17 Tips From A 2017 Graduating University Senior

I can't believe how fast college went by, and now my graduation ceremony is in less than 2 weeks! It feels like it was a year ago that I was graduating high school. On the other end, writing this post is something I've been waiting a long time to do. I've gathered all of my wisdom in my 4 years at the University of Washington and am ready to pass it down (haha). Today, I'm getting a little personal. So bare with me because all these might not apply to you, but if I were to tell my younger sister some tips when she enters college, this would be it. Also, it wouldn't be a completed post if I didn't share some outfit tips, so that's below as well! 

  1. Don't take a weed out class your first quarter. A weed out class is a class that usually has 200+ students, a very steep curve, and is meant to sort out people who will get into the major or not. Have fun your first quarter and take things easy! You'll have time to take that class later in the year.
  1. Explore campus and all the areas around it. I'm someone who could tell you the fastest bus route to take to downtown Seattle or the only desk in our 24/7 library that's always available, and it's all because I spent time learning what worked for me. Don't give up when you take the wrong bus; instead, explore this new area it brought you to. Finding your favorite places on and off campus is a fun way to get familiar with the city you'll be living in for the next 4 years.
  1. Don't say no to new things and try everything at least once! College exposes you to so many new types of food, people, opportunities, and events. Trying everything at least once will always make for a good story and you might even surprise yourself at how much you love something you've never tried before! Some of my friends hadn't ever tried Thai food before school, and now that's all we ever eat. 
  1. Go Greek! My favorite part of these organizations was that instant bond you had with everyone and all of the philanthropic work involved. Making life-long friendships and helping people? Yes, please! It's also something that stays with you even after you graduate and an experience that's only available in these 4 years. 
  1. Join student clubs involving topics you're interested in. My first year at college, I limited myself to cultural and religious clubs. When I started attending clubs that also supported my hobbies and passions, that's where I learned the most. Attend the student club fair at the beginning of each year where almost every club on campus comes out to advertise themselves. I found out I was interested in topics like Campus Sustainability and Public Speaking because I attended an introductory meeting. 
  1. Finish assignments a day or two early. I'm someone who loooooves working under pressure. It's always been something I pride myself in. However, when you have 3 assignments due on Tuesday, starting all 3 on Monday night is probably not the greatest  idea. A way I trick myself into getting work done early is noting down the due date a day, two, or three days earlier in my planner. Since I don't know when exactly the due date is, I have to finish the assignment by the date written in my planner. 
  1. Make friends with everyone you can. It's SO easy to make friends your first year when everyone is new and wanting to do so. I think all throughout college it's been very easy to go from sharing a Google Doc of class notes to coffee study dates to workout buddies. All you have to do is be the first to initiate a conversation and it should be all smooth sailing from there. You're surrounded by people your own age who are going through the same things (at least academically) as you, it can't get much easier to meet people and make friends than this. 
  1. Get out there and have fun! There are so many fun events and parties at school and even though your first goal at college should be to succeed academically, social activities are important too. There's school concerts, house parties, fraternity parties, student club events, and so much more. Make memories that you'll love telling others 30 years later. 
  1. Don't lose sight of your goals. When I came into college I knew I wanted to leave with skills that would allow me to be of assistance to people. I also knew I wanted to grow as a person and explore who I really was away from home. Make a list of your own goals and email it to yourself. When you're feeling lost or uncertain about where you're headed, reflect on these or update them. 
  1. Keep a journal. I've always been someone who writes down how I feel at the beginning/end of the day. Each summer, I would find myself looking back on the things that made me really excited or not so happy. From each of the little stories I told my journal, I learned so much about myself reading back on them. For example, I know that I'm someone who likes formal introductions and that going on a spontaneous adventure is something that always scares me until it's over. I also learned that I'm a highly emotional person when it comes to animals. Keeping track of what makes you happy and who you are will help you when it comes to making bigger life decisions. 
  1. Be careful with your heart. You're young, you're beautiful, and you're more amazing than any crush you'll ever have. I have many friends who went through a lot of drama with guys they dated, and I think it's honestly because everyone is a little immature and still growing up in college. Get to know everyone you can, have fun, and be yourself, but don't give your heart away easily or expect everyone to have the same intentions as you. I'm that girl that all my girlfriends call to get advice on how to deal with a guy they're seeing, and to be honest, I'm always just telling them to be themselves and communicate as much as possible. Guys are complicated but so are we, and the fact that we're all growing up and finding ourselves throughout college doesn't make things any easier.
  1. Have a savings fund. You never know if your laptop (that's working just fine now) may crash in a few weeks, or when your friends will plan an amazing road trip and you'll need extra $$$. It's important to have something to fall back on. Mint is a great app to keep track of your finances because you can see just how much you're spending and where. I like to automatically set up savings features through my bank. For every time I swipe my card anywhere, $2 gets transferred to my savings. I also have half of my paycheck go towards savings every month (and the other half is for food and shopping and other fun stuff of course).
  1. Exercise and take care of your body. Avoid the freshman 15 by heading to the gym at least 3 times a week. There was a time in sophomore year, in gloomy winter quarter, when I was not feeling like myself at all (low energy, unmotivated, grumpy). When my best friend and I agreed to start going to the gym again, it helped so much! We were not only feeling better, but because we were working so hard at the gym, we were making good choices outside of it too. Our food choices improved, we started taking more stairs, and even though we were sleeping less, we became more energized. After that, I've always hit the gym or went on a run a few times a week. Staying hydrated, talking out difficulties you're facing in life, and taking time for yourself is all important for you to succeed in these 4 years. 
  1. Spend time with only the people who bring you up. If you notice that a friend of yours talks about others a lot and shares secrets that they're not supposed to, it's probably in your best interest to spend less time with him/her. Pick your friends carefully because most of their habits do rub off on you. In general, it's a good rule to keep your close circle small, but have interactions and be acquainted with everyone. 
  1. Do it all! Even when you think you're doing enough, don't be afraid to seek out new opportunities and activities. College is all about doing everything you can and having the most fun possible. At one time, I had 4 officer positions in various clubs, was working 20 hours a week, taking more than the average load of credits at my university, while also conducting research for a professor, and working on finishing an internship, but that was still my favorite and most exciting quarter to date! 
  1. Spend some time with family. It's easy to get absorbed in school work and your social life at college, but your parents and siblings will always be there to keep you grounded. It's also nice to be home for a whole weekend and not do anything but spend time with them. I was always used to keeping myself busy throughout college and now that I have more time to spend with them, my younger sister and my mom are two of my closest friends. 
  1. Don't worry too much. You're here because the university obviously thought you were worthy of that acceptance letter. Classes can be hard, but just remember how much fun you can have the second you turn in that midterm. Friends come and go, it's natural and likely going to happen. Boys are like fish in the sea, trust me, he's not worth you stressing over what emoji to text back. How much makeup you wear, how short your dress is, or what you look like won't matter if you're unhappy. Be who you want to be, have fun, and don't stress about much else.

Jeans: Paige Jeans
Top: Zara
Shoes: Steve Madden 
Coat: Zara

1 comment

  1. Congratulations on your graduation!! This is great advice for people walking through any transition! Whether its a geographic move, job switch, etc. Good luck on your next adventure!