College can be one of the most stressful times in a young person’s life. There is so much going on socially, emotionally, and academically, and school can leave little time to for the full comprehension of these changes. Despite this truth, it’s vital for us as young adults- on the precipice of life altering decision making- to take the time to do some real soul searching. I heard it once said that in order to know who are, you must first decide what you are not. Am I a slacker? Disciplined? What comes first in importance to me: school, family, friends, work? Do my stated priorities match the realities in my life? If not, why not and what needs to change in order to make that happen?
The typical ages of a college student, ranging from 17 to 24, are some of the most volatile years in a young person’s life- as hard as that is to believe after the crazed hormone years of dating and drama that emerge in middle and high school. I say it’s the most volatile because now is when things start to really matter, when the present will most certainly dictate the future. Because of this, it’s important to take life by the horns. No one is in charge of your life but you, meaning- no matter how hard some adults may try- they can’t make your decisions for you or share in the responsibilities and consequences that follow.
1) Treat every decision you make (whether it seems as menial as deciding to go to that party everyone is attending or not, or as important as what classes to take next semester) as if it will have a direct and monumental impact on your future- because it could.
2) Decide from the get-go who you are and what you believe, and stick to it. While college is a time of exploration and broadening your horizons, don’t let the core of your essence change. Because when it comes to actually making those important decision, like what company to work for or where to live after you graduate, it will be those core values that will help guide you to making the best decision for you.
3) Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! College is an exciting time of new experiences and people that will help to shape the kind of adult you will become. Be open to new experiences (legally and responsibly of course lol) and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. There may never be another time in your life when you have the freedom and means to travel abroad or hang out with friends for hours on end. So enjoy it, and Carpe Diem (seize the day)!
-Melissa, Class of 2010