You may be too young to know the song “Graduation” by Vitamin C, but in it, you will hear everything I’m trying to convey to you, just put to a melody. As every old person says, college is the best time of your life and you better live it the f*ck up, because things will never be this good again.
At all orientations and career fairs there will be people prepping you for the outside world. They show you how glamorous it can be if you play your cards right in your classes and with your extracurricular activities. But, there is so much more that happens during those years you’re at school than just what can be put on your resume.
What the counselors and alumni don’t tell you, is to follow your heart. If you love art but decide to major in physics so that you can make more money, you’re going to be unhappy. You can’t follow the money. All that cash isn’t going to make you happy. You could be as rich as Jay Z but hate waking up every day. Living only for the weekends or for your vacation time isn’t a great way to spend your whole life.
Think about those last two words.
That’s what happens after school. The rest of your entire life. Don’t let your time at college be filled with anxiety over your workload. Take naps because there is no time for that when you work 40+ hours a week.
Eat everything you can at the dining hall. Maybe it’s not the best, but it’s free. Or at least it’s been paid for by your tuition and meal plan already. You should reap the benefits because free food is never a thing after the age of 22.
The gym and sport facilities are also paid for by your tuition. That type of equipment does not exist anywhere in the real world for less than $60 a month. Work off all the prepaid food you’re eating on the brand new indoor track.
Attend every sporting event you can and go to all the parties the teams throw after them. You could befriend the next Stephen Curry and have a life full of perks waiting for you once your BFF’s career takes off. And these games are also exponentially cheaper for students to go to than the average citizen.
Stick with your craft. Don’t let the need for material possessions get the best of you. If you love what you’re doing but it doesn’t pay well yet, don’t get sucked into a job that offers you security. Taking steps backward to start over in your career is a lot harder than it looks. Trust me, I was that girl. I still am that girl.
But most importantly, have fun! You will never again live in such a close proximity to your friends. You’re in a beautiful bubble with camaraderie second to none. Live in the moment and don’t wish time away.
The post-grad who made the mistakes for you
Featured image via Pang Yuhao on Unsplash