I've been receiving a significant amount of college-related questions. I guess a good number of my readers and followers are starting to research colleges or are about to start this fall. It's an exciting time, thought there's a lot of stuff that I wish I knew before applying to college and deciding on one. If only I could go back in time and tell myself what I know now...
Here are my two cents on some of the top college-related questions that I've received:
What advice would you give to a college applicant?
There is so much that I wish I knew when I was applying to colleges.
I was really caught up in applying to a ton of my dream schools, only to be waitlisted or rejected by a number of them. Sure, apply to one or two dream schools, but make sure to stay realistic, too. It’s tempting to play the name game, but trust me on this: don’t. It’s simply a waste of time.
Think twice about what’s really important to you. Do you really not mind which city you’ll be in or do you just think you won’t mind? How far away do you want to be away from home? Does your college offer something that will interest you? It’s crucial to rethink those questions once the acceptance letters start rolling in. I wish I gave these factors more thought.
What advice would you give to a soon-to-be college student?
This applies to everything in life, but just a friendly reminder: don’t change for anyone. It’s OK to branch out and try new things, but changing your character just to make friends will not end well. Make friends with people who share your interests and like you for you. But don't be afraid to test the waters academically. You may end up dedicating your four years to something you never expected to like.
What’s something you regretted doing or not doing in college?
I definitely regret not studying abroad. At the time, I just wasn't too interested in being away from home for an entire semester, but looking back now, it would've been the perfect opportunity to see the world.
What advice would you give to a college student?
Try to figure out your concentrations as soon as you can, even though they tell you that you have until sophomore year! I could’ve graduated in 3 years if I had started early, but instead had to stay an extra year. Make sure you lay out all your required courses, core courses, etc. so you can plan accordingly. Also, if you’re planning to go abroad or do an exchange program, factor that into your course planning.
Why did you choose which college to attend?
I'm not the best person to ask. I let a lot of outside factors sway my decision. I wasn't realistic about my needs and interests. My advice to you is to listen closely to yourself and choose the school that best speaks to you. You know, the one that felt like your second home when you visited, the one that made you cry when you received your acceptance letter.
Why did you decide to pursue what you studied?
I never understood how people go into college knowing exactly what they want to study. I don't think I actually had an "aha moment," when I finally discovered something that I was passionate about. I chose my concentrations mostly because I felt comfortable with them and felt like those subjects were applicable in every day life.
What was your favorite class(es) in college?
My favorite courses were Social Problems, Children’s Literature, Writing About Food, Sociology of Art, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and a handful of my product design classes.
What is your favorite college memory?
My favorite memory from college was joining Alpha Phi. I enjoyed everything, from rush week to initiation to forming friendships with so many wonderful woman.
What is your least favorite college memory?
I hated living in the dorms. Because of college regulations, I had to live in a dorm for all four years and it was the worst. I don’t like communal spaces and I got really unlucky with rude roommates and neighbors. Just the thought of never having to live in a dorm again makes me so happy.
I’d love to become a blogger. What should I study to prepare me?
I don't think you can study to become a blogger like how you can study to become an engineer. A lot of blogging you learn through trial and error and research. I've heard that Marketing, Business, Art History, and Fashion Design are good tools to have under your belt. I have never taken courses in those topics, so I can't attest to that. I think that studying courses in society and human behavior and patterns (Psychology and Sociology, specifically) can help you navigate the blogosphere better, too.
If you could go back to college, what would you change?
Most likely, I think I would like to study something more fashion related, like fashion merchandising or fashion design, so I could ultimately pursue a career in fashion. Or perhaps I would consider the fashion and beauty publishing path.
Were you in involved in Greek life? How does it all work? I’m not sure if I want to go Greek.
Going Greek was definitely not something I thought about until college started. Some of my friends were going, and I tagged along. I knew absolutely nothing about the process, so I had to do a little bit of research on the process and the different sororities at my school. At my college, rush week was short and sweet. One thing to note is that the rush process is different at each school. My rush week was two days of just going from sorority to sorority to meet the sisters, house tours, preference, and bid day. The events increased in formality. Over the first few days, you rank the houses (and they rank you). When bid day came around, I was so nervous that my top house wouldn’t want me, but they did! And that’s how I became a sister of Alpha Phi. A lot of my best memories from college were with these girls!
I'm afraid I won't get along with my roommate. What can I do?
I had so many roommate issues in college. Depending on the type of person your roommate is, you can either have your RA do a mediation or just switch rooms. I have tried both methods, none of which worked for me, but that's probably just bad luck on my part. My college had really terrible residence life and they never took care of any problems properly.
I hope this helps! Feel free to send over any other questions you may have -- I'm always happy to answer them!