It has been a hot minute since I last made a post on this blog, since we got into the real nitty gritty of Covid-19 to be exact. I don’t know about you guys, but despite the fact that we still can’t do any big events and are limited on our outings due to social distancing, I still have found myself extremely busy. This is the first time in months that I have actually had time to sit down and write a blog post, a few days after Christmas- just about eight months after I wrote my last one (weird)!! A lot has changed since my last post (one being the world, obviously) and another being that I am officially a college graduate now! That’s right… I have a degree. I am just as mind blown as you must be reading this, especially given the fact that I literally started this blog when I was 16, and here I am still writing at 21 and preparing for my Big Girl job.
To make it short and sweet, I graduated from Arizona State University in Barrett, The Honors College in 3 1/2 years. My degree is in Global Logistics Management with my Minor in Fashion (duh) and a Certificate in International Business. Still don’t know how I manage to do that and also graduate a semester early, but I did it! Now I feel like I can truly do anything! Now, enough about me. If you are an incoming Freshman, whether it being for ASU or Harvard I want you to read this post. Honestly even if you are a Sophomore or Junior, I hope my advice will do you some good. I have been reflecting a lot on my college career and there are some things that I have done, and some things that I have not, that I hope others can learn from and take with them through their own journey. So without further ado, here are a few key things that all women should know going into their first years of college!
Don’t start out thinking that you MUST have everything figured out
This is the one thing that I actually DESPISE about going into your first years of college. As seniors in high school, we have this idea ingrained into our brains that we must know exactly what we want to do at just 18 years old. Sure you are an adult technically at 18, and sure going into college is the bridge to your career. But in reality, you are 18… you are still a kid. Honestly, at 21 I still feel like a kid… the only difference is I can legally drink alcohol! I see this in my little brother who is a senior in high school waiting on his college acceptance letters, and I saw it in myself at 17-18 years old too. There is way too much pressure on kids going into college to have the perfect major and have the perfect plan mapped out. Well, I am going to tell you right now that this plan you have probably won’t actually happen. Life throws curveballs at you and the only thing you can really do is adapt to them; that means making changes to your “perfect plan”. I started out with my major in Communications because I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do with my life. Eventually, after taking courses and meeting people that inspired me, I changed my major. That is OKAY! In fact, it is expected! So PLEASE do not put this insane pressure on yourself to know exactly what you want to do. I promise it will come to you eventually so lay off the stress and anxiety, and enjoy the ride. You will regret it if you don’t!
If you can live on campus, do it!
I am going to be honest, living in the dorms was probably the most fun I have ever had. Sure it’s small, and sure you might have to share a room, but when in your lifetime will you ever get to do that again! Living in the dorms helped me meet SOOOO many people and honestly is what made the transition to college so much easier. In doing so, you are basically forcing yourself to be surrounded by people in the exact same position as you. Whether you are out of state or not, moving away from home and having this new found freedom can be a lot, so surrounding yourself with people who understand what you are feeling is incredibly important. Not to mention, living on campus makes it easy to go to class AND you get the dining hall. Trust me when I say this, take advantage of the dining hall. I loved going down to get lunch and running into friends from class, or even just meeting new people in the omelet line. It is much more fun to socialize during a meal than to eat alone in your room! (especially when you don’t know many people) However, I know with Covid a lot of dining halls don’t allow in-person seating (hopefully that won’t last forever) but take advantage of the meals. They may not be moms famous spaghetti but it is a meal that you don’t have to cook yourself, which is a game changer trust me!
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone
This is probably the most important advice I can give to someone going into college. First, I would like to start out by saying that if you are preparing for your freshman year of college, you have already done it… so keep doing it! Going to college in itself is uncomfortable and kind of weird, it is a complete 180 degree shift from what you have been used to these last 17-18 years. So be proud of yourself for doing something that makes you a little anxious or scared! College is the perfect time to try new things and take some risks. You are young, you don’t have a ton of responsibility, and you are basically getting a fresh start. So take those classes that might seem hard but intrigue you, rush those sororities (or fraternities), join that club, apply for that job, and if you can, study abroad!
Studying abroad was the best decision I have EVER made. I went to Barcelona my spring semester sophomore year and had the absolute time of my life! I wish I could go back! Not to mention, I learned so much that not only helped shape me into a better person, but truly helped me when it came to gaining the skills necessary to land a good job after college. (Remember, a big part of college is having fun, yes, but the end goal is to get a job. So start doing things early that will help build your resume. Studying abroad 10000% helped me!)
I also really recommend rushing a sorority. Joining Pi Phi was another life-changing decision that I made. I honestly don’t know where I would be without the friendships I made through this amazing sorority. Not to mention, I met so many INCREDIBLE girls in other sororities as well! Greek life has a way of making a big school feel much smaller, it helps you build friendships, grow life-long bonds and of course enjoy fun events, and date parties along the way!
However, if you know that sororities are not your thing, don’t make yourself do it! You will find plenty of opportunities to meet people and have a fun college experience. Join a club, play a sport, do whatever makes you happy! Some of my best friends did not join sororities, and they still had the best college experience!
Get a job during school
This might not be what you want to hear, especially if you are lucky enough to have parents or scholarships that help pay for your school, but it is seriously so important! I am blessed to have parents that helped me get through school and I did have a scholarship that helped as well, and I still worked throughout college. I personally did not have a job my first semester of college, however, I eventually started working second semester and have had a job ever since. I am not saying that you need to get a full-time job while taking a full course load if you don’t have to, but having that experience is SO important.
Focusing on your studies is vital of course, but I am going to let you in on a little secret. Employers could care less if you have a 4.0 GPA if you don’t have any work experience. It is as simple as that! I have done plenty of internship/job interviews to know this. ( I even interviewed employers for my thesis and they all said the same thing) I remember applying for an internship and the woman who interviewed me made a comment that my GPA was lower than what they would usually take, and asked me why it was so low. (Mind you it was a 3.37 at the time.) I responded with the fact that although I was in school, I had been taking a really hard class at the time while also working 30 hours a week at my job. I remember leaving that interview thinking I completely butchered it because my GPA was not the 3.7 that she wanted. I distinctly remember beating myself up over the C+ I got in my Session A Accounting class.
Guess what? I got the internship.
Work Hard & Play Hard
Finding a good balance between work and play can be so difficult, I know! I still don’t have it all figured out, but I still strive to find perfect harmony and you should too! When you first get to college, the freedom you feel is going to take over. I guarantee you will be going to little dorm get togethers, plenty of frat parties, tailgates, and football games. You will find yourself sleeping very little, but having a lot of fun! This is completely fine, enjoy yourself! However, I do know from experience that all of the fun can put the real reason you went to college on the back burner. Always remember that you are here to get an education! If you have a big report due in the morning but your friends want to go out to the next Pi Kapp or Sigma Nu rager, please for the love of God, work on your report. Trust me when I say there will be PLENTY more Italian Wedding date parties to attend in your future. The last thing you want is to fail an assignment, trust me. My best advice would be to get a planner, write down all of your assignments, and try and get them done during the week. That way you can have your whole weekend to do whatever you want!
I know there were only five key things listed and there are plenty more to talk about, but I do sincerely hope that this helped you. Whether you are a freshman in college or a junior, we could all use a little advice sometimes. If you are reading this and have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. Whether it’s in the comments or in my instagram dm’s, I would love to help! Good luck!!