College is a time of change. When I began my sophomore year, I was a different person than I am today. My freshman year brought me great joy and pushed me out of my introverted shell. The next year brought times of sadness and perseverance. Now that I am in my last semester of undergrad since I will be at Drake Law School next year, I want to share changes I’ve been making in my life.
1. Work on my Weaknesses
Self-awareness is a skill that can be learned and developed. This skill can help you understand where you exceed and where you lack, whether that be in your education or in your personal life. Many people like to listen closely to their strengths and expand on those. During my last semester, I have shied away from that idea. Instead of only attending to my strengths, I have paid more attention to where I am weak.
In my first interview ever my junior year of high school, I was asked what my biggest weakness was. I responded with my fear of confrontation. Growing up, I was barely able to talk to my teachers without crying. I knew that professors in college would not want to handle me crying whenever I went to their office hours.
To begin building on this weakness, I have started to claim my mistakes. Instead of making up excuses for why something went wrong, I have begun to say it was my fault and ask for assistance with how to fix the mistake. On the other hand, when something is bothering me, I take control and speak up instead of sitting idly by.
This has led me to become more confident and surer of my opinions.
2. Find Joy and Positivity in Everything
When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Taking out the garbage, going to work, having ten hours of homework to do in one day. Switching your thoughts is difficult. Each negative thought that comes into your mind must be countered with an overly positive one, even if you don’t mean it.
One way to help you with this step is to cut out toxic people. I don’t mean completely get rid of them but get as far away as possible from their complaining. Their negativity will rub off on you. When your friends are cranky and complain about everything under the sun, counter each of their points with a positive spin. There’s always a way to be positive.
3. Let Loose and Have Fun
College is hard. I have about 100 pages of reading a night and used to get caught up in the importance of homework. School comes above everything else in my mind. Before mental health, fun, exercise, or sleep. This semester I have been set on finding a compromise. All of my friends are going to Peggy’s Tavern (the local college bar) but I have at least two hours of homework? I decide to split my time and go hang out for a little bit and leave early to begin my homework.
Remember, these are the years you will look back on. You will be able to recall the nights you have a blast, not the nights you spent doing homework alone while all of your friends were having fun. So, get out and have a blast. If you compromise correctly, your grades won’t suffer a bit.
I wish I would have started working on these aspects on the first day of my freshman year. Take this advice and bring it into your life. Enjoy every moment, these are the best days of your life!