I seriously cannot believe that I’ll be leaving this place I called “home” for the past 6 years.
I’ve been so fortunate to receive an amazing education at a university where I’ve grown tremendously mentally and spiritually (but not physically 😂😂😂).
Here is the summation of lessons I’ve learned each year & a trip down memory lane!
(some of these pictures crack me up and also make me sad b/c of how much I’ve aged omg)
One of the many lessons I’ve learned/tip I have is: MAKE FRIENDS & EXPAND HORIZONS!
This goes without saying and it’s pretty obvious to some, but sometimes it’s easy to just stick with a group of people you feel comfortable with or already have relationships with. Many times, attending a university can make you feel lonely, no matter how many friends you have, but personally, I think it’s really important to start forming solid relationships during freshmen year with a diverse group of people. You are not alone & everyone goes through the same thing, trying to figure out how to actually do your own laundry and survive their first year. I definitely regret not expanding my horizons even more! Go out of your way to find a great community and make friends with everyone – this is the time when people are the most open to build new relationships so don’t miss it! Try new things – join a ton of clubs, explore the campus and the town, etc. Freshmen year is THE time to expand your horizons and try everything you want because after this year, (sorry to say), you’ll have less time to do everything you want.
One thing I learned this year is: IT’S OKAY IF THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED – YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK.
This was a crucial year for me because I was really debating back and forth and thinking long & hard about switching majors. At that point, I thought my molecular cellular biology classes were super difficult and I was even thinking about pursuing a different career than what I came into college with. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing and was really worried because things weren’t going the way I planned. Little did I know that so many of my peers were going through the same exact thing! So many people change majors all the time & careers too and that’s totally okay! At that age, I was exposed to so little & didn’t realize how many possibilities of careers and majors there were out there. I didn’t give up and ended up sticking with my major (which I’m so proud of!!) but did end up changing my career path. I graduated on time with a competitive GPA for grad school (whoo hoo!) but had to take a gap year to get all of my clinical hours. No regrets though! You will end up where you’re supposed to be eventually.
LEARN HOW TO PRIORITIZE & BALANCE YOUR TIME.
You would think that by the 3rd year of university that I would’ve learned how to balance my time. Wrong. So wrong. My junior year consisted of the most difficult classes and extra curricular activities. It was definitely such a bummer to try to have a well balanced social life, health, and do well academically while preparing for the future. It’s really important to really sit down and prioritize what is the most important. I definitely could’ve managed my time better and I regret not doing that! Your academic life is obviously super important, but don’t use that as an excuse to not make new friendships and take a breather.
FINISH STRONG & HAVE FUN!
Maybe for others, this doesn’t apply because they may already have a job lined up a planned future; but for me, I had to still keep up my grades because I had grad schools to apply to! Plus, it’s really important to finish strong anyway in whatever endeavors you pursue – definitely a character builder. My hard work paid off because I got a 4.0 this year (whoo hoo!) even while traveling and having fun with my friends. Work hard & play hard and really enjoy! Senior year will go by SUPER fast so really cherish the moments that you have with the people around you since everyone will be parting ways. Gotta prepare for adulting!
Thank you U of I for all of the memories!Truly blessed to have met all the people I’ve met and the growth I’ve experienced during my time here. Until next time…✌