“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I DID IT!!! I can’t believe I finally graduated, it’s one of the most amazing and rewarding feelings in the world. It was hard, yes, coming to school from another country, in a different language, having to balance work and studies, and going out of my comfort zone 100% was very challenging but extremely worth it. I can proudly say that I graduated from two majors; Communication and Marketing from Florida International University. Today, I want to share with you some of the most rewarding lessons I’ve got during my life in college and I hope this can be some piece of advices for you too 🙂
How to balance
Learning how to balance your personal life, with school, work and even a blog was the greatest skill I learned during the past 4 years. College taught me that life is a great balancing act and that everything is possible if you organize yourself and make lists -tons of lists- of to do’s and priorities.
The key is to award each of those important factors in your life and dedicate them an appropriate amount of time so none of them suffer. Yes, it’s a lot harder than it seems, but going through college and being saddled with much more responsibility allowed me to practice my balancing skills.
The importance of creating my own opportunities
Life is hard, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, even more, when you are living in a whole new environment or as in my case, living in a new country, with a different language, whole new different culture and basically knowing 10 people. Colleges don’t just hand you scholarships, jobs don’t just land in your lap and plans to study abroad don’t just appear in your day planner.
First, something or someone has to make opportunities available and possible for you, and often, that person is you. As in every aspect of your professional life, networking is the key. You have to be the one to reach out, to talk to other people, to apply, to raise the money. If you really want to do something, start creating the opportunity for yourself.
Who I Am
As soon as college starts, tons of responsibilities comes your way, everything changes and you start to realize who you really are. This didn’t just occur in one big “aha!” or epiphany moment. This was a process that was exciting, interesting, and often times, very confusing. Through all of my major switches, successes, failures, and moving slowly, but surely out of my comfort zone, I began to recognize who I am & who I want to be. I learned what my interests were, what I was most passionate about, and I even discovered talents that I never knew I had. I also realize my capabilities and the importance of self-confidence.
How to accept and appreciate others
High school was a comfortable, familiar place for me, full of familiar faces. It threw me into a whole new environment, filled with new people from thousands of different places, backgrounds and lifestyles, who had a million different personalities and perspectives. I learned how to appreciate differences and the importance of not judging anyone. I learned tons about different cultures and the endless perspectives, opinions, and possibilities there are in this world.
The importance of power naps and coffee -for real-
A twenty minutes nap. That’s all it takes. Any longer and you feel like a sloth for the rest of the day. Also, a good coffee every morning is a must-have!
You meet a lot of people, but you don’t have many friends
I have learned that in life, quality is so much more important than quantity. The truth is, friends will come and go. People from your past won’t always make it to your future, and that’s OKAY. I learned that friendship isn’t tied to who you party with or drink with. Friendship stems from so much more than that. I have friends who are like family, many of them came out of nowhere, some are the same familiar faces from when I was 10. But many people that I thought they were “my best friends” are still part of my life because all the memories and lessons they left behind, that’s the great thing about this.
Understand what I deserve
While friendships, relationships, internship offers, and job offers are such a big part of our lives in college, it’s also important to remember that sometimes these things will come and go, and we only deserve the best. Don’t take the first job or internship that comes along just because it’s an easy way out, don’t ever do anything to make other happy than yourself, don’t let anyone treat you like you are less and don’t ever become a conformist. Know that you deserve the best, and don’t settle for anything less just because it’s more comfortable or easy than putting yourself out there again.
Starting is always the hardest part
It will take forever to build up that dedication to start a daunting essay or project. This happened to me not only at school but also with work projects. However, once you get started, you get in the flow, and it becomes natural. You just have to begin. Also, I will recommend you should start with what for you is harder or more tedious, once you have done that, everything will get its own flow.
Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone
Yes, I know everyone says that they become more independent in college. Of course, you have to learn how to do things your own. But learning how not to rely on those around you is one of the most important and challenging elements of life at college. It is hard, you will insecure, but this is just at the beginning, once you have challenged yourself to the point that you don’t depend on anyone else, everything is going to be worth it.
Also, is not all about independence, is also about trying new things, expose yourself out there, meet new people, join that clubs and organizations you thought they were silly but it ended up being so much fun, go study abroad -YOU BETTER GO STUDY ABROAD! – this is the best time in your life to do things you never thought you will do.
How to live your life the fullest
College provided me with four, well almost five of the richest, most fulfilling and best years of my life. During those years, I underwent more social, academic, mental, professional and emotional stimulation than I had ever experienced before in my life. I faced dramatic situations, amazing opportunities and met all different kinds of people, some of them are now part of my life, as the most important people I have. I was also able to travel, discover the world and even study on a cruise! I had tons of sleepless nights in the library and breakdowns sessions just because I thought I couldn’t handle all my responsibilities, but once again, the discipline that college gave me, the passion I developed and the organization skills I got, helped me to continue with the journey. College opened up the world for me and showed me a new way to look at it.
Now that I have graduated, I’m ready to continue living my life in the full, rich way that I did in college. So, thanks, college, for teaching me more than I than what I learned in class.
Hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.