Three things that I would tell my freshman self
As graduation becomes closer, I reflect on my four years at DePaul and the things I wish I had known as a freshman.
1. GPA is not as important as experience
I have been a perfectionist my whole life, always striving to get the best grades possible. I always thought that the coursework at college was going to be extremely difficult to master and nearly impossible to earn a 4.0. To my surprise, I was able to get that 4.0 in my first quarter at DePaul and made it my mission to keep that up for as long as possible. Because of this goal, I was afraid to join too many extracurricular activities or start applying for internships throughout the rest of college. I was afraid that these experiences would hinder my academics. As I am graduating and on the job hunt, I am learning that companies value internship experience and campus involvement more than they do your GPA. On the other hand, GPA is still very important and I have received different opportunities because of my hard work which I am extremely proud of.
2. Focus on yourself
College is an extremely accelerated point in time of our lives. Every day you are meeting someone new or trying new things. Make the most out of these opportunities, but do not let them consume your life. When making a ton of new friends all at once, it can be easy to put your needs aside and focus on what is best for everyone else. It is important that the things you are doing now are things you actually want to be doing. You will go through changes and become a different person in college, but make sure you are changing on your own terms, and not for anyone else.
3. You are Smarter than you think you are!
As I have said before, I thought I was going to be completely lost in college. The coursework is hard, you’re on your own, and you have so much freedom. Sometimes that freedom can be scary because you have the power to make all the wrong choices. What I have learned is that you often don’t make the wrong choice. You are smart and thorough, you just have to be more confident in yourself. Even if you make the wrong decision, you will learn and grow from it. Don’t be afraid to step up, because you will most likely succeed.