Hello again everyone! As we head into the long weekend, I thought today would serve as a perfect time to reflect on some of the biggest learnings I took away from my four years spent at UW-Madison. As I quickly approach the “start of the real world,” in the sense of beginning a full-time job, I’ve found a few lessons worth leaving to any student at the start of their college career, looking for any advice, and open to a new perspective! Keep reading to find out…
Top 5 College Lessons…
- When it comes to studying, listen to your brain!
It’s so easy to feel the pull to stay up all night, cram in every piece of information, and otherwise run yourself overboard when studying for exams or submitting large assignments. Trust me, I’ve been there. But, what I’ve taken away from the last few years and as I eased into the swing of college coursework is that it is so important to listen to your brain and body when you need a break. Although it may seem beneficial to push until the last second, starting your studying strategies earlier, getting a good night’s sleep, going for a walk in the middle of the day, and truly utilizing “brain breaks” was an essential key to my success. Not only did doing so help me keep a sense of motivation, but it allowed me to retain so much more information than I would have in brain overdrive mode.
- Take advantage of the city that you’re in!
College provides such a unique time period in the sense of offering four years (if able) to immerse yourself and live in a new environment and city that you may never again. Recently, I’ve taken advantage of surrounding neighborhoods, sought out new restaurants, cafes, or bars, and seen everything that Madison has to offer! Whether this looks like walking to a new place, renting a “B-Cycle” as we do in Wisconsin, or otherwise exploring with friends, make sure to take advantage of the wonderful place where you live!
- Put on a smiling face always, and leave a great impression on the people you meet.
You never know how the people around you will impact your life moving forward. Many of my professors went on to provide incredible letters of recommendation that helped me land a variety of internships. Many of the friends I made in my student organization offered me their votes when I ran for Vice President. And many of my sorority sisters have become lifelong best friends. So, no matter where you are or who you’re speaking to, offer a smile, a kind tone, and a conversation… you never know how valuable it will be!
- Ask for help!
Remember that you are not alone! Your friends, family, mentors, professors, advisors, and the people you surround yourself with are there to help. College is wonderful in so many ways but does not come without challenges. When they arise, know that you are not alone, and asking for help showcases strength above anything else.
- Go out, enjoy yourself, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Finally, remember that you are YOUNG! Everyone says that these four years fly by, but trust me, they do. So know that that one exam that’s giving you a hard time won’t determine your future, but the memories you make spent with friends may very well carry with you throughout your entire life.
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