1. Figure yourself out.
College is indeed a time to learn more about who you are — your likes, dislikes, opinions, hobbies, and beliefs. But that doesn’t mean you have to conclude college with a thorough understanding of yourself or even who you want to be. We as people are constantly changing before college and after college. College simply gives us more leeway for mistakes, losing ourselves, and developing new ideas and personalities. We grow, adapt, and mature in college, but it never stops there.
2. Get into a relationship.
They say college is the ideal time to date, but if you’re not ready for a relationship or if you just can’t find anyone, that’s completely okay. Not dating in college doesn’t mean you’re going to be forever alone. Don’t settle into a half-hearted, temporary, or destructive relationship simply because that’s what you can get at the moment. There are way better things to do with your time.
3. Get wasted.
Just because you’re allowed or almost allowed to drink alcohol, doesn’t mean you should drown yourself in it. When you’re drunk is when you are easily prone to bad decisions with heavy consequences that are often underestimated. You’re liver could always appreciate less cheap beer. Remember, sober is sexy.
4. Study all the time.
It’s totally okay to not have a 4.0. Even for premeds. You should always strive to do your best, but doing your best should not imply spending all your time cooped up in textbooks with no human interaction, slowly turning into a caffeine-hungry vampire. College is not just about grades.
5. Have sex.
The media often frames sex as an incredible experience college students casually and frequently engage in. But sex, especially casual sex, can be both emotionally and physically damaging if you’re not ready. You should never feel pressured into having sex just because its what the other person wants. It’s good to take things slow.
6. Stick to one major.
If you know exactly what you want to pursue a career in upon entering college, that’s great! But more often than not, most of us end up reconsidering. Even though you’ve already spent 2 years taking science classes, if you realize you hate science, then don’t do science. Even as a college student, it can be scary to switch majors or career paths, but better now than later. Try new things and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, even if your dreams change.
7. Stick to one group of friends.
Especially in big schools, it can be hard to find a niche group of people you fit in with. But once you find such a group, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of other friend groups too or leave a friend group if they aren’t right for you. Make friends with different sorts of people because they will help you learn more about yourself understand a wider array of perspectives.
8. Let go of high school friends.
They say you will often lose touch with high school friends once you enter college, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. All friendships require a degree of intentionality, and the amount of effort you are willing to put in to stay in touch with your high school friends will pay off. Just because you don’t go to the same school as them anymore, doesn’t mean you have to lose them.
9. Say ‘Yes’ to everything.
College is a time for new experiences, but that doesn’t mean you have to try every opportunity that comes your way. Since the amount of time we have in college is limited, it is better to exercise wisdom in choosing the types of experiences we desire. What you say ‘Yes’ to will come to define your college experience, so use the word sensibly.
10. Follow the crowd.
Just because everyone seems to be pre-med doesn’t mean you should. Just because all your dorm mates are going to the rave this weekend, doesn’t mean you should. Just because your friends are in fraternities, survive off ramen, or live in libraries, doesn’t mean you should. You do you. Your college experience is yours and does not have to match the standards of any “ideal college experience”. Remember that there is still so much in store for you after college and beyond, and never underestimate your potential!