I’ve enjoyed my college years at NSU. Yet, there are things that I wish someone had told me when I was a bright-eyed freshman who’d just moved up from the Caribbean to this beautiful Sunshine State. So, as seniors, we’d love to share some tidbits with you that we’ve learned.
It’s okay if you don’t have your whole life planned out already. Sometimes you are going to feel like everyone around you knows exactly what they want and are making such great progress in that direction. This thought might make you feel even more lost and confused about your own path. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that you are doing awesome and that your dream will come true. You don’t have to figure it all out at once, and chances are you are not the only one feeling this way.
Or perhaps you’re standing on the other side of this equation. Even if you have your life mapped out in its entirety, allow yourself the freedom to change your mind. As you go through college, you will learn many things about yourself, and sometimes what you thought you knew won’t be the case; not to mention that things don’t always go as planned. You might opt to make some simple dietary changes or decide to completely switch majors. In any event, giving yourself a little wiggle room is crucial.
Homesickness is real. My first semester at college was basically just me missing home and questioning my decision to move six hours away. It’s tough to venture into college classes while living in a new place. When you find yourself missing your home and your family – and if you are anything like me, your dog – try to find new ways to make NSU feel like home. Join clubs, meet new people or maybe get a job. Your homesickness will go away eventually and soon enough NSU will become your second home.
Don’t overload your schedule trying to stay busy. The key to your success will be to stay productive, but not at the expense of your health and sanity. Prioritize what’s really important. If you have a job, choose a work schedule that allows you to pay your bills but still have time to sleep, study and relax. Above all, listen to your body.
Exactly. You’ve probably all heard the saying “pain is temporary, but a GPA is forever.” While that is somewhat true, you should never neglect your mental or physical health. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed, try talking to someone. Henderson Counseling offers up to 10 visits for NSU students at no additional charge every calendar year, so utilize them if you want some advice or just someone to listen. Also, as tempting as it may be, avoid eating a diet solely composed of oreos and instant mac and cheese. Always drink more water than you do coffee; your body will thank you.
Speaking of food, you’ve probably heard of the dreaded freshman 15. What can I say? Friday night drinks with friends, a barrage of convenient, on-the-go meals and late night snacking have a way of catching up to a person. Remember that the number on the scale doesn’t define you – in fact, you might even like the few extra pounds. In any event, we have access to an amazing gym and the staff at Rec Well that will help you create fitness routines so you can focus on being the best you possible.
College is the perfect time to break out of your comfort zone. Whether this means taking an acting class you’ve always secretly been interested in or exploring a new sport, do something that scares you just a little bit. Challenges are good for you, and you never know what you will end up loving if you give it a try.
Make your schedule work for you. Use that awkward gap of time between classes to hit the gym, do homework, study for an upcoming test or to take a quick nap. Also, try not to overload a few days of your week in the search of a “longer weekend.” It doesn’t benefit you if you’re too exhausted to enjoy your days off.
But, do enjoy those days off when you have them. While it may seem like a great idea to hide in your dorm and binge watch Netflix in your free time, get out and get involved. College life is better with friends, and the easiest way to meet them is to get out and find them. In addition to the friend-making aspect, involvement in clubs and organizations looks great on a resume.
No matter what you decide to do, it’s important to be yourself. After all, college life is what you make it. So get out there, test the waters and ride the waves to your success.