Now that I have officially graduated from college and finished my undergraduate career, I am walking away with a lot of insight into myself, college and the world. Graduation and entering the real world was a foreign concept when I walked onto campus mid hurricane Irene in August of 2011. Yes, we moved in with a hurricane and hence came the tag line: taking campus by storm. That we did. After four years I have met so many different people with passions for social justice, racial equality, teaching, business, leadership and so much more.
I had the chance to learn from some incredible professors and make connections with people who will be mentors for my future endeavors. I have been a part of some incredible organizations and learned so many things about being a leader. I made some incredible friends with people I never expected to meet or have commonalities with. College was a whirlwind and I definitely took for granted just how fast it would go.
As I look back on my time in college, here are some take-aways I have, or I’d like to think I have now that I am four years older (and wiser).
1) Getting involved on campus is the only way to find your niche and it might take time to create connections with people.
2) Find common interests with people, it will make your conversations more interesting, time spent with each other more valuable and forge a greater connection.
3) Make friends and live with people you are not involved in the same organization with. You don’t want to mix club drama with your living situation. Trust me on this one. It makes both unbearable. More often than not it does not work out, there are the rare times where it does, but notice the word rare.
4) Have the time of your life. College goes by fast. Four years feels like one year. Embrace every minute of it.
5) Make responsible choices or at least learn from the bad ones. College is about making mistakes and having a bad night every one and a while. Learn from them.
6) Life might throw some unfortunate experiences your way, approach them in a responsible and mature way. You will be received better and things will most likely turn your way.
7) Make some amazing friendships. The hardest part about leaving college isn’t leaving the academics behind, it’s the people and the memories. Make leaving hard. Have a reason to cry when you say goodbye.
College is a once in a lifetime experience. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. So, with a diploma in hand and the obligatory cap and gown pictures uploaded to social media, I can say I am a proud alumni and a member of the Brandeis family for the rest of my life. To all the college graduates out there, make sure college was everything you hoped it would be and more. Don’t second guess your experience and look at the silver lining of things. Congratulations on finishing a huge milestone in your life.