I hate it when people try to tell us, “Your college years are the best years of your life!”
I don’t know about you, but I always immediately think, “Gosh, I hope not.”
College is full of stressful academic deadlines, a diet of caffeine, cafeteria food and Cookout, and less than six hours of sleep on most days.
Five years from now, I sure hope I’m not eating a Junior Tray with a Huge Tea on a regular basis. But I hope I still have opportunities to experience new things, learn new skills, and grow in ways I never thought imaginable.
See, our college years are not the best of our lives — but they are wildly influential on our growth as a person, employee, leader, and friend. The experiences you can take advantage of during college are once in a lifetime, but you must step out of your comfort zone to find them. Don’t miss out on lifelong memories by getting caught up in the negative aspects of college life.
Do you feel like you have been missing out on those core memories? How do you find them?
You step out of the box!
This semester, I encourage you to find something that makes you excited. Find the thing that makes you want to be better and do better. Join the club. You might discover a passion or leadership skill you didn’t know existed. Try a random hobby. It might be the thing that keeps you grounded when the world feels like too much. Go to the cheesy campus event. You might make a lifelong friend. Apply for the internship. You might find your perfect career path.
Don’t be scared.
College is a time when it is okay to fail and try again, but it is not a time when you can sit back and expect an opportunity to knock on your door. Go find the thing that you are passionate about. It’s never too early or too late.
Two years ago, I was too scared to step outside the box.
I was scared of what people would think of me if I joined the club, or spoke up in class, or made a leap of faith.
But I realized that being bold was better than being scared.
Being scared led me to feelings of loneliness. Being bold led me to join a sorority where I made lifelong friends.
Being scared led me to a lack of direction toward my future career. Being bold led me to a job where I could see my future as a businesswoman.
Being scared led me to feel like a follower. Being bold led me to become a leader through serving as the Student Body President of Tennessee Tech.
Your college years won’t be the best years of your life, but they will be monumental in preparing you for the incredible years ahead. Who do you want to be five years after college? Ten years? Twenty years? Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
Now is your time. Leave your comfort zone. Be bold. Don’t let this semester pass you by. Take the leap of faith now. Make your college days worthwhile.
Addison Dorris is the 2022-2023 Student Body President. She can be reached at SGAPresident@tntech.edu