I read that you’re a senior, and now that you’re graduating this year, what do you wish that you would’ve known four years ago? Was your college experience everything that you hoped it would be, or is there something that you wish you would’ve done differently?
Dear Looking Back,
Four years ago feels like a lifetime ago, but I find myself saying, “I wish I would’ve known that three years ago!,” quite a lot these days. Amongst the many things that I’ve learned over the years, there are a few that I would’ve liked to know coming into college.
College is for growing, making mistakes, and finding out who you are. Now that you have this freedom from your parents and you’re making decisions independently, your comfort boundaries are going to be tested. For as bad as this may seem, it’s really not. This is the only way you’re going to grow as a person. Being uncomfortable is not a bad thing.
Keep in touch with people that matter. I spent the first two or three years of college only worrying about what was going on in my life and later realized my best friend was having a hard time at college. Make sure to look outside of yourself and check up on others because friendships from high school can last into college and beyond.
Learn to love who you are and who you’re becoming. If you don’t love it, then change it so that you do. For many years, I did things only to impress or please people instead of just being myself and having people like me for me. I got lost in being what other people wanted and couldn’t find myself. It’s important to know who you are and what you want in life because if people don’t like you then they don’t deserve to be in your life, plain and simple.
Don’t hate on others. We live in a competitive culture of comparison with a large dose of self-consciousness added on top. I find myself looking at other people and attempting to make myself feel better by subconsciously putting them down. There is no need for that. Be confident in who you are and don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has unique qualities that make them beautiful so look for that instead of having such negative feelings towards others. We’re all in this beautiful struggle called life together, so don’t make it worse by automatically hating on others for no reason.
I hope this gives you some insight on how to make your college experience the best it can be! I know that we learn best from our own experiences but my wish for you is that you adapt these pieces of advice and apply them to your life. I think they’d make a big difference!
Getting to know new people at college can be hard, and getting to know your first roommate can sometimes be even more difficult. Personalities can clash and study habits might conflict during that first year too. What advice do you have for people to get to know their roommates if they’re struggling to get along? How can roommates that get along from the start make sure that their friendship lasts too?
Dear Roommate Concerns,
This is a really good question! It is really easy to have roommate problems your first year of college because you go from high school, where you had your own room (unless you shared it with a sibling or siblings), to college, where you live with someone who you haven’t lived with before and maybe don’t know at all. It’s weird too because this isn’t something you can transition into either. It happens all at once and can be overwhelming for everyone.
I think the most important thing to remember though is that it’s completely okay to have differences from your roommate as long as you respect those differences. You’re going to have different sleeping habits, hygiene standards, homework routines, etc (even though SRU tries to place you with someone similar) but as long as you can adapt some of your ways to fit theirs and vice versa, things should work out just fine. If they don’t work out, that’s also okay! You’re not going to get along with everyone in the world and if your habits are that different, then you need to find a new roommate. It’s better to change your roommate than complain and have an awful year of college. Most likely if you don’t like the living situation than your roommate probably doesn’t either. Don’t feel that you have to live with that person forever as well. Sometimes people just click and sometimes they don’t.
Be open to change. Respect their way of living. Remember that you’re both going through some huge changes. Try your best to stay positive through every situation. Care about them and make it true.