My College Experience in a Nutshell

Hi friend! Welcome back <3
This week, I wanted to talk about my college experience in a nutshell – what I expected, what it was actually like and how I got through it all. 

Picture this.
You’ve just graduated from high school and are about to head off to college. It’s exciting, scary, and the biggest adventure of your life thus far. But you are SO. READY. Thinking, I’m gonna make new friends. No more parents’ rules. I can go wherever, whenever. There’s gonna be so many parties. I’m going to experience so much! I’m moving away from home! I’m moving away from home. I’m moving away from home…instant panic, but the good kind?

With just recently graduating with my Master’s in Business Administration, I can honestly say that I wish I would have gone away for college. I know big universities aren’t for everyone, just like community colleges aren’t for everyone. Me, personally, I stayed home and went to the local community college, now state college, Polk State College for my undergrad, and Warner University for grad school. But looking back, I wish I’d moved away. Got out of the town I grew up in and away from the high school drama that seems to follow you everywhere when you don’t leave.

Moving away for college teaches you things. How to handle finances (sometimes). What responsibilities really are. The type of people you want to be around. The type of person you want to be. Party until your heart is content-get it out of your system. Or don’t party at all. Meet so many people. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Figure out a career. Travel. Study abroad. All of the things that typically come with moving away for school. 

Don’t get me wrong, Polk State was nice. It was a good school for the price (hey, I rhymed there). I didn’t so much as care for the Advising Department. I could never get ahold of anyone who could answer my questions. By the end of my freshman year, I had figured out how to do everything myself and just did things that way. I dreaded having to call that school. Warner was a private school and private always means more expensive, but I loved the advisors and how easy they made the entire enrollment process. They pretty much took care of everything for me and just provided me with the information. If I had a question, they were always available. If I left a message, someone would always get back with me in a reasonable amount of time. I felt important.

And I was still able to learn a lot of the life lessons – figured out how to get a grasp on my finances and juggle different responsibilities that are necessary to learn when growing up. I’ve never been a big partier, so there wasn’t much to get out of my system with that. But I did fall in and out of love (HUGE lessons learned there), and have met a lot of amazing people since graduating high school. So really, I was still able to learn all of the things even though I stayed local – so it will all happen regardless of where you choose to go to school. But I feel like moving away from the town I went to high school in would’ve been so much more fun. 

Let’s get down to my college experience in a nutshell. 

For starters, my first expectation was that I thought I was going to be expected to remember everything from every class. Fortunately, unless you are going to school for a specific line of work (doctor, lawyer, engineer, accounting, etc.), you will most likely not remember the majority of what is discussed. Really, even if you were to go to school for a specific field, it would still be extremely difficult to remember every. little. detail. Unless you’re a genius. 

The reality of it all is that I retained the information long enough to get through and pass the exam. I’ve remembered a few things here and there, but I have to constantly remind myself that it is okay that I didn’t memorize all of the information from 12+ books, word for word.  

This is probably one of the most important – using our resources! I’m not saying I cheated, but if was struggling, I would reach out to my professors or TAs (teacher’s assistant). In some cases, I would get together with a group of my classmates and we would work through the assignments together. Often times though, I would Google the information. I didn’t want to just sit there and struggle on an assignment or concept. I used my resources and let me tell you, it paid off and made me feel better/more confident when it came to exam time. 

Not really related to the school part of college, but girl, I ate the fries. This is probably the best shape I’ll be in, in my life. So, I took or have taken full advantage of having a fast metabolism. Yes, the Freshman 15 is a thing, but we have to have balance. Don’t get me wrong, I eat my veggies, but I don’t forget to indulge on that one thing that makes my heart so, so happy. That thing just so happens to be fries. Serve ‘em to me crinkled, straight, curly, sweet, any way they come, with a side of ranch. I’M LIVING FOR THEM.  

Speaking of the Freshman 15, to avoid this from happening, I made sure to squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week. The goal was every day, but life happens. I’ve still kept up this routine but as I get older, the metabolism is getting slower. So when they say it gets harder to lose weight the older you get, they weren’t lying. 

Aside from school and your health, I think we have to get out and live. College is where I built all of my greatest stories. Sneaking into places, hanging out by the pool with all of my friends, drinking too much and paying for it the next day, laughing so hard with friends until I either cried or peed my pants. All of those memories and experiences, honestly, make every hard thing about college worth it. As I get closer to 30, me and my friends are at the age where we are getting married and having babies. We won’t get those college years back. Because I have the memories and I know those years are behind me, it makes me cherish them that much more. 

For those who have gone through college, do you feel like you are finished with school? Or do you feel like you still have a little more schooling in ya? I’ve made my way through three degrees – Associates, Bachelors and Masters, all in Business Administration. And I definitely feel like all I’ve ever done is school and that I’m good at it. I want to be done, but I have this gut feeling that I’m not quite finished yet. I’m not sure what I’ll get myself into next, but I’ll be sure to take you along for the ride! Until then, have a great rest of your week. & as always, stay candid.

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