By Julianne Mosher
I have been in college for six years – straight. I started off at a community college, dreading most of it until I found my place there. I joined a club my second semester, started running it by the third and then three years later after my graduation from Connetquot High School, I walked down the aisle inside the gym at the Brentwood Suffolk County Community College in my black robe and gown.
During those three years, I learned a lot about myself. I went into the school not caring about anything and my grades were terrible. I slowly began to become better, eventually graduating with a 3-point-something GPA. My parents were nothing but proud and then I got accepted into a university that denied me my junior year of high school – Stony Brook University.
I really did not want to go there. I was going to be a commuter again but I knew that going there was going to be smart financially and for my future. Eventually I grew to become excited and I soon found my place there.
It wasn’t easy — let me tell you. I was put down by competitive classmates and harsh professors. I failed two classes for my major because I also worked, interned and took a minor. I failed two non-major classes, but university required courses, because I was too busy working on projects for my journalism major. I went through several breakups, two internships and four part-time jobs. I almost got fired because I took off to study and I almost failed because I didn’t have time. My car barely worked the majority of my time in school. It was hard to stay positive most of the time.
But I got through it and that is one thing I am proud of. I would kick myself and rant about how terrible I was at whatever struggle I was dealing with, but I overcame it. It’s done. It ended up being okay. I wish I realized that then.
I regret not trying in certain classes and I regret not embracing my skill of time management. I regret complaining 24/7 about how miserable I was instead of staying positive. I regret letting little things get to me instead of showing how strong I know I can be.
That’s my advice. In college you’re allowed to be sad. You’re allowed to feel anxious about assignments and you’re allowed to be nervous as you pull an all-nighter. However you should not let it affect the good things about you. Never allow your mind to tell you that you’re not a great student or that you’re constantly going to fail. Never put that into the universe because what you tell the world is what will come out of it.
Make sure you strive for better, too. “I only need to get a C to pass” is never a good enough reason to do poorly. Yeah, you may need a C or a D but you should strive for that A… you might actually get it.
When you start to try for better grades, you very well could start to achieve them and then with this new, better GPA, you could finally get a scholarship. Apply to every single one that you find, even if it’s only a $200 reward, it’s better than nothing.
And if you haven’t found one yet, one of the best things I did while I was in college was find myself mentors. As a journalism student I found a professor while I was at Suffolk County Community College who became my “journalism mom.” I still call her three years later to tell her about what I’m up to. She was and still is one of my biggest supporters and helps me in so many ways.
Find someone like her to help you in whatever career you end up. I found three more professors who I visit often at Stony Brook, as well, and they’re the reason that I keep going.
Join clubs and get involved. I know it’s hard to find time to do that along with every other responsibility you may have, but it would be worth it in the end. The relationships you make while joining an organization are going to follow you throughout your life. They’re going to end up being your colleagues in the real world. Embrace that. Make connections and network. You really never know who you’re going to meet.
And although you may make some really great connections while in college, you’re going to meet some people who will try to bring you down.
Whether it’s an educator, a classmate or even a friend, never let someone get inside your head. Your education is what matters most. Nothing else. Your life is the only thing to focus on, not what other people may think, say or do. Don’t compare yourself to someone else because that time is just precious time wasted and causes unnecessary stress. You’re better than that and people will respect you more for being the one who doesn’t get involved with adolescent drama.
I don’t know if this editorial seems like a rant. I hope that you who read it recognize something within this copy that sticks with you while you still have the chance to enjoy every moment of college. Soon enough you’ll be out in the workforce. Soon enough you’ll be paying back all those student loans. Soon enough you’ll be reminiscing about the good ol’ days of college and feeling nostalgic, as I am starting to feel now.
College is the time of your life to find out who you are, what you want to be and mold your mind into thinking differently. Look at what’s in front of you and buckle up for this emotional rollercoaster that college is and you’re waiting on line for. Embrace it and don’t look back. You got this.