Advice From A Work-In-Progress

Posted on: May 24, 2015

So it’s been a week since graduation, and as the fresh excitement wears off, I’m starting to reflect on lessons these four years have taught me.  If you’re reading this, I want to share them with you.

First of all, try everything. A wise friend once pointed out how alike the words “university” and “universe” are – because college opens up a whole new universe of possibilities. I’m glad I found a home in the clubs that I thought I would.  (Thank you to Hillel at Brandeis, The Hoot, and STAND.) But I’m also forever grateful that I took the chance to sing a cappella, perform in 24 Hour Musical, and participate in all the quirky Brandeis traditions.  So do it all. The world is your oyster and campus is your home.

Accept that friendships might change as circumstances change. You may discover that some relationships, whether in high school or on your freshman floor, came from living in close proximity.

If you’re still in school, go to office hours, not only to get questions answered, but to get to know your professors as people.  Also, use all the campus resources, because they are here for YOU.  I’ll tell you this because there’s NO shame in it: I wish I’d found my Brandeis therapist even earlier.

It’s perfectly fine to drop a class if you need to. This happens much more often than you think.

Learn from someone who’s let too many deadlines slip by – DON’T PROCRASTINATE.  Do start your job/internship/scholarship/etc search early to stay ahead of all the due dates.

It’s okay to be an introvert in college. It’s okay to stay home when you need to recharge, or to take yourself out for solo adventures, something I absolutely recommend doing.  Realizing this was probably my biggest moment of self-discovery.

Platonic relationships are important – speaking as someone who has as many guy friends as girlfriends.

On that note, it’s great to have many types of friends. The ones who will tell you honestly how you look, and the ones who always know what to say to make you feel good. The kind ones, and the ones you can be snarky with.

There is a difference between having real feelings for someone, and enjoying the attention they give you. When you’re single and caught up in the moment, you might not see the difference.

Your parents were right about a lot of things, and you’ll start to discover that as “real world” experiences begin.

With that said, always listen to your intuition if you just know something’s not right.

Do venture outside your comfort zone, but don’t act like someone you are not. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate what makes you unique is not worth your time. I have to remind myself this through the highs and lows of job searching.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Don’t look at other people (especially on social media) and feel inadequate because that seem so much more secure and accomplished than you. We all have insecurities, deep down somewhere.

Most of all, be patient with yourself. Set goals and expectations, but don’t let them stress you out.  Expect that things may not happen on our time, but they happen when they are meant to. Sure, I thought a lot more of my life would be in order by now, but what good does it do to think that?  (This article sums up that feeling better than I ever could.)

You don’t have all the answers yet, and that is okay. I don’t even know all the things that I don’t know yet. But you will learn and grow a little more every day, and that’s how we will become the people we’re supposed to be.
To my classmates, congratulations again, and to the rest of you, keep enjoying college and life!

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Commencement day photo taken by my dad from up in the bleachers


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