This goes out to all the incoming college students around the globe and to my 16-year-old self. It’s that time of the year again when graduating highschool students are probably starting to think about what degree they’re going to take up, and which university they’re going to.

On this blog post I’m going to list down the things I wish somebody told me before I entered the university and also the things I’ve learned throughout my 4-year stay on college. I am not an expert on college life or anything, but I’m going to talk you through my experiences and mistakes, with hopes that you won’t commit the same mistakes that I did.

First thing that you should ask yourself before entering a university:

“Who do I want to be someday?”

As cliché as it sounds, yes, you need to ask yourself this before anything else. You might have heard this question way back when you were still 5 years of age and answered, “I want to be a doctor.” However, that’s probably not the case now. You have grown a lot through all the experiences and struggles that came with the highschool package. Those experiences probably changed your perspective on what you want to be.

College is a 4-year-investment (or more, depending on the program you’re planning to take up). Not only of money, but also time and effort. So, it is important to know what your passion really is and I can guarantee, your passion can go a long way. You don’t have to be exceptionally good at the field you’re planning to take in order to qualify, as long as you enjoy it and you are eager to learn more, then you’re on the right track.

There’s no rush in making these decisions, since this is a life changing one. Some people take their time to decide by taking a break, maybe to do some soul searching. It’s okay to do that as long as you know in your heart that you’re going to go back to studying eventually. This is a crucial step, so make sure to pick the right choice.

Next thing that you need to do is to have the right mindset. Easy for me to say, but based from my experience transitioning my mindset from highschool to college is a tough work. From being the “cool kid” that I was in highschool, I had it easy. I didn’t have to study for exams, I never cared about the deadlines or even the number of absences. Merely because of the fact that I was sure that my teachers are going to make some considerations. In highschool, I was able to have a boyfriend, a social life and at the same time, good grades. But when I stepped into the college soil, I must say everything is different.

It’s a no-joke whenever people say that college is not easy, that college is way different than highschool. I even had to stop studying for a year in order to have the right mindset. Because basically, all I did during my first semester in college is chill out. I still had that highschool mindset that the professors would give considerations, when the truth is in college, they don’t really care about your reasons.

You see, I entered the university with the assurance of what I really wanted to be. I was sure of what I want to become, but that alone wasn’t enough. A right mindset should come along with passion. So, it is important to really talk yourself through this. Reading blogs like this would be a great help in conditioning your mind and body for what college has in store for you.

You might say that with all the hardwork that comes along with the first two aspects that I have listed, you will be able to survive the university life. But no. As I’ve said, it is years of investment and the hardwork doesn’t stop on the first few years. Hardwork should last until the day of your graduation.

One important aspect that you need to take into consideration while in the middle of this 4-year-struggle is Time Management.

Another cliché thing, I guess? But there’s no lie in that. In highschool, you might have been an active participant to all the extra curricular activities. Might be some student organizations, sports, or other non-academic stuff. Those things that resulted to all your free time at school because you were excused from attending classes. I would not say that it is impossible to take part into extra curricular activities in college, but I should say that it takes a lot of work to do so.

As an active student leader in one of our university organizations, I must say that it’s going to be much harder to qualify in University Organizations unlike in highschool. It would really take some skills to get in, but trust is the key! Trust yourself and your skills. You can do it!

Second, being a part of University Organizations comes with responsibilities and responsibilities go alongside effort. Here comes the importance of proper time management.

With all the nerve-wracking exams and late night studying, it is important to still be able to give your mind a rest and give other aspects of your life a chance to cope. You might want to engage in sports related or even leadership activities inside (or even outside) the university, or go out for a late night partying with your friends. Go! Do not let college take your life away from you. Go out there! As long as you’re done with all your requirements, of course. Yes, I’m sorry. But you should make sure that you’re done with all your schoolworks in order to deserve that booze. Also, make sure that you can still manage to attend your classes the next day despite the hangover. *wink*

After mastering the art of passion, proper mindset, and extreme time management, there are still some stuff to do and the most important thing is to ask yourself:

Am I who I wanted to be?

It is important to look at yourself in the mirror and examine if you are able to achieve the person you were trying to become the first day you stepped into the university soil. If you are able to tell yourself “Yes, I am now who I wanted to be!” Then good job, congratulations! You did a great job! You survived! You are now where you are supposed to be despite all your struggles.

Tough work? I guess so. But it will all be worth it. I promise you! Maybe those are not the only things to consider in surviving college, but it could be a good starter. Trust me. But don’t be scared. University life is fun. It is a good way to prepare yourself for the tough world out there. Besides, knowledge is everything! And believe me, once you’ve finished college? You can say that you can get through everything. Because entering a university and getting out of it alive will make you well-equipped for the challenges that life is about to throw at you afterwards.

Goodluck on your University Life!
Don’t forget to enjoy! xo