college life

DIY Life: College edition


Good morning Loves.  Back to school is in full swing and many students across the country are out in the world on their own for the first time.  When I sent out my college applications I applied to a school in my hometown (and was accepted) to make my parents happy, but I always knew that I wanted to go away for college.

I had an idea of how I wanted life on my own to be so I packed my bags and moved 800 miles away from my parents.  I was shocked to learn that life on my own wasn’t so easy.  All I knew about college life was what I had seen in the movies.  At 18 years old I was ready for life on my own; but I definitely wasn’t prepared.  Let me tell you that life on your own doesn’t happen like it does in the movies.

5 things I thought would happen in my first year of college…but didn’t

1. Meet the man of my dreams.  I thought I would meet the man of my dreams the second I stepped onto campus.  Why?  Because that’s how it happens in the movies.  I thought I would be putting money in the soda machine to buy a Diet Coke and a cute guy would walk up to me and offer change.  That didn’t happen. I did meet my BF in college, but not at the coke machine.

2. Get straight A’s.  I admit I didn’t have a 4.0 GPA.  I worked full time during college and my grades definitely suffered.  Thank goodness it didn’t affect my ability to get a job.  However now I think grades take more of a precedent in job applications than they used to.

3. Invent a multi-billion dollar social network.  Oh how I wish this happened; but I didn’t grow up to be a tech guru, I grew up to be a financial planner.  I think there is so much pressure on college students and college grads to be the best at everything that they completely miss out on all the benefits of college life.  If you are in college you don’t have to discover the next big thing at 19 years old – because this is the exception, not the rule.  Enjoy your college life now because you have 50 years of working ahead of you after graduation.

4. Save any money.  This is probably my biggest regret about college.  I had money during my four years of college because I worked (sometimes two jobs) all throughout.  However I mismanaged my money, didn’t save a penny and ended up in a lot of debt.  If I went back to college today I would work and save money instead of spending it on social activities, restaurants and clothes.

Gasoline is another expense that I hardly thought of during my time as an undergrad. The price of gas is only going to increase, so it may be smart to go to school online and eliminate the need for commuting altogether. When it comes to online programs, the pros heavily outweigh the cons. You save thousands of dollars without losing the ability to pursue a wide variety of excellent degrees and certificates. There is no reason not to look into grad school, especially when you can easily transfer your credits if you have a sudden change of heart.

5. Pick my major.  I don’t know about other college students but I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do at 18 years old.  I think it’s totally ridiculous that we have to pick our major right after high school.  Not only do I think it’s a good idea to take a year off and work or travel after high school, I also think students should take as many courses as they can before declaring a major.  I changed my major three times from French to Urban Planning before I decided on Economics – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Photo from Flickr

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