With my last Daily Campus opinion piece, I want to convey the most important things I learned over my time here.
1) The larger the group, the slower they walk.
I’m not kidding. I have been stuck behind some incredibly slow people, and they get even slower if there’s more than them. Plus, they’ll spread out and take up the whole sidewalk. I theorize that it’s because in a group, people will slow down their pace to match others. Do yourself a favor and power walk past groups as soon as you see them.
2) Go to class.
I know your mom told you this before you left for college, but it’s true. You’re paying roughly $60 (in state) or $155 (out of state) per 50 minutes of lecture if you’re taking the average 15 credits. Obviously college is a lot of money so go to class and be on your laptop like a normal person. You’ll get at least something out of being in physically present, like homework due dates or attendance credit. Either just show up, or change your major to something that will get you excited to go to class.
3) Don’t stay out of obligation.
I was part of a larger organization on campus from my freshman year to my junior year. While it was a wonderful experience the first two years, I came to despise it with every fiber of my being during the last year. Quitting this organization was probably the best decision I made for myself mentally in college, and honestly, I would encourage others to be real with themselves too. At the time, I felt like a huge failure, that I couldn’t fix the problems I saw in the organization and that I couldn’t derive the same enjoyment I did previously. I felt like I was letting down a lot of people, but being a part of that group wasn’t me anymore. You only get to be in college for a small fraction of your life, and there isn’t any point to stick it out in an organization, job, friendship or relationship that isn’t allowing you to grow or making you happy.
4) Friendship: Less is More
When I started college, I wanted a million friends. I’m a huge extrovert but also really terrible at human interactions. Am I any better at making friends now? Maybe, but more importantly I’ve realized the types of friends I want. When you start college, there are a lot of “in the moment” friends, people who are going to be your friend because you’re there. The friends I’ve truly come to appreciate are the ones who are there no matter the moment. I’ve come to believe it’s truly better to have a few best friends, than a lot of casual friends. So while I’m still an extrovert, I’ve become a lot more selective of who I spend my time and energy on. College is too short to be begging people to friends with you.
5) Be yourself.
In high school, I was slightly mortified when it came out that I was a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, which probably sounds hilarious to anyone who knows me now. When I got to college though, I was really over the pretense. When you got to school with 18,000 other people, you’re bound to find someone who will understand “Cool. Cool. Cool.” You will rarely, if ever, have four years of your life to figure yourself out. As the great Buffy said, we are but cookie dough, and we are not done baking. College is your time to be baking, figuring yourself out and what you’re passionate about (and whatever else they put on the brochure). To cheat yourself of the experience to grow and develop in an environment basically structured for it would be kind of a waste. I’m a completely different person than I was four years ago, mostly because I hadn’t watched “Parks and Recreation” yet.
In all seriousness, college is 100 percent what you make of it. When I first toured UConn, I was seriously depressed about having to attend. I saw it as the bad ending to a story, not a beginning. After four years, several national championships, experiences with improvisers and hooligans, numerous all-nighters, a few Google Apps presentations and finding one fellow TV devotee boyfriend, I’ve never been happier to be me. While you may have come here to get a job, to learn or because you didn’t have anything better to do, I hope you all leave here with more than what you expected and happier than when you started. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for reading.