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18 Things I Wish I Knew About College

You live and you learn.

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College years really were some of the best times of my life. If there's anything I would change about it, it would be my understanding of how things work. When you're in high school, it's easy for your perception of life to be limited. But believe me, college will wake you right up. As long as you don't let it break you, it's one of the greatest experiences. I have learned a lot in college and not just things related to my major.

1. College is expensive.

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That's a given, but there's so much more to pay for than just tuition. Books, fees, food, housing, plus outside bills. Sometimes you're real life going to be broke...like $6.24 available balance broke.

2. Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you necessarily should.

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Anything you want to do or try in college, you probably can. Mommy and daddy aren't around so you don't have to ask for permission. However, be careful in the decisions you make. Once again, mommy and daddy aren't around so you'll take the downfall, not them.

3. Senior boys usually don't talk to freshman girls because they love your great personality.

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It's easy to be naive and think that the reason so many upperclassmen want to talk to you is because you're so cool and pretty. But be real with yourself. Baby girl, a lot of them are looking at you as fresh meat.

4. You will probably have a few mental breakdowns.

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School is stressful AF and it will probably be overwhelming at some points. It's ok, you're gonna make it through. Remember why you came here.

5. You're not as grown as you think you are.

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I was personally so hype to go to school across the country and get away from home. I didn't realize how much I would still need my parents...and their money.

6. Applying for scholarships is vital. 

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Like I said, college is expensive. There are so many scholarships out there that no one is applying for. I was super lazy in high school and didn't apply for many. I simply relied on the ones I was offered. Now, I wish I had applied for more. The ones I do have are so helpful, though.

7. The financial aid office plays all day.

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You will spend many unnecessary hours in the financial aid office because there are only two people working. And they still won't give you your money on time.

8. Cheap alcohol and fast food will catch up with you.

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I should have invested in a scale my freshman year. Partying is fun, but all that vodka and McDonald's will get you if you aren't careful. The freshman 15 is real.

9. Don't be afraid to get involved on campus.

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All the organizations and groups on campus are there for people to join. Don't let fear keep you in your room. I spent my freshman year not joining all the clubs I wanted to because I was scared. There's no reason to be, just do it.

10. A degree alone won't get you a job.

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A lot of people have degrees, but you have to network and gain experience in your field. I wish I had started doing that earlier in my college career, but better late than never I suppose.

11. Take advantage of different opportunities to advance yourself.

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Don't be lazy (which is very easy to do). If there's an opportunity presented to you that can be an aid towards perfecting your craft, take advantage of it. 

12. Don't wait until your senior year to look for internships.

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I waited until I was almost a senior to start interning. Honestly, you should try to get as many internships as you can while you're still in school. Start early!

13. College isn't for everybody.

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There are so many people in school because they think that's what they're "supposed" to do. Don't get me wrong, I think college is important. However, if you want to study something that doesn't necessarily require a degree, research and study how other people worked their way up before you go into debt. 

14. You may lose friends from high school but you'll make life long friendships in college.

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I lost so many friends from high school that I swore were going to be in my wedding. However, I met some of my best friends in college so it's ok.

15. Movies about college are just movies.

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College was not like it was in the movies and I wish I would have killed that expectation before I went. College is still lit, but movies exaggerate...especially about the romances.

16. Even though all you'll wanna do is graduate, you'll be sad to go.

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From my first semester of freshman year, I always talked about how I couldn't wait to graduate. When the time actually comes, you start to realize that maybe you aren't as ready to leave as you thought you were. At least there's always homecoming. 

17. Worrying about yourself is your best bet.

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It's so easy to feel like you aren't doing enough because other people seem to be doing more. You don't know what they did to get where they're at. Most people in college are between 18 and 24, we're all trying to figure life out. Worry about bettering yourself and getting your degree.

18. Everyone wasn't raised like you.

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And that's just the bottom line. That's why there are so many horrible roommates in this world. However, the fact that everyone you meet in college wasn't raised like you can be a great thing. You meet so many people from so many walks of life and that's one of the best things about college.



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Malinda is a staff writer for Blavity, freelance content creator, and executive assistant residing in Cleveland, OH. As a proud graduate of Mississippi Valley State University, she loves all things HBCU. In her free time she enjoys being a bomb plant mom, self-care, bottomless mimosas and painting. Contact by email: malindajny@gmail.com