With graduation approaching, I wanted to take the time to reflect on my 4 years at High Point University and share some of the big lessons I’ve learned. College has been some of the hardest but best days of my life, and I would do it all over in a heartbeat.
At HPU, you’ll be in a melting pot of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and strengths—meet them! Go outside your comfort zone, meet new people, and go to campus activities. Learn from others! Professors, in particular. They are at this school for a reason, and although it might be hard to believe, they were college students at one time, too. They understand what you’re going through! They are here to help you, and contrary to popular belief, they genuinely want you to succeed. Trust them, let them help you, and learn from them.
Show gratitude. You will meet some of your best friends here; don’t take advantage of them. Be grateful for your support system, and tell them how much they mean to you from time to time. There’s nothing quite like your friends or roommates from college. You’ll have seen each other at your absolute worsts, and they’ll have been with you through it all. 10, 20, 30 etc. years from now, you’re not going to care or remember petty fights. You’re going to reminisce going through college with them by your side.
Knowledge is power. You are gaining an education now that will help you make something of yourself post-graduation. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to complete this level of higher education. Skipping or missing class is inevitable at some time or another because, let’s face it: we’re all human. But remember that you are here to learn. And I’m not just talking about inside the classroom. Learn from your experiences. Everything you go through has a teachable moment within it if you look hard enough. There are millions of people around the world that would kill for an education with accommodations like this. So, take advantage of ALL OF THIS while you’re still surrounded by it.
Know your worth. A huge part of college is finding yourself: getting to know your likes, dislikes, your style, etc. However, I think people often forget how truly great they are. We each have our own strengths. Some people excel at academics, while some excel in the arts or at sports, and that’s okay. No one is perfect, and nobody should tell you what you can or cannot achieve. Stand up for yourself, for others, for what you believe in, and for what’s important to you. You are each capable of extraordinary things!
Embrace the change. College is a time of constant change. Whether it be schedules, classes, friend groups, or housing, there will always be something changing during your time here. My advice is to embrace it. There’s nothing you can really do about change except to know that it’s inevitable. And when things did not work out the way you thought they would and there’s nothing you can do about it, just embrace it. That’s not saying that you won’t be disappointed, I just mean if there’s nothing you can do about something, don’t waste your energy fighting it. Let it happen, move on, and focus on the more positive aspects of your life!
The last piece of advice I have is: don’t take these days for granted because they fly by faster than you can imagine.