What do you mean I can’t bring my mom and dad to college with me? I’m sorry folks, but that is the harsh reality… you’re on your own now! Little birdie is flying away from the nest and there’s nothing that can stop it. I will always remember the insanity of move-in day last year… boxes everywhere, clothes in every nook and cranny, my dad hammering nails into the wall (we technically weren’t supposed to do that which I later found out, whoops!) But we had lost track of time and before I knew it my room was all organized and my parents were standing in the extremely blurry doorway (because my eyes were filled with tears) ready to say those dreaded goodbyes. The goodbyes were super quick as I wanted to get them over with as soon as possible since I was trying my best to hold back the sobbing. In that moment it was hard to picture myself being here a full year without my parents let alone four! If only I could tell naive Victoria all the things she was about to learn and experience in this upcoming year. I feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity by my parents to allow me to experience college… I truly have become my best self this year since I have learned and grown more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you college for the 10 best things you have given me and taught me 🙂
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FREEDOM! From the moment you see your parents’ car pull away while looking out the window of your dorm, you can do whatever you want! But wait, there’s a catch. Independence is fragile, so use it wisely. Your parents have put faith in you to be able to live life on your own – prove to them that you can do it better than they even imagined. There is nothing more satisfying than looking back on an entire year and saying “Wow, I can’t believe that I did all of this on my own!”
2. Confidence >>> Be Your Best Self
In high school I was probably the most self-conscious person you could have ever meet. If I told my high school self how confident I would become in college, there is no way I would have believed it. Starting as a girl who couldn’t even think of presenting in front of her class without almost throwing up, to now doing presentations like its her job. I soon learned that I shouldn’t focus on other people’s opinions. I just needed to focus on myself. In college, you just realize that the world is your oyster so why hide and not go out to experience life and make it your own? Showing the world what you have to offer is how you will make your mark.
3. Teaching Me Not to Sweat the Little Things
Life goes on, time stops for no one. You get a bad grade on one exam… so what! Do you think someone is going to hold you accountable for that B you got in your Intro to Economics class? Nope! As long as you know you put your best foot forward and tried your absolute hardest, that’s all that matters. Of course, it’s easier said than done but when something intense happens in your life, that builds character. Experiences like these help us grow, and we learn from our mistakes. Trust m,e I know from many experiences -the things that are bothering you right now will not matter in a year, a week, or even in an hour from now, most likely.
Your life is a blessing. Appreciate what you have each and every day. The majority of the world does not have the means to put food on the table every night let alone afford to go to college. If you are having a bad day and think “the struggle is so real” trust me, it is not. Others have it much worse. Gratitude is key.
5. A Semi Real-World Experience
I can’t speak for everyone, but I come from a very much cookie-cutter town on Long Island. Everyone is the same at home and that’s all I knew growing up. Coming to college and being able to meet all kinds of people and hearing new stories is so eye–opening. I like to think of college as a small place where some of the world come together before you really go out and experience it on your own. It’s kind of like the appetizer before your entrée: you get a small taste of what’s to come next!
6. My Friends For Life
There’s something completely different about spending all hours of the day with a group of people: they see you at your best and at your worst. That’s when you know it’s a true friendship. You grow together, laugh together, study together, and most importantly make the most unforgettable memories together. I would have not been able to survive this year without my unreal group of friends who were always right there by my side. Trust me, you will find your group of friends, too. 🙂
7. The Importance of Breathing
Of course you can’t forget to breathe. You will die if you do… Well, yes and no. By breathing I don’t mean the act of simply breathing; I mean taking a break from whatever you are doing and just taking a few moments of zen. That is true breathing. Keep track of your breaths in these moments and really listen: you are here, alive and well. I’m not saying only do this when you’re stressed – this is healthy to do every now and then.
8. Remember to Take Plenty of ~Me Time~
At least once a week take one night to just chill out alone! My ideal night: applying a face mask, cuddling up in my fuzzy blanket, a nice helping of Ben & Jerry’s Tonight Dough (shoutout to Jimmy Fallon), and watching Clueless. Whatever your guilty pleasure is, do it! Take a break from the books, clubs, activities, and friends (I’m sorry, I love you guys) and take some moments to just reflect on YOURSELF… something we often forget to do.
9. Take LOTS of Pictures
You have a smartphone in your hands almost 24/7: use it. I don’t care if people label you as “the girl always taking pictures” (yes that is me), keep taking those pictures. Document every moment. It is the best looking back on those pictures and just smiling to yourself about the stories behind them.
TIP: If you want to get really old school, buy a disposable camera! You won’t regret it! There’s nothing like the element of surprise when you open the envelope of photos.
10. Make Every Moment Count
Remember: these four years go by extremely fast, so take in every moment possible. I remember times when I was walking to class I would sometimes just stop in my tracks and take in my beautiful campus. Look at the buildings, the people, the grass – this is your home. You take it for granted being able to set foot on campus each day, but that will soon come to an end and you will want those moments back.
Victoria is a student at The University of Delaware studying Marketing and International Business. She likes to consider herself an avocado connoisseur and will eat them on anything.