My Advice

If you are reading this then one of two things have happened 1) you’ve started college and finally left the town that was holding you back from your dreams or 2) you’ve graduated and ultimately ended back up in the town that was holding you back from your dreams but at least you have a degree. When it comes to college there are a lot of things that don’t seem real once you get there. You think that you have all the time in the world to have fun and not really worry about classes or your grades your first year. I’ll tell you a secret everything you’ve been told about college is a complete lie except for the one where they say “those four years will fly by fast” that actually is the truth.

There are so many things that can happen within those four years that are very important to cherish but at the same time you want to stay focused. When it comes to classes time management is everything but what is most important is that you choose a major you’ll love. Never settle for a major that people continue to say will help you get a job because honestly the job market will hire anyone with skills and determination no matter what they majored in. If you’re the party type where you like to have fun, hello me, then I have something important to share. Make sure you get your work done first before you play because there’s nothing worse than trying to do a homework assignment hungover.

College isn’t scary nor is it hard but it is challenging. It will challenge you mentally and it will challenge you physically. When you first start college all you want to do is have fun and mingle with people to create friendships that will either last a lifetime or end before they even begin. Don’t stress yourself out about having a ton of friends because they will come to you when you least expect it. Another thing that I want every single person to know is that financial aid is no joke and the people who work in the financial office can be a pain in your butt.

When you start to apply for colleges or you have just received your acceptance letter make sure you read and follow up on all the financial aid as possible. Get good grades that will definitely help in the long run when it comes to paying for school. It’s not cheap to attend college and it’s not easy getting the help you really need if you’re from a financial background that isn’t wealthy. Never let the fact that you don’t have enough money stop you from having fun in college but don’t do what I did and drink your financial aid. Know that there are resources out there, like Earnest, that can help make paying off your college debt much more affordable by refinancing your student loans. By educating yourself on resources that can help you refinance your student loans you won’t have to work two jobs and balance school work just to stay in school you couldn’t afford in the first place.

Budget, budget, budget don’t be afraid to save money and miss out on certain occasions because you don’t have the money. There will be other opportunities that are free within your school that you can participate in to where you can save your money while still having fun. And I don’t care what anyone says stock up on those ramen noodles because you can make plenty of meals from just one pack of noodles alone. Remember you’re not in high school anymore where your parents gave you money for food or you had some great friends who bought you food. You’re on your own with a sea of strangers going through the motion just like you, so don’t worry about being judged because they understand what it’s like to finally be free from their parents.

Honestly those fours years may seem like a drag because you’re going to classes and listening to material you won’t need in the real world. But college is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself now and in the future. I have a bachelors degree in business and guess what I’m a supervisor at one of the biggest wholesale companies ever known. Was my time in college hard? absolutely, was it worth it? of course even though I had to grow up and become an adult I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. College showed me a whole new side of life which was both good and bad but I survived and you can to if you just think logically and realistically about your surroundings.

Don’t let those four years fly by with nothing to show for. Don’t give up because the courses are too hard and all you want to do is have fun and party with your friends. You can do all that and more if you prioritize your time wisely and you’re keeping track of your grades because losing a scholarship in college is tough and it makes paying for it harder, trust me I would know. Ultimately you will go through your own experiences that differ from everyone else’s but always remember you are your own person and everything that you go through whether it’s good or bad don’t worry about because you’re not alone and you will make it.

If there was one thing I want all of you new kids on the block to know, you’re obviously to young to know them but they were great, is that you’ll have the best time of your life in college even when bad stuff happens you will be grateful for college. Granted no one likes to remember the heartbreaks, the failed classes, academic probation, which I’ve never experienced but I’ve seen people really work hard to not get kicked out of school because of their failing grades, not being able to afford your education. But in the end everything works itself out if you just have faith that you can survive. Not every experience will be bad and not every college story you hear will be the same.

It all starts with you and it all ends with you and the choices you make. Time management is your friend because that’s one thing you can’t get back. Get work done first and party later, and if you’re struggling mentally don’t be afraid to reach out to your school counselor because trust me I say that college is challenging mentally it’s challenging mentally and you want to keep your mental health strong no matter what.

Well that’s pretty much all I have to really say to all you fresh high school graduates. I mean I could go on and on about the ins and outs of college and what I’ve personally experienced which maybe one day I will and you’ll be able to see a different story than what you’re used to seeing. One thing I will say is that I’m glad I went to college and experienced what I did because it really opened my eyes to a lot of things in this world that I was too naive to acknowledge when I was 18. So enjoy your time away from home and just do your best because that’s all you can do. It’s not a competition on who can accomplish the most because trust me people who have majored in the most crucial courses end up working somewhere they never even expected to work at.

until next time lads,

Bre James

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