With only 175 days until graduation, I have been reflecting a lot on my experiences at Drake. The things I got right, the things I didn’t. The classes I’ve loved and those that were terrible. So even though it is cliche, here are a few things I wish I had known my freshmen year!
It’s okay to not have your entire life planned out. Actually, it’s better to not.
Coming into Drake my freshman year I thought I was a scientist. Science was something that I could do well and I thought that meant it would translate into a career. I started at Drake as a neuroscience major thinking that there is nothing more interesting than the brain.
One semester into classes though, I realized that while I did love studying the brain, science wasn’t the career field for me. I did fine in my classes but did not find them interesting or engaging like my peers did. It was then that I learned what public relations is and decided that would be a better fit.
Since transferring to a PR major and eventually adding a politics double, I have learned so much about myself and determined a little more what I would like my career to look like. That doesn’t mean that my time as a neuroscience major wasn’t valuable though!
Surround yourself with people who are better than you.
My entire college experience has been determined by the people I’ve surrounded myself with. Freshman year I would have never expected my dorm neighbors to be some of the most important people in my life. We have spent the last three and an half years learning, laughing, failing and growing together. They are some of the smartest, kindest, funniest and most compassionate people I have ever met. And every single day I spend with them I learn something new or look at a moment from a different viewpoint.
So when making friends during those first few weeks in college, look for people that are studying something entirely different from you. You can learn so much from them. Find people who are smarter than you, kinder than you and challenge your assumptions. They say the friends you make in college are friends for life; I certainly hope so!
You won’t get an A+ on every test.
In high school I had never failed a test. My first test in college? I got a solid D. Having never failed a test before, I wasn’t quite sure how to react. I thought that grade meant that I was a failure. I thought there was no way to come back from that. That’s not true; failure happens and can be a valuable learning tool. Having failed that first test I was more determined than ever to do well in my classes, I had a better idea of what it took to do well in my courses and learned that my GPA does not define me.