I remember when I first came to the U.S, I was so afraid of asking, of talking to new people, and not knowing anything. I can think of days where I wish I was home again because it felt lonely to be in a place where I though I wasn't going to be understand, where I though that I wasn't going to be able to make friends, where everything was unfamiliar and the culture was different. All these thoughts change, the moment I stared to let go of my nightmares, accepted that I was in a very different place from home, and I changed a few different things. Here are 10 things that you could do to make your college experience a better one.
1- DO NOT BE AFRAIDDon't be afraid! That is it! Don't be afraid of exploring. Take the time to go beyond the geographical boundaries set by the school. Take a walk around that small town that you will call home for the next four years of your life. Don't be afraid to get to know other people. Go and make new friends. I promised that your friends back home will understand. They know that you will always be their friend, but remember that you are now in a different place far from them, and making new friends will open new doors in a different place. Don't be afraid to experience new things. Go and snowboard if you don't know how to, go hiking, or mountain climbing. Don't be afraid of talking to your professor or your advisor. They are very knowledgeable people, remember that they already when through college and they can help you find the right path towards what you want.
2- GET INVOLVE
Join different clubs, this is the easiest way to make new friends, and to try new and exiting things. If you like science, then join the chemistry club. If you like baseball, then join the baseball club. The sky is the limit in college! They don't have a club that you are interested in, well then make your own. Yes! you can create your own club. Join a sport club if you like sports. Get involve with the service center, if you love to volunteer and help others. Go and try out for the marching band, if you play any instrument. Be part of something! This will make your college experience better, an your resume look good!
3- ASK FOR HELPMake sure that if you are struggling with anything, ask for help! Here on campus we have many resources to help you overcome anything. If you are struggling with classes go talked to your teacher, you might found out that he has TA's that can help you with any questions, that there might be a tutoring lab for the class, or he might be able to help you with anything that you are struggling in class. Also if you are struggling with metal health issues, we have a counseling center where there is always someone available to help you. They Key here is to just ASK. If you think that you are alone is this, you are wrong!
4- MAKE FRIENDSDon't forget that you cant do this alone. make sure to make friends because they will make your experience a better one. They will help you through ups and down, and they will bust you confidence when you feel that your world is falling apart. They will remind you everyday who you are. College can be though, and sometimes you will feel that you are not smart enough, pretty enough, and don't deserve being here. Your friends will be your rock, they will remind you that you do belong here, that you are smart, that you are good enough, and deserve to be here. They will make you laugh, and they will never leave you alone.
5- YOU ARE HUMANRemember that you are human, and that everyone makes mistakes. You don't have to be perfect because no one is. Don't try to be better than anyone else. If you want to be better that someone, it should be you. Not your roommate, not you friend, not anyone else. Everyone is different, we all have different strength and weakness. This is what makes us all special. Stop trying to be this perfect image of a perfect person that doesn't exist because if you do this, you will friend people that appreciate you because of who you really are.
6- YOU ARE NOT A GRADERemember that you are not a number, grades do not define who you really are, and how much you know. A test does not define how smart you are, or how much you study, a test only can test how good you fallow rules and memorize things. A test is standard, and since we are different, may be what works for me doesn't work for you. Also, you once you go to get a job they don't only look at the grades, they also look at job experiences, extracurricular activities, and other things. Do not let a grade or a class define who you are. You are more than an exam can test. A test is just a piece of paper and that does not reflect who you are.
7-TRAVELGo on road trips! Go on adventures, and travel the world (or at least explore the city that you are living in) you will be surprise of how many things you will discover. Traveling will open your eyes and your mind to new people, and new cultures. You will learn to understand other people, it will teach you to appreciate what you have, and learn to love the rest of the world. You will discover that even though we are all different, we are all humans, and we just want to be accepted. You will see the world with different eye, the eyes of compassion, the eyes of kindness, the eye of acceptance, and the eyes of love.
8-TRY NEW THINGSI know that doing or trying new things can be scary, but college is the prime time to get over this fear. If performing gives you sweaty hands, it is the perfect time to get over it. Join a club , and go perform with them. I know so many people that were always afraid of performing, they tried it once, now they love it, and cant stop doing it. I cant say that I was one of this people (because I love dancing, singing, and the spot light), but what I can tell you is that majority of my international friends have gone through this part of their life, and they don't regret it a bit! Eat new food, try every plate even if you find it weird, you might be surprise. I mean other people would not eat it, if it wasn't good, wright? Try snowboarding, skiing, or surfing, you don't know if this is the area where you excel and because you haven't try it you will never know.
9-VolunteerMake sure to use some of your time, to give back to the community and the campus where you are living. Besides looking good in your resume, it is a good way to help others and meet new people outside in the community. You will be surprise of how great it feels when you help others, and how amazing it feels when you see a big smile in their face for the service that you are doing. Go to you service center on your campus, I'm pretty sure that there will be one wherever you choose to go. Here at Utah State we have a service center at our student center (main building). They are usually looking for people to help with the different programs that they offer, so if you are kind and love to spend your time in a very satisfying way then service is a great option.
Live everyday like is the last one. sometimes we forget that college is also about living, and enjoying the little things. Not all is school work. Don't forget to take breaks, and breath. College can be stressing, so make sure you are exercising and eating healthy. Go to the movie theater, or go for a walk, go on a hike, go to the gym, go to events and enjoy the college experience to the fullest because once is over is over. The years that you expend in college will be one of the best years of your life. You will discover that by the end of your journey you will become a completely different person, you will have more knowledge about life in general, you taste will be different, and different people will surround you. Remember that change is good if it is for the better. Live the life that you always wanted, and don't forget about those you love.