I wish I had known...

 

 By Haidyn Hank

 

There are some things that I wish I had known before I began my college adventure. Some of them are things that I just should have listened to when other people told me. My first piece of advice, is to listen to the people who have already gone through the process. They have been where you are now and know what they are talking about.

My second piece of advice for you is to go at your own pace. Everybody goes through college in their own way; everybody has their own adventure. It might seem like everybody else is doing something different than you, but that doesn’t mean that path is the right one for you. College is customizable to your needs and your wants.

Another piece of advice I wish I had taken into consideration is that you don’t have to know what you want to do when you begin your college career. College is for exploring who you are and what you’re good at doing. I began my freshman year of college an apparel design major, then switched to apparel merchandising, and now, I am an English education major with a minor in apparel merchandising.

The thing is, I’ll be starting my second year of college in the fall, and I’m still not sure what I want to do. The biggest thing I would take from this is that if you really aren’t sure what you want to do (and you don’t have to be) then it might be a good idea to not declare a major your first semester.

Do your homework and start your projects the day they are assigned. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about cramming at the end of the semester or before the deadline, and I promise you, life will be so much easier. A lot of people start out school saying they’ll do this and then don’t, but I can’t stress enough how helpful it is.

I followed this process my first semester, and I had a lot more free time that wasn’t guilt-laden and stressful because I knew I had things to do. Second semester, I didn’t follow my method so well, and I ended up cramming assignments into my days at the end of the semester, which was overall unpleasant.

My last piece of advice is to get involved. College campuses are great places to become involved in your community and your school. There are hundreds of clubs to join in a broad range of topics, so there is something for everyone. When you get homesick at first, and you will, getting involved and meeting new people is an amazing experience. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. College is a fresh start, a new beginning. Most of all, make sure you do what’s best for you and enjoy your experience.

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By Hannah Chin

 

Most would think that I was prepared for college life, since I spent the majority of my high school career focusing on my future; however, I cannot honestly say that I was ready for the twists and turns of a prestigious university.  Although I took advanced placement classes, led several on-campus organizations, and volunteered in the Quad Cities community, I believe that I was socially unattached with my peers.

Senior year is full of exciting distractions like homecoming, prom, and graduation. Every student looks forward to these Kodak moments.  My advice for you is to not put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy being young.  I know that is very cliche, but I wish I would have taken a step back and really absorbed all of the great activities senior year had to offer.  College can be an incredibly daunting step forward that can allude to the pressures of being prepared and organized.  Remember that there are some situations that you will never be ready for; do the best you can and ask for help when you need it.

Besides soaking in all of what being a senior at Bettendorf High School is all about, do not forget to get involved in college; find something you are passionate about, and let it take you somewhere.  Whether you decide to participate in collegiate athletics, a sorority or fraternity, or an anime club, constantly remind yourself that your college experience consists of so much more than academics; you are becoming independent and building a network of relationships.  In the words of one of my favorite teachers at Bettendorf High School, Mark Pisel, “This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.”

Finally, my last piece of advice is to understand that everyone takes on college at their own rate. Some students will find friends and stick with their intended majors, and others will have roommate problems and get too caught up in the social demands of college.  Do not let someone else’s college experience negatively influence your choices. Furthermore, do not compare your college experience to someone else’s. Every student and university is diverse and will guide everyone towards different futures. However, never forget where you came from; being a Bulldog is a lifelong endeavor.

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