What I’d Do If I Could Do College Again

Lily Cabibi-Wilkin is a senior music composition major from Hot Springs.

I’ve done it. My recitals and concerts are done, my last paper is off to print and all I have left are my finals before I leave Arkansas State University for the foreseeable future. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m really going to miss The Herald most of all.

If I could go back in time to 2018, when I first set foot on this campus, what advice would I give myself? What thoughts do I have to offer prospective new students who may come across this paper?

Be More Outgoing

I joined a few clubs that were out of my comfort zone my freshman year. One of them I stuck with for more than a year, but I wasn’t really involved due to a scheduling conflict. I joined The Herald as a leap of faith, and that paid off, but what if I had joined more clubs? What if I had joined the Anime Club before my senior year, so I had more time to get to know people? Even if I didn’t stick with everything, I wish I’d put myself out there more earlier while I still had time to be involved in things. Don’t put things off, either! Dye your hair. Buy that shirt. Take that elective. Enjoy yourself while you’re here.

If It Sucks, Hit The Bricks

At least two majorly stressful situations in my college career could have been avoided if I’d gotten into the “if it sucks, leave it” mindset sooner. Instead, I let sunken cost fallacy and fear of missing out keep me in miserable spots. As long as there are no real consequences for leaving a situation, you have the full right to ditch if you’re having a bad time. Toxic friends? Elective class out of your league? Hate a specific professor? Cut your losses. College is too short to invest your energy in something that doesn’t enrich you.

Get Off Campus More

As someone who doesn’t drive, I never really got many opportunities to get off campus and explore more of Jonesboro. If I could go back and do everything again, I would make more of an effort to check everything out. There’s a bus system on campus I never managed to take advantage of. I have friends with cars. I’ve got a bike. Getting over my nerves and getting off of campus will open you up to new experiences, and you won’t risk leaving Jonesboro without seeing all it has to offer.

To Thine Own Self Be True

I may be misusing this Hamlet quote for the purposes of a catchy title, but I mean it. Don’t stick to your guns to the point where you miss out on new experiences, but trust your gut if something seems off. Don’t let people pressure you into doing things you’re not comfortable with, no matter who they are.

Cherish Every Moment

Even on the days where everything seems terrible, find something to enjoy. Maybe the grass looks nice today. Maybe the nice lady at Einstein’s knows your name and order now. Find something to enjoy, and save the best memories. Take photos! There are so many good memories I have from college that I didn’t save. Take selfies with your friends, save programs from concerts. Souvenirs are your friend! These years won’t last forever, and when you’re older you’ll be glad you kept the memories around.

Whether you’re an incoming freshman or heading into your senior year, I hope I’ve said something here that’s encouraged you to make the most of your time here at A-State. I’m grateful for the memories I’ve made, and I can’t wait to go make new ones. Thank you, dear readers, for everything.

Categories: Opinion

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