I’m currently sitting on my porch at school as I write this. I graduate this weekend, although by the time you see it, I’ll have graduated! I thought about sharing my college advice for awhile, and I have to say Katy Bellotte definitely inspired me to write this! If you don't watch her YouTube videos, you should.
I have worked harder than most people have their entire four years of college. I’m not saying this as a good or bad thing, just as something I know to be true. This is because I did not have a “traditional” college experience. I had to work harder because I was willing to fight for what I wanted and what I believed would be best for myself, even if it didn’t turn out how I had hoped. I recorded a video about my college experience for my YouTube channel, but I found that writing it in words was just better. I graduated with a BA in English, Creative Writing- so to say that I often think writing is best, might be a little biased! haha
I transferred schools twice, yes twice. Believe it or not, some of my friends have too! I also know many people who have transferred once. It’s completely common and thankfully much less taboo. It's unfair for society to assume that students have to stay in the same place for four years, without ever having a change of heart. Throughout four years of high school, we are taught that we need to figure out where we want to spend the "best four years of our lives.” I remember feeling uncertain and completely confused when I was searching for colleges. As much as my high school was really great at preparing us, they didn’t ask the important questions, they just wanted us to go to “great” schools. My first school was a great school, just not for me. It was way too small, again, this was just how it felt to me. I felt trapped in an environment that didn’t fit who I was. When you are in the right place, you know it with all that you are. So make sure you do your research, know what size you want, what clubs you want to join, what area you want to be in- city or residential, etc! But, I met some of my best friends, so the school still gave me something! Some of you may not understand this, and I’m glad you never had to feel that way. But truthfully, a lot of people do, and some may even be too scared to admit it to themselves. You owe it to yourself to feel like you belong somewhere, and that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. If you can’t transfer, try changing how you think about it by emerging yourself in different activities and finding your people. (Grey’s reference, you’re welcome)
“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.” So that’s what I did. As a 19 year old sophomore in college I moved to Los Angeles. Although I loved my school, it did not have a college atmosphere, meaning it was one building and that was it. Sports and extra activities were also slim to none. I really thought I wouldn’t mind this, knowing that I loved my major and the fact that I was in California! But all I could think about was today. Would I have been as ready to graduate and enter the real world, had I not gotten the full college experience? I don’t think so. So, after that, I was a junior in college and found a great school. I’ve now spent the last two years here. I have learned more about myself and those around me than I think I ever would at the other two schools. With all of this said, here are 5 things that I learned at college and I hope you learn something from them too!
- Trust your gut. Trust vibes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into something in college having a certain feeling about it, and being right in the end. Don’t like the class? Take a different one and switch early. Do you like your major, but also want to try out something else? Start with a core or a minor and then maybe make it your major! A lot of times you know what is right before you actually know it’s right. That unexplainable feeling, trust that. It’s led me to some of the best things in my life, but it’s also given me some of the worst (when I didn’t listen to it!)
- Know who you are. This is way easier said than done. I can honestly say I have changed drastically since high school (and I hope you have too), but it didn’t happen overnight. It was through experiences where I felt uncomfortable, and unsure, that I started to feel the exact opposite. I saw things that I didn’t like or didn’t get, I chose not to be a part of them. For example, my freshman year I went to TWO parties. Yes, two. haha I just wasn’t ready for it and knew that when I was, I would go out. At 22, I can say that you will have plenty of time to go out with your friends, so if you’re not ready, no worries. Find people that accept you and you are comfortable around. I loved my friends freshman year, but like I’ve already said, the school itself was what held me back. Know what you want to do, and take a stand for what you don’t. If people have a problem with your decisions, they’re not your real friends anyway. Like I’ve said before, you’d be surprised at how many people feel the same way you do, but are afraid of other’s opinions. Do what you want, their opinions aren’t your problem.
- Believe in something, and go for it. Find something you love. I can’t imagine my life without YouTube and blogging. I started my YouTube channel my first month of college- I became “The YouTube girl”. I woke up one day after years of debating and finally put my all into it. I still have a lot left to go, and I love the process. I have already gotten to do more than I ever thought I would have. You never know what opportunities will open up you unless you really try and believe that you can do it. If you told me my freshman year of college that what I’ve started would get me to Fashion Week and one of the most amazing internships I could have dreamed of, I would’ve laughed. I am starting a fashion/beauty internship in a few days. I am so excited to be a part of something that I am truly passionate about and can contribute to.
- Act first. There are so many people you’ll meet in college. But you wont meet half of them if you don’t put yourself out there. I have met so many people, as I’m sure you can imagine being in three different schools! I’ve met some of my best friends by chance, but also some by simply starting to talk to them. Be the person that smiles often and invites conversation. It can be hard dealing with school, internships, jobs, homework, everything! haha But, who you meet and the friends that you make will stay with you far longer than nearly anything else. Having the confidence to go after what you want, will literally get you what you want!
- Grades are great, but they aren’t everything. I have always been an A/B student and I remember feeling upset when someone got an A, when I got a B. In reality, grades matter. They determine where you go to school and what activities you want to do- sports require a certain GPA. But what they don’t tell you is your work ethic, enthusiasm, persistence and demeanor might mean a whole lot more.
One last point, even though I guess that makes it 6! Be a friend. I mean really be a friend. I get it, things change and people change. I have learned how to be a friend through the times when I felt betrayed, hurt or dismissed. I have learned how to be a friend when I was wrong and had to take a step back. I learned how to be a friend by learning exactly who I need to surround myself with, and who needs to step aside with their snide remarks and backhanded comments. I even had some girls start attacking (that’s a very strong word for it, more like a weak attempt) me on my BLOG Instagram. They also proceeded to call me at all hours of the night because they so desperately needed my attention. That was funny. If you’re wondering, they were ignored. Every time. Don’t delve into the drama, rise above it. There will forever be people waiting to see you fail. People who are jealous of your success, silently comparing themselves to you, hoping to bring you down. Some people simply decide they just don’t like you, and that is more their problem than it will ever be yours. Find friends that you love supporting and that love supporting you. “At some point someone is going to be careless and cruel to you and I just want you to remember one thing. You are not the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know you or care about you okay?” (Yes, I’m quoting Taylor Swift. Yes, she’s one of my favorite people) Be the bigger person because the view is always better from the top.
Thanks for reading, if you made it to the end! I'm headed to Nashville in two weeks and I'm soo excited!
P.S. My dress is from Blooms and Linen!