Creating Yourself: Becoming a College Student!

Wow, it’s already mid-May! Can you believe it? For the high school seniors, that means finals, a few AP exams, a few tears shed on grad night, and then…off to college!

The transition can be scary. New people, new classes, new curriculums, new housing, new everything! Not only that, but it is a very important time in your life where you spend quite a bit of time discovering independence. A new you…are you ready? Yes, you are! And SRA is behind you 100%!

I’m hoping we can give you a few tips today on ways of discovering who you are during your college years, and how to make the best out of your experience. I encourage all of you to give your feedback as well! Although not always easy, entering this new phase of your life can be so rewarding and so exciting. As a freshman, you will have endless opportunities to explore who you are, what you want out of your career, what is most important to you, and ultimately about creating YOU.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”

-George Bernard Shaw

1/ Use your professors: Professors are a wealth of knowledge. I am a huge advocate of picking their brains and getting their perspective on anything and everything. My professors taught me a lot, not only in the classroom, but also outside of it. I made friends with several, would go out to eat with them, and learned so much about their own journeys in discovering what they were passionate about. Use their office hours, get to know them, and let them get to know you. This could lead to a variety of opportunities as well. Many professors will hire students to help them in different research projects, take students abroad with them, help with internships, and advocate for students when they need it. I had a very influential professor who helped me realize I had a passion for social justice. He took several of us on trips to the east coast to bring awareness about an issue we felt strongly about. He also continued to be a great resource for me as I entered graduate school.

2/Leave room for mistakes: For many of you, it will be your first time away from everyone you know, on your own, in a new environment. You will have a hiccup here and there, and they are okay! You are growing up, learning from those mistakes, and improving who you are with every passing day. Reflect on how to make the situation better next time, find a different approach, and keeping moving forward.

3/Join clubs on campus: Get involved on campus! It’s a great way to meet new people, get different perspectives on different issues, and learn about other things going on in your community. Join cultural clubs on campus to find others with similar interests to you and learn more about your background. Community service groups are a great way to get out and involved in projects that give back. Run for leadership positions in these groups as well. Give yourself a chance to speak up on issues that are important to you and set an example for others.

4/ Say Thank You: Use every opportunity you get to network! You never know who will be of help to you in the future. Write thank you notes to your professors at the end of the year. Send emails to individuals you meet along your path who may have given a speech at your school, or come as a guest lecturer to a class, to thank them. Be nice and say thank you to your classmates! Say thank you to the family you tutor for, or maybe it’s a thank you to the organization you volunteer with. Every person is an opportunity to bring together a group of people who can serve as references, job referrals, employers, etc. for you as you move forward.

These are just a few ideas! Ideas/tips/reflections are so very welcome! We want to hear from you! And students, if you have questions, use this as a place to dialogue with others about your thoughts and concerns.

You can do it!


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6 Responses to Creating Yourself: Becoming a College Student!

  1. Jordan Stuhlmueller says:

    Just a couple more from my experience:

    1. If you have a problem with your roommate, TALK about it! Building resentment and distance between you and your roommate can create a lot of problems, negative energy and unneeded/unwanted stress!

    2. Eat as healthily as possible. This will help to keep up your energy and focus during the day. Plus, you’ll get sick less often.

    3. ENJOY your experience!!! If you find you’re drowning in school work, “real” work, girlfriend/boyfriend relationships, etc., step back and take a breath. Give yourself some time and space. Get out of town for the weekend with your friends. Spend the night in a friend’s dorm/apartment/house. Just removing yourself from your everyday grind for a short while will help you to feel re-energized. You will learn a lot in college. You will learn a lot more if you are happy being there. =)

    Best of luck to y’all!!!!

    • We totally agree with all the feedback! And, Jordan, yes! We often forget to take a step back and take a breath! It’s a good reminder for all of us! More blogging to come on self-care!

      Any tips on healthy snacks? Often times, students are rushing from class to class, so it’s easy to grab a bag of chips and forget that healthy eating!

  2. Kirsten says:

    Your Mentors will be looking forward to keeping in touch and hearing about your successes and challenges in college–before you leave for college, ask your Mentors to tell you something about their college experiences and the suggestions they have as well.

  3. Dulce says:

    saying thank you goes a long way! I say that from experience 🙂 It helped me get my Apple internship this summer 🙂

  4. kevin williams says:

    These are great ideas, and as an incoming senior in college, knowing this will be extremely helpful in the long run.

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