Intellectual Wellness: College.

So, I know that it is the beginning of the month and I usually do a check-in, but for February, can I just not? Well…I mean it is my blog so really I can do whatever…but. Ok, so I’ll confess. February=crazy. Crazy, crazy, crazy. A ton of stuff happened and I kept super busy all month long. So that means A.) I didn’t finish a book this month (crap) and  B.) my goals were definitely pushed on the back burner as I just do whatever I can to keep afloat during this month. February just happens to be when things get crazy with work. I also found out that I will be transitioning my role a bit, which just brings it’s own slew of happenings. So all of that is just why…I’m just not going to do a full recap on the month. It was crazy. It was busy. It was stressful. It was February. But now it’s March, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

So I am admittedly someone who loves to watch YouTube while I get ready. And I’m not always into watching an entire show on Netflix because sometimes I just need 10 minutes of a little some something and I just find that I often gravitate towards YouTube to watch (er have background noise…) while I get ready in the morning. I recently stumbled upon this video by ClothesEncounter which just gives a run down of the 1o things she learned in college beyond you know, the actual content of her courses. Naturally, I find my inspiration from other people’s work because I’m not very creative and I heavily rely on others ideas…anyway. You know what’s coming.

Background info:  I went a 4 year university (graduated in 3 1/2) and got my BA in Psychology w/ a certificate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. I then went on to grad school for 2 years and got my MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. So here are my tips/TIL from college.

1.) As annoying as it is to have to take those general education/core classes, just do it and make the most out of it. Because I took Intro to Psych as a freshman, I actually found my major. And that story really isn’t that uncommon.

2.) Don’t get so caught up in the, “I’m a psych major so what career and I going to go into with a psych degree?” (especially for those of you in the Liberal Arts and Sciences majors). Start thinking about what knowledge, skills, and abilities (or for those I/O-ers reading this, KSAs) you are gaining from school. How can you apply your education to a career? Look at it broader and look at the big picture. Remove your blinders and think more broadly.

3.) Intern! Oh god if there is one thing that i regret from college is not being more involved on campus and not ever interning anywhere. There are interns in my office now and they are just so much better off than I ever was. Just intern. Just do it. Regardless of whether or not you get paid. Intern.

4.) Study abroad. I also really regret never taking the opportunity to study abroad. I regret this so much. There really isn’t ever another time in your life for this opportunity. Start researching it, start putting away money for it, and seriously, go do it.

5.) Speaking of research, freaking research financial aid and scholarships. Seriously. Become a master of your finances before you even start college. Know exactly what you are signing before you sign it and if you don’t know, make an appointment with a financial aid counselor or student legal services or with a banker locally. Know what you are getting yourself into. Be willing to look at the bigger picture.

6.) Planning. This is something that I got to be a pro at in grad school. Every Sunday night, I would go through my syllabuses and map out my week. I would make to-do lists of what I needed to accomplish every single day. What exactly would I need to read every single day so that come the weekend, I didn’t have 100s of pages of research articles to cram in. And then I made a to-do list for every single day. It seems excessive, but did it ever save my bootay in grad school. Then every night, I would watch the Daily Show and re-evaluate my to-do list. If there was any extra projects that needed to get added or if I ran out of time that day…I made a master plan on Sunday and re-evaluated every night to make sure I got everything done and did it in a way that I could retain the information.

7.) While you are planning out your days, make time for stress relief. For me, this was gym time. I forced myself to the gym in grad school even though I didn’t think that I had time for it. But taking an hour a day to step away from the books and shut my brain off was seriously the best thing for me. I then got the point where I would pack my gym clothes when I left for the day and park in the gym’s parking lot so I had to walk to the gym to go home. And if I already had my gym clothes with me…might as well just go ahead and work out, right? Right.

8.) Learn from setbacks. I don’t like to call them failures. But yeah…failures/setbacks are going to happen. That’s life. Give yourself a day to be upset and frustrated (either right after the fact or later on). But figure out what went wrong and why and how you can make sure that failure doesn’t happen again.

9.) Take advantage of being a college student. That doesn’t mean to use it as an excuse to get wasted and drunk every weekend (take it from me, you don’t have to and that’s not the norm – if you don’t feel comfortable doing that and your friends are constantly pressuring you to do that even after you say no, they aren’t your friends). That means, student discounts and free services. Often, you get a student discount for things like your gym but there are also stores that offer student discounts and you can sometimes get concert tickets for student discounts. Don’t be afraid to either research or ask. The worst they can say is no. Also, universities tend to have tons of free services like financial aid counseling, legal help (yup, that usually means your taxes!), and even mental health counseling in addition to all the free t-shirts and key chains. You are essentially paying for everything with your tuition so you might as well use it up.

10.) Friends. The people you meet in college are the greatest people. I’m still close with a few people and I love them dearly. They are people who I will be friends with for my entire life. But at the same time, there are people who you will meet, love, and then lose contact with. Don’t be sad for these friendships. Remember them fondly. And for the people who are bad influences on you, remember them with the lesson.

You learn a lot in college. And pretty much none of my TIL have anything to do with class. But college is more than just class. For a lot of people, it is the first time being out on their own. You are expected to learn a ton from class but you will also be learning a world of things about yourself.

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