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Monday, August 7, 2017

College Tips

Welcome to College Week on Haute Table! 
This is the first time ever I'm doing this because, if I am being completely honest, have never felt like/wanted to do a week about college. But I am feeling extremely sentimental about the greatest four years of our lives so I decided right before senior year is the perfect time. Plus I think I got this in just in time for you to run out and buy whatever last minute stuff you need before the big move-in day. Check back tomorrow for my ultimate college packing list! There will also be posts on what you need for your dorm, apartment and I will be reflecting on my senior year this Friday. If there is anything you have questions about {whether you'll be a freshman or about to graduate} let me know!
College is a huge part of our lives, and as my parents told me growing up, it is the most fun you will ever have. I was a little skeptical of that but as I head into my senior year I realize how right they were. I don't want to graduate and I certainly don't want to be writing about it, but I decided this post should happen. Below are my tips to college, whether you are a freshman or you are in your last semester, maybe you can learn something from me! -xoxo darling, Hayden

1. Get Out There and Join Something – I have a few friends who went on a different path than I did and they ended up with two friends at the end of the spring semester. I got out there, went to tons of different club meetings, joined a freshman interest group, started my own club, and talked to people
in my classes. I have a great group of friends that I can rely on. If you don’t get out there, and I know it is super hard, you might not get everything out of your college experience that you should have. College is where you reinvent yourself and make friends with a whole different group of people than in high school, and that is okay. You will learn so much about yourself and the world if you just get out there.

2. Don’t Skip Class – This is probably on every single guide to surviving college you have ever read, but it is so true. If you miss one class that is fine, but continually skipping class is a huge mistake. Not only are you missing out on the lecture material and important information for your tests, you are missing out on making connections with your peers and your professors. If you go to class it can lead to a letter of recommendation or a job in the future. As a side note, also do your readings. It will benefit you in the long run. You don’t want to be pulling an all-nighter before the test just so you can read the book. 

3. Reach Out – You probably will not know someone in every single class you take at your college. The school is, most likely, just too big for that, but during the first week of classes it is ideal to make
a buddy (and get their phone number). This way if you ever have to miss class or if you didn’t understand something you can text them. This is also important if you are super shy towards professors (which you shouldn’t be, but it’s understandable). Your new buddy can probably help you out in the understanding of the material. Not to mention you now have a go to study buddy. 

4. Crying and Being Homesick are Okay, No Matter What Year You Are – We have all be there, and do not let anyone tell you they haven’t. We are all moving away from home, whether that be from down the road or five states over. And it. is. hard. You can be sad, you can cry, and you can miss your parents (or dog, or bed). What is important is to not let yourself feel like those emotions are invalid. They are most definitely valid and okay to have. Most likely all of your friends are going through it too. So reach out if your feeling sad and lonely. Someone will be there for you. 

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – You are not going to do well in a few classes, you will do something stupid (like crack your MacBook screen), you will stay out too late, and you will (most likely) eat too much. But guess what? That is life. Once you fail a test you get back up and brush yourself off. It is not going to matter down the road. What matters more is enjoying you. You only have one life to live, so don’t freak out when your English teacher doesn’t like that you are a journalism major and gives
you bad grades (maybe that's just me...). You go to college not just to get a degree in whatever you think your future career will be, but to become a fully functioning adult. And you don’t do that by only staying in your room and studying. You have to make mistakes and not sweat them when you screw up. It will all work itself out. 

6. Be Prepared – This is more than just bring a pencil to class. There is quite an array of things you should have in your backpack. Things like: an umbrella, gum, a flash drive, hand sanitizer, and pain reliever are just a few to note. Another way to be prepared is to look at the handy dandy weather app on your phone each morning before you leave your house, it will let you know if it is going to rain all day so you can pack your backpack accordingly. Being prepared is one of the biggest steps you can take in life from going to a high schooler to a college adult.

7. Find Your Special Spot – Studying and living with a roommate can be HARD. You will struggle in both your studies and your friendship (or lack there of) with your roommate. So find somewhere you can go that makes you happy to be there and where you can focus. I have two for studying, one is the
Texas Union’s third floor and the other is our amazing Architecture Library which a gorgeous room. For getting out of my dorm room, it is The Blanton Museum of Art. Go explore campus for the little hidden gems of your learning institution to find the perfect spot for you.

8. Invest in a Good Planner – Maybe you used a planner in high school, maybe you didn’t. But now is the time to go out and grab one. You are going to be managing 4-5 classes plus your clubs and organizations. Then there are labs, study sessions, dinners with friends, etc. Get a planner and you will never forget important dates. 

9. Let Go –  If you have not already learned this, some things are out of your hands. I am someone who is pretty much always in control of her emotions and situations. However, when I entered the college process I soon realized that once I sent off my applications there was NOTHING I could do to convince them I should get into their university. This will also happen in college. Some things, like your grades, the ways people perceive you, your sorority/spirit group bid, or anything else under the sun, are not in your control. So just let go and don’t worry about them. Either it is meant to be or it isn’t (I know, I hate it when people tell me that too.) But it is true.

10. Don't Be Afraid – I am not in a sorority, however, there is a sorority that has a phrase “Go
Confidently.” If you do this in your college career you will be incredibly successful and probably really happy. Don’t be afraid to do something just because you have never tried it before. I jumped off of a two story boat with my friends because, why not? Not being afraid goes hand in hand with putting yourself out there. If you are afraid of joining a club, do it anyway. Don’t have any regrets because you were afraid.

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