Life is a tricky thing – in the moment, time drags by, but as a whole, it absolutely flies. I just toasted to the last 100 days of my college career. I’m blown away by how quickly this day has arrived. As I look back over the past five (yes, five) years, I can’t help but marvel at how far I’ve come. And while I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey, there are a few things I’d tell myself if I could do it all over.
I was the girl everyone hated in high school. Yes, I slept through class and still graduated at the top of my class. I was constantly reminded of how smart I was and how good I was at school. That’s the attitude I brought to college. I quickly found that everyone around me also graduated at the top of their class, and being the smartest in high school actually said next to nothing about how college would go for me. If I could do it all over, I’d lose the attitude and I’d go into college ready for the hardest five years of my academic career.
Not only did I start college with the wrong attitude, I also started with the wrong major. I came to school as an engineering student, primarily with the dream of making good money. My parents were so proud. I ultimately held onto that dream even after I knew it wasn’t for me because I wanted to make them happy. Choose a major that you can do something with, but also one that makes you happy. It’s okay to change your mind, and then change it again. Eighteen is so early to decide your future, so don’t be afraid to second guess your original choice.
Thinking back to my first few months here on campus, I barely recognize myself. I was incredibly homesick, and I missed the familiarity of my parents, my friends, and my boyfriend. As hard as it would’ve been fore me at the time, if I could do it all over again, I’d break up with my high school boyfriend before coming to college. I matured more in my first six months of college than I ever had, and we grew apart so quickly. He didn’t understand that I had new friends and I was experiencing new things every day. At college, you meet so many people from so many parts of the world, and you truly find your people. During the time that I was struggling to move past breaking up with my high school boyfriend, a guy from my new friend group slipped a note under my dorm room door. The note read “You’re the most amazing person I’ve met at Tech so far,” and I was flattered but not interested at the time. Nonetheless, five months from today, that man will be my husband.
I have always been shy and terrified of branching out. If I could do this over again, I’d run for student government, join student organizations, and really make an effort to be involved with my school. The connections and opportunities that are made through student government and avid involvement are invaluable experience for the future. Always be building your resume and marketing yourself, you never know when an opportunity will come along. This comes through forming good habits. Just this year, I developed a strong morning routine. I stopped pulling all nighters, I created a firm bed time, and I set my alarm for the same time every morning. This routine keeps me energized and on top of things every single day. Additionally, I signed up for fitness classes through my campus gym. It has made all the difference in my life. If I had to start over, I’d put more effort into forming a routine, one that really focused on my health and being intentional with my time.