The years you spend in college are truly unique. You have the opportunity to learn, explore, and grow, all while being surrounded by your peers in a fun environment. Looking back, college is about the trifecta: academics, friends, and personal growth. But, striking a balance between these three things can seem easier said than done!

Here are the top 10 things I wish I knew when I was in college:

  1. Be open and explore new things. Take a class in a subject you think you might be interested in, hit up a meeting for a new club, or say hi to someone you don’t know in the library.  
  2. Everyone else is just as lost and unsure of themselves as you are. No one is perfect, even if they seem like they have it all together. Actually, this applies to life after college too.
  3. Don’t make everything into a catastrophe. It’s easy to get caught up in bad grade, friend, or family drama, but making a big deal out of every little thing will just stress you out. Breathe.  
  4. Recognize that you don’t need validation from outside sources. And yes, this includes your parents. Validation comes from within. You are the only one who has to live your life.
  5. Academics and career prep are important, but so are relationships. Treasure your friends.
  6. You choose your attitude and how you perceive what happens in your life. Be confident, own your power, and trust that everything will workout in the end.
  7. Life isn’t a competition, so help others along the way. There’s no point in making it to the top if you don’t have any one to laugh so hard you’re crying with.
  8. Find an internship that mirrors your dream job. You’ll make connections in the industry and get to try it on for size. Plus, working for free is much easier when you’re still in college.
  9. Love your body. Being healthy and happy is more important than fitting into a size XS. When you look in the mirror focus on the positives and you’ll feel better instantly.
  10. It’s ok to stay up late, dance your butt off, and laugh hysterically with your friends over dinner…because you can’t pull all-nighters forever.

And remember, there are no mistakes or failures…just opportunities for learning and growth.


About The Author

Ashley Olson is a fitness and lifestyle coach who teaches women ages 18-25 how to live a healthy lifestyle in college and still have fun. She loves DQ Blizzards, dogs, and lives for SWFL beach days. She proudly describes herself as being “perfectly imperfect”. Head over to her YouTube channel for free weekly dorm room workouts!

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2 Responses

  1. Gina

    This is a wonderful post and full of lessons I have been learning in college and some I need to refresh on! I love what you said about validation. That’s so true and so powerful. Thank you so much for sharing this! This is wonderful advice for college students!


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