As an upcoming Senior at UC Santa Barbara, I have been thinking a lot recently about my growth throughout college and how I can apply the things I have learned to the real world. College may be one of the best times of your life, but it is also one of the most difficult times to navigate. As I continue my journey through college, these are a few key lessons I have picked up thus far:
1. You are the director of your own production. College is very different from high school in the sense that there are no parents, older siblings etc. telling you what to do. While this freedom is empowering, it is also one of the most terrifying things about growing up. Start thinking about what you might want to do post-graduation early - in order to stay ahead of the game.
2. Meet as many people as you can - whenever possible. Communicating with others often will teach you how to network and form connections. Some people you meet - you'll instantly click with. If not, there is always something to learn from interacting with others. Also, stepping out of your "bubble" and meeting people from different cultural / socioeconomic backgrounds will broaden your view of life.
"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn." - Glinda from Wicked The Musical
3. Say "yes!" to as many opportunities as you can. Audition for a lead role in a theatrical production, try out for a sports team, write an article for your school newspaper, etc. It does not matter if you loved it, or hated it. What matters is that you did it, and that you had the courage to try it. Who knows? You might find an unexpected passion along the way.
Who I am now is a cultivation of all the experiences I have had up to this point. I was shaped by the decisions I have made (and still in the process of making), the people I have met, and the experiences I have gained.