and professors. Building and maintaining relationships is critical for student success as well as life after college. The recommendation or guidance of the right person can be the boost needed early in a person’s career.  

  1. Join an extracurricular. On campus activities can be an amazing way to make friends or find new passions. 

  1. Young adulthood is the time to become yourself. Though it seems cliché, college is where people develop into adults. It’s filled with new experiences that are overwhelming and exciting all at once. What people take from their experience will shape them. 

  1. Practice self-care. Read my “How to practice self-care” blog post for more tips and tricks.

I hope you found this blog helpful! I would also love to hear what advice you would you give to your younger self? Share it below! 

Every day is a learning opportunity!