What I Wish I Had Known

Next week, I begin my final semester of college. It's so strange to think about where I started freshman year. I was nervous and alone (literally, I was the only one from my graduating class to attend my school) and I didn't know what to expect. Looking back on the past 3.5 years, I've learned so much but there are still many things I wish I had known before starting college. So, from an almost-graduated senior to the freshmen staring at their cinderblock dorm room walls, here are the many (many) things I wish I had known.

  1. There is no cookie cutter version of college. Everyone's experience is different.
  2. Feeling not okay is not okay.
  3. Do not be afraid to reach out for help.
  4. YOU should be your number one priority.
  5. Sometimes the nights in the library will be just as memorable as the nights spent out and about.
  6. Eat the Taco Bell. Go to Sonic. Order the pizza.
  7. But don't skip out on the gym. (Learned a little too late on this one.)
  8. Find an organizational system that works for YOU.
  9. Productive and creative outlets are incredibly important for your mental well-being.
  10. DRINK WATER!!!
  11. Study abroad as much as you possibly can afford. You will learn much more out in the world than just sitting in the classroom.
  12. You are not weak for showing emotions.
  13. Boys suck. Don't listen to them. You deserve better.
  14. They will break your heart and you will think the world is ending, but it's not. Keep getting out of bed anyway.
  15. Friends come and go. Even the ones you think are forever.
  16. Take notes. Study them.
  17. Worry less about what people think.
  18. Never, EVER, judge someone for what they wear. 
  19. Be kind to everyone you meet.
  20. Take a deep breath.
  21. Everything happens for a reason. I know it sucks, but it's true.
  22. Being homesick is completely normal!!!!!
  23. You cannot control other people. You can control how you respond.
  24. Find a professor you can trust. Talk to them.
  25. Cry if you need to. But then be done with it.
  26. Instagram is not real life, but it's almost impossible not to get caught up in it. Familiarize yourself with the "deactivate" button and take a step back.
  27. You are much, much more than the amount of likes your picture gets.
  28. You are so incredibly young. Don't try to grow up so fast.
  29. If you don't bend, you will break.
  30. Learn to laugh at yourself, but avoid self-deprecating humor.
  31. Don't let the world beat you down.
  32. Learn to apologize. But only apologize when you are sincere about it.
  33. You are the source of your happiness.
  34. Wash your face. Moisturize your skin.
  35. Stand up for what you believe in.
  36. Make mistakes, learn your lessons, move on.
  37. Loosen up! People will act differently than you, but college is not the time for a judgmental attitude.
  38. If you don't love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?
  39. Sometimes, the best response is no response.
  40. If he wants to call, he will call.
  41. Find somewhere or something that you are passionate about and spend as much time there as you can.
  42. Figure out productive ways to channel your whole range of emotion: everything from blind rage (it happens) to elation.
  43. Reaching out to your on-campus counseling center will make you feel so much better.
  44. It is scary to ask for help, but that doesn't mean that you should try and do it all yourself.
  45. Smile more.
  46. Respond to people's messages sooner rather than later. (Applies to: emails, texts, voicemail, Tinder, Twitter, Facebook, IDK just respond.)
  47. Use this time to branch out. Talk to people you never thought you would be friends with. Learn from people whose opinions differ from yours.
  48. Prove yourself wrong, if no one else.
  49. Never give up. Never look back.
  50. Even through the thick of it, you will survive. I know it seems like everything is going wrong, but I promise you, you are stronger than you think.


  1. These are great tips! So many young women could use this advice!

  2. Hey! - Just so you know, I can't seem to view your blog in Desktop Mode on my laptop. It is showing me the mobile version. Anyways, I agree with literally everything you shared in this post. The ones that stood out to me the most were #1, #18, and especially #40. Whew, #40 is a rough one to be okay with. But everything I've done, everyone I've met, and all the places I've gone in college have made me who I am today and I wouldn't change a thing!


    1. I copied it in mobile mode and forgot to edit the link! It should be desktop now though :)

      I totally agree - my college experience has shaped me into the young woman I am proud to be today!

  3. Awe I love this list! It makes me miss college! Your points are so dead on accurate too of what I remember! Everyone's experience is different, drink water, and prove yourself wrong!! Seriously, you are only in competition with yourself at the end of the day.

    Rachel | www.theconfusedmillennial.com

  4. I like 'be kind to everyone you meet'... it's such good advice for any stage in your life.

  5. I love this! All of this was so very true and I felt like I could really hear your voice through it. Number 13 was definitely one of my favorites though.

    1. Thank you!! 13 is definitely a hard one but a good thing to know!

  6. College can be an emotional time. There is definitely a lot of learning, growing and exploring packed into 4 years. I agree with utilizing the campus counseling center and not getting hung up on boys who don't call (easier said than done of course).

  7. I still struggle with worrying else about what people think, it's so hard not to! Great post, college can be so challenging figuring out who you are

  8. Great learning lessons. College definitely teaches a lot about who we are.

  9. RE-TWEET to everything you wrote. Especially about eating the pizza and the Taco Bell - it's about moderation and figuring out how to take care of yourself without driving yourself insane!

  10. SO many truths in this post! Love it!

  11. What a great list. And I agree with pretty much all of them!!

    Sarah || http://www.stylishsassyandclassy.com/

  12. This is a solid list. Being a freshman is just as crazy of a feeling as being in your last year is! I've been out for three years now and I'm always learning things I wish I knew before I went to school

  13. I love your list. As a person whose been out of college for going on six years now, I have to say, many of them still apply to me. Looks like you've learned alot of what's important though from your time in college! Enjoy your last semester!

  14. My little sister is about to start college! Sending her this amazing list!

    xo Ashley

  15. These are all things I have definitely realized even from my first year! What a journey it is!


  16. I LOVE this post so much and relate to it on so many levels!!! There are so many things I wish I could have done differently, but everything works out for a reason! I love the eat the sonic, etc and workout one. I REALLY missed the working out part Hahahah !

  17. Love these!! Literally every single one of them is spot on! Such great tips, especially the top ones.

    Sara Kate Styling

  18. I love this so much! I can definitely relate to all of the above. Good luck on your final semester! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias


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