COLL101: How to be a College Student

Freshman year has flown by in college and I'm back in California for summer break. I feel like over the past year, I've grown so much as a student, as an adult, and as a person overall. If there's six things I've learned in my first year, it's that:

1. There's no one to keep you accountable except yourself; if you don't take responsibility, no one will. I'm currently going to school on the opposite coast, meaning I'm by myself, far away from home, and in a completely independent situation. Parents aren't there to nag at you or berate you for your mistakes as they usually do. Studying, cleaning up, doing laundry, and cooking are all responsibilities I did not expect to be as challenging as it was. (Shoutout to my roommate who probably hated me a lot of times but dealt with me in such a better way than I deserved.) I definitely did procrastinate a lot of times, but I've got a much better grasp of what study habits work for me now and what type of study space I need.

2. Independence is what you make of it. I used to think that once I entered the workforce, I'd live with a roommate because being home alone always made me nervous when I was little. Since living by myself though, I've learned to really appreciate the time I have to myself and in fact, I quite like it! I love walking into town by myself and going to the bagel shop to get my usual (egg bagel + honey walnut spread + flavored coffee).

3. Be self-aware. And act like the mature adult you are. Don't succumb to societal pressures or expectations, but be aware of the actions you do and how they reflect who you are as a person. Shift your focus to your surroundings to get a new perspective about yourself and see what part you play in your surrounding.

4. Explore different social circles. I'm not even sure if I've found my exact social circle yet. Being a part of sports, having a job, I have lots of different circles and that's okay. But move around and hang out with lots of people so you can find that group that fits with you.

5. Use college for YOU. This one is one of the most important that I've realized after freshman year and the one that I'll probably keep learning how to do until I graduate. Academically, take advantage of this opportunity you have to learn what you're interested in, something that'll broaden your perspective of the world. Mentally, figure out what type of person you are, what kind of person you want to be. How do you want to be described by others for, say a job interview or for research opportunities? Especially if you go to school away from home, take advantage of the fact that you can have a fresh start without people having preconceived notions of you. Form who you want to be; I've only started to get an inkling of who I want to be.

6. Take advantage of the time you have and make it totally sick/dope/cool! I think this one speaks for itself. Have fun! Step out of your comfort zone! <-- I can't emphasize that one enough. Don't be afraid of others' judgment; if anything, judgment sometimes comes from what others wish they could be brave enough to do.

And now here are some pictures I've taken of my campus that I really like.

Winter is beautiful. Everything blanketed in pure white snow is such an elegant view.

I have never seen so many bean boots in the same place until I joined crew...

And finally, our beautiful nature trail coated with cherry blossom flowers!


  1. #3 so important! Something I only learned only when I came to college. Keep it up Hanna!