New degree, who dis?
Congrats to all recent graduates! (And those of us still in the college struggle). I don’t know if any of you has seen those memes about international students having so much money and eating gold ramen noodles? ISSA LIES!!!! WE BROKE!!!!!! Except, maybe the Arabs or the Asians (I mean those kids be balling). Anyway, I’m an international student from Nigeria and I am definitely NOT having “Louis Vuitton Charms” for breakfast. And being an international student can be hard. From balancing your classes to having a social life, and don’t even get me started on what you have to do to build a good resume as a med student, I think it’s key to have an escape. Read a book, meditate, take a day off when things start to get too real for you. For me, it’s good friends and God. And it honestly helped me. So, I’m just going to give a few tips from my first year in college and lessons learned.
ALWAYS go to class. Ughhhh I know this sounds like a drag but you should. Get a schedule that works for you and go through with it, go on setting the alarm for 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:15, 8:30 for that 10:00 a.m. class. Last semester I had this professor for my Calculus 2 class and as much as I like to take full responsibility for problems I have, she wasn’t the greatest. But I did skip a couple of classes and that was a bad idea. Truth is, even if you feel like you aren’t learning anything in the class, you subconsciously learn if you pay attention. Plus, attendance for that class cost 10% of my grade so yikes! Not to worry, I pulled through. Also, you can never tell when your professor might drop hints about a test or open extra credit options. 8 a.m. classes aren’t for everyone (especially not me) if this is you, don’t do it. I know some of us don’t take this seriously but TRY. Freshman year is the easiest year so work that GPA! It’s easier to bring it down rather than building it up.
KNOW who you are. College is filled with people from all over the world with different beliefs and all that, you gotta just do you. Be careful of people you hang around with and be truthful with yourself as to whether they’re good for you or not. Know your limits. You have to know who you are child, and be open to learning and growing past some things. It’s not a movie and they are no “Mean Girls”, everyone is about themselves, just do you. Honestly hunni, it can not be overemphasized how much you gotta just be you and do you. And don’t go in thinking you’re just gonna meet your college sweetheart and your best friends forever, friendships take time. Wait on it. If you don’t like small talk or uncomfortable conversations but you want to make friends, don’t go up to people with small talk. Start an actual conversation, something you have in common, or ask a question you’re really interested in. Remember that friends can become family.
GET a part-time job. I’m not just saying this, so you can secure the bag and be showing up in them new installs (okurrrrrrrrrr). No. Get a job and try to get one that’s preferably related to your major. The experience goes a long way with resumes, letters of recommendation, and important skills like time management. It’s a win-win situation, you get to learn a lot and get that wardrobe upgrade. But getting a job isn’t that easy. International students make sure to work towards getting your SSN once you get your first job. Tip: look for jobs in the summer cause they have more open spots there, then if your boss thinks you were a great addition, they offer you a job in the Fall and Spring. Got to get that dough. Get that Amazon Prime too; 2-day shipping yo! Save and stretch your money out, don’t waste money then end up using shampoo to do the dishes. You are going to starve! Adjusting to a new life comes with weird eating habits and your meal swipes will go with the wind in no time. Get yourself some food in your dorm and I won’t even judge you if you find yourself at Waffle House for a midnight meal. But beware of freshman 15 though unless you don’t care, then you straight.
MENTAL HEALTH is important. There is so much you can do in college and it takes a lot to do so much without breaking down. Once you feel yourself slipping, take a break. Don’t put so much on your plate at the expense of you becoming the walking dead. Always find some time to sleep, eat right, exercise, read a book, hang out with friends sometimes. You don’t want to be the kid who only studied, and you don’t want to be the kid who only partied. Let there be a balance. And if you think you need to see a therapist, go for counseling sessions or something, don’t be afraid to do so. Don’t be scared to speak if you’re going through anything but speak up to the right people.
HAVE FUN. This doesn’t mean compromise your standards or anything, what’s fun for me might not be fun for you. It’s important to remember that you only go through this four years once so make the most of it. This is a time to discover yourself and all that, go on adventures, make mistakes, and learn lessons. Remember to do everything in moderation and set priorities straight.
So, those are a couple of tips and whether they are new to you, old or serving as a reminder, I hope you enjoyed the read. If you have questions about life in college or want to know more specific tips (doesn’t have to be anything serious), do not hesitate to send me a dm, drop a comment, or send an email. Remember: Work hard, play later.