College–it was an amazing three and a half years of my life, filled with new friendships, unlimited social gatherings and the opportunity to live on my own. At times, however, I became wrapped up in things that, after graduating a year ago, I now realize were much smaller than they appeared to be at the time. If you’re a freshman or sophomore in college, take note that these five stressors are not worth anxiety or sleepless nights:
- Your college minor. Here’s my insight on this–you can choose your minor as a supplement to what your major area of study is or you can choose it because it sounds fun and intriguing. During college, you will most likely hear different career counselors that will tell you to go with plan A. Heck, I don’t blame you. They’re trying to help you get the most for your money. It makes sense to choose a minor that can be applied in some way to your major. But don’t think that it has to be the perfect match. I can promise you that it won’t make or break your career. For example, I know a neighbor of mine who got her degree in biomedical engineering and a minor in marketing because she enjoyed it, and has been working in the marketing field since her first post-grad job.
- Studying abroad. I’ll be honest and admit that I was really disappointed that I was unable to study abroad during college. But if you look at how much going abroad for a semester costs, it’s definitely cringe-worthy. Don’t think that if you miss out, you’ll never get the opportunity to spend a few weeks abroad once you start the real world. I’m not yet a year out of school and I’m planning a 3-week backpacking trip throughout Europe for $3-4K. I know four others that did the same thing and had amazing experiences.
- GPA. I have asked a few recruiters the question of whether or not your grade point average will set you apart from the competition. It honestly only matters for internships and possibly for your first job. Especially in the public relations and marketing industries, it’s the experience that matters. So go out there and get as much experience as possible. I had 9 different internships throughout college and they all challenged me in different ways, much more than my classes did. But don’t get me wrong, I still worked hard in class. You should always strive for high quality work and make an effort to get to know your professors, but know that your GPA does not define you.
- Completely finding ourselves. College is a time where we try to figure out who we are and who we want to be, but it’s a process. Throughout college, I saw myself grow as a person in more ways than I can count. But I know that I’m still on the path to figuring out what exactly I want to do with my life and what truly makes me happy. You may face internal and external pressures, but it’s okay to leave college still unsure about your future. Follow your gut and take a leap of faith. If you end up not liking where you are and what you’re doing, then you have the power to change it. Don’t be afraid to try new things in search of an unknown passion.
- Finding “the one.” I had two boyfriends in college, but neither was anywhere close to being the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Don’t get discouraged when you see all your friends with significant others and they talk about promises of a future together. There are so many people, myself included, who don’t date seriously in college. The waiting is the worst part, but at the same times, you can’t wait. As everyone says (and yes, it gets annoying), it will happen when you least expect it.
What were your biggest stressors in college? Did they end up having a strong influence on your life post-college? I’d love to hear!
Thanks for reading!
Author: Lauren Taylar
Lauren Taylar is a digital marketer and blogger. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations. When she’s not volunteering her time with Make-A-Wish, you can find her reading a travel magazine and sipping a glass of hard cider or wine.