read more for the illustrated definition of “spending way too much time on something”
(an extremely wild AU where Michael has a 4-second-moment of genuine sense of guilt and other assorted human emotions the night before the N-Y heist. yeah yeah I know, how far fetched, I’m crazy like that.)
During my first year of college, I tried many new things to get out of my comfort zone and learned many life lessons throughout the year.
In high school, I mostly focused on school, running, drawing, my blog (which I started during the middle of 11th grade). I was not really “social”, and only hung out with 1-2 friends at a time. I did really well in all, and I was very happy.
In college, I decided to branch out, since I would describe myself as introverted in high school, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and be more social.
I’m a bioengineering major, entrepreneurship minor, runner for a division 1 cross country and track team, freshman representative for the Chinese Student Association, write articles and take photos for Spoon University, and work in a bioengineering research lab. I was also posting 3 times a day on my blog, and also made sure to post on my food art Instagram every day, and my personal/running Iinstagram every 2-3 days. I barely had time to draw, which is one of my favorite things to do.
I attended a bunch of events first quarter to try something new, and learned that all that social activity took away my time to do things that I am passionate about. I and found myself looking back in high school, and living in the past because I wasn’t as happy. However, that was an important learning experience for myself.
Here are some life lessons I have learned during my first year of college that I hope helps you.
1. Most important: Never take anything personally. The more people I met, the more I started to realize that you’re just not compatible with some people. Think of it this way: If you know that you are only trying to be friendly, but the other person doesn’t seem to like you, then that is their problem because they’re obviously blind and can’t see your awesomeness. They are not worth your time. Same thing with getting rejected from something. Once you stop taking things personally, I promise you will feel happier because it’s not your fault if you’re just trying to be a good person.
In high school, I never had the desire to branch out and meet new people from my school, therefore, the people whom I hung out with share many similarities with me.
You don’t have to get along with everyone, and you’re not limited to anyone either. Be nice to everyone, because you don’t have time to make enemies and/or deal with drama.
2. People are worried about themselves. I personally don’t think it’s necessary to try so hard to present yourself. People don’t judge you as they may seem to in high school. Everyone’s mostly minding their own business.
3. Find your own method of time management. In college, no one is going to tell you what to do. You can have class from 1-9 hours a day, and you need to plan the rest of your time well.
4. Realize your limits. Everyone has a different limit, and it’s something I believe you should experiment with early on in life to find out.
In high school, I was very successful in running, so everyone seemed to know who I was. I came into college feeling like another face. I was injured, and not doing as well in everything as I would like because I was involved in too many activities. I do believe in trying new things to explore, but realize that you have a limit. Learn to prioritize.
5. Learn to say no. I like to be a nice person, but I also believe that in order to be able to help people, you must take care of yourself first. By spring quarter, I started to feel tired of having to do so many things, so i worked up the courage to say no to some of the things, so I could have more time to study for my test, finish homework, or simply because I need to go run.
Missing a party to study is ok, in fact, no one seems to really care. I never party because I rather study and do quiet activities in my room such as drawing on weekends when I have a little extra time, and my friends understand that. Don’t feel weird if you are not into things that everyone else seems to be, and you don’t have to make yourself do things that you don’t want to (unless it’s school work because you’re here for a degree), either.
6. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something. I don’t party or drink. But that doesn’t mean I don’t isolate myself from people who do. I have friends that like to party, but they never force me to do something that I’m not comfortable with. You’re not “weird” if you chose not to drink because your true friends will accept you for who you are.
7. Appreciate your parents. Don’t take them for granted and become friends with them.
8. Get to know your professors. Don’t be intimidated, they want to help and it’s fun to make friends.
9. Don’t be shy. That’s not how you get what you want. Plus, don’t be afraid to speak in class, and someone probably has the same question.
10. Make friends in classes. You can make great study buddies and share notes when either of you are absent.
11. Use a planner (paper or electronic, whichever you prefer) because physically writing helps you remember things more.
12. Take advantage of your resources such as interlibrary loans, databases, writing centers, tutoring, friends, professors, gym, and anything else.
13. Don’t buy your textbooks from the bookstore since they usually cost more. Get them from a friend, or find them online.
14. Be confident. Fake it until you make it. That’s how you get many things in life.
15. Prioritize your health. Without it, you have nothing.
16. Make a list of things to always carry with you. For example: Food (quiet food in class), headphones, planner, phone, laptop, gum/mints, chargers, notebooks, etc.
17. Learn to adapt to change. Don’t expect it to be easy. I thought I was a very independent person in high school and that I would love college, but so many things change. I struggled my first quarter, then I got used to the routine. It will be hard at first, but you will learn and grow and become a better and more mature person than you were before.
18. Don’t be afraid to try new things. The more you know about yourself, the better equipped you are to make decisions about what you want in your life.