Inside my classrooms (read: giant lecture halls) I’ve found out some cool things that I maybe would have never would have come across without my professors (shout-out to my psychology professor who taught us the optimal way to nap). But it’s what I’ve learned walking back to my dorm with my friends on dark streets, or laying in bed unhappy about guys that never showed interest, that I’ll remember much longer. As my first year of college ends, I have to pack up all of the things in my room, and all of the things in my head, to go home this summer. Here’s the most important things that I’m taking back with me:
1. If today didn’t go right, that’s okay. Fix it and make it better when you can.
Even if you have every detail of every day planned out in front of you, things won’t always go the way you want them to. That is okay. Every second of time in front of you is capable of being a fresh start. Take a breath, and begin again when you’re ready.
2. People are not checklists.
Big places like college are where people expect to meet their person. And if you’re like me, you expect to meet them pretty quickly, because there has to be at least one person out of all of these people who fits all of the things that you think you want. My list goes something like this: Has brown hair, likes Tame Impala, is into reading classic novels, and it goes on and on…
But people don’t work that way. Someone who doesn’t check off all of the boxes on your list could still get a fire going inside of you, and someone who is what you thought you wanted could make you feel nothing.
3. Sometimes giving up is a good decision.
Sometimes a class is difficult and you’ve been to office hours and have formed study groups and have lived with your head in the textbook for weeks. But maybe it’s just not the right class for you, and maybe it’s time to drop it. Sometimes a guy, or girl, you’ve been pursuing won’t text you back even though you’ve been trying for weeks. Maybe it’s time to move on to someone else who wants all your love and affection! You are smart enough to know when you have done all you can do.
4. At certain points, it will seem like people are leaving more than they’re coming in.
This is the hardest thing that I’ve had to come to terms with. The period between high school and college is weird because it’s one of the largest transitions that anyone could make. I’ve lost connections with friends I loved, and have outgrown many of the things that defined me last year.
Sure, I’ve made great new friends here. But there are cool people who I talked to during the first week of school or sat next to in class that I never saw again. That’s such an unsettling realization for me, as someone who values her relationships more than anything else. But, the people who have happened to stay are the most important.