A Letter From the Graduating Seniors to Those Still In College
Graduating college is a bittersweet and emotional experience that college students all over the country are about to experience, including myself. Four years seems like a lot of time, but there are still things that we wish we could have done differently and opportunities available that we wish we took advantage of. Most importantly though, there are things we are very proud to have accomplished throughout our college experience.
From all the friends we make to the memories that we will carry in our hearts and minds forever, college will always be the years we value the most, as we have grown into the beautiful, strong, and independent human beings we are today.
I took the time to survey a few of my closest friends who are graduating this spring about their college experiences at schools across the country. I asked them what advice they have for students who are still actively in college, and the feedback I received was no less than perfect.
This is what everyone had to say...
“Take advantage of tutoring. I really wish I managed my time better.” - Brianna, Rutgers University
“Go to office hours and sit in the front of the classroom! You will do so much better in your classes.” - Joelle, Rutgers University
“Actually make sure you go to all of your classes. You would think that missing one day of class isn’t a big deal, but it really is.” Luke, Columbia University
About school itself:
“Something students should take advantage of is on campus activities or join Greek life. I wish I branched out more to socialize with clubs or any extra curricular activities. Anything that would look good to build up your resume.” - Mike, Seton Hall University
“Students should take advantage of their advisor. They truly know best and are there to help you. I happen to be really close with my advisor and she’s helped me with everything from getting me into classes to being there just to hear me cry about how stressed I am about my classes. Also, everything always works out for the best. College always seems like it’s this never ending cycle of trying to balance school with socializing, etc. The worst part of it all is that it never really balances out. I always have found that no matter what, things just kind have a way of work themselves out.” Raven, University of Delaware
“Everyone should study abroad. It was by far the best decision I made in college and it really broke me out of my comfort zone. I made so many amazing friends, traveled to multiple countries, and I even met my current boyfriend there. Everything is really cheap in Europe, too.” Esther, Rutgers University
“Take more advantage of $5 bottles of wine, and cheap liquor in general. Alcohol is so much more expensive outside of a college campus!” - Melissa, Rutgers University
“Go out and judge the frat boys who sit on their porch and blast music. And go to any day party you can! Those were the most fun.” -Carly, Rutgers University
“Get involved in Greek life, you make a lot of connections socially and professionally! You also will never be alone on campus and it'll help anyone step outside their comfort zone.” Alexandra, William Paterson University
About life in general:
“I'd say college students should take advantage of networking with professors and the resources given to them to help them find jobs after graduating. As for what I would have done differently, I would have done more internships, joined more clubs or done more philanthropy work, and definitely put myself out there more. As a commuter, I did the bare minimum and if I put myself out there more, I could have made more friends or professional connections and I would have had more to add to my resume. The most important thing I learned was to embrace diversity. I met people from all over the world who were so different from me and it was an opportunity that I may never get anywhere else. As many different as we may have had, we were all at school for one reason, and that brought us together.” - Alexa, Seton Hall University
“General advice I can best give is to learn how to balance each aspect of your life (social life, school life, personal life) as best as you can because honestly all three are incredibly important. Sometimes you gotta just buckle down and get the work done. Sometimes you need a weekend to relax and make memories with your friends. And sometimes you just need time to yourself to really organize and set yourself up for the coming work or whatever it may be.” - Matt, Rowan University
“Some of the most important things that I've learned in college are how to parallel park like a boss, how to generate a debt payment plan (thank you finance!), how to manage my time better, how to take charge of groups, how to be a better human being (being nice to people on campus, helping out group members who don't understand the material, going above and beyond in terms of making sure that everyone around me feels safe coming to me for help), and most importantly that even when I think I can't go on with this crap for any longer, I always end up making it to the end of the semester.” - Samantha, Centenary University
About the future:
“I wish I had taken the time to sit down and genuinely think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I feel like a lot of people avoid that thought because it is scary. It sounds crazy cause you feel so young in college, but the real world comes fast and the people who took the time to figure out their plans have a head start in their careers or even just their path to whatever their goals may be. Remember why you are there in the first place, which is to build a foundation for your future. Have fun while you're doing that and cherish every minute of it cause life isn't as easy once you're no longer in the fantasy land that is college. Time is precious. You need to learn how to spend it wisely.” - Greg, University of Maryland
“If I could go back in time, I would think to myself, and really think, about what would make me happiest in 10 years in terms of a life and career. It’s so easy to listen to the opinions and guidance of parents, friends, and even professors. However, the only person who knows exactly what makes you tick is yourself. Those other influences aren’t going to experience your existence in a decade - you are. Chase what makes you want to get up out of bed in the morning. Your first job out of college does NOT define you, your college career or who you want to be.” Monica, Rutgers University
Advice from the editor:
Everyone’s college experience is unique, but my own own personal advice that I can give someone who is still living out their college experience is to make sure that by the time you graduate, you have no regrets. Take advantage of anything that will better your future, whether its taking risks or seeking advice from the right people. Go out and have fun, but remember that school should always be your top priority at the end of the day. Most importantly, be happy with who you are and how far you have come by the time graduation rolls around. College is a crazy and exciting uphill battle, but as soon as it is about to be over, you will really wish that it’s not.