Things I’d Say to My 18-Year-Old Self Before Starting College

Riley Blue

Image by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Here are some things I would tell my 18-year-old self before starting college. I feel that if I had known all these back then, my life would have been much, much easier.

  • Study hard and party harder. But make sure to find a way to manage your finances without depending too much on the pocket money you get from your relatives. It never hurts to freelance for a few hours a week.
  • Develop a skill apart from academics and work on it till people start recognizing you for that.
  • Network. Make friends with both juniors and seniors.
  • Do not hate, envy or isolate yourself from your competitors. They are the people with the same dreams as you - think of what you could achieve if you combined your talents and worked together.
  • Work hard to secure the kind of future you desire because it is never too early to start planning. Also, be flexible; have a handful of options ready. I’m not talking about a plan B here, rather have plans ready right up to Z.
  • Step out of your comfort zone. Look for internships that challenge you and constantly push you to keep bettering yourself. Preferably stay away from home for a couple of months while working and earning your keep. This will not only give you a taste of what life after college would be like, but would also help you network - meet like-minded people with the same goals who might end up as collaborators or colleagues later on.
  • It is okay to be different. Do not try to fit in groups that make you feel isolated. Also, do not judge if someone finds happiness in things that you consider worthless. Being unique is awesome, and everyone is unique in their own way.
  • People are going to make fun of you, and no matter what you do can change their mindset. It’s always better to ignore the ones that bring negativity in your life and surround yourself with friends who make you happy.
  • If you’re confused between watching another episode of that TV series and preparing for the exam, think what would make you happier in the long run: more shows watched that you don’t even remember the plot of, or a decent CGPA.
  • On a different note, when you are confused whether to save money or go on that undergrad trip, try and think of what would matter ten years down the line: 5000 bucks more in your bank account or five days worth of trip memories with your college friends.
  • If your heart desires something, fuck everyone else who says no and go get it. Being without regrets is the best way to live, trust me.

Did you find yourself nodding as you read along? Do you agree with these points? Let me know in the comments. Looking forward to hearing your point of view on this too. What are some things you wish you'd known before starting college?

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