Advice to College Students: Be Awesome!

Some tips to help you to uncover your fearless, amazing, and aspiring self.

  • Laugh, smile, have fun. Take all that life has to offer you with a sense of humor and an open heart. Life won’t always be fun, but that doesn’t mean it’s all struggle and strife, either. Your attitude will guide how you react to the various situations you encounter.
  • Stay fit and active. Exercise boosts your brain power and makes you alert to learn and process information. Addicted to caffeine? Try going for a morning run, swim, or gym class to boost your spirits and adrenaline. It’s proven that students who exercise daily excel academically and professionally.
  • A lot. Nonfiction, fiction, biographies. Whatever you can get your hands on. Reading is the key to intellectual and emotional growth; it helps you to learn, improve your writing skills, and to develop analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Be an active learner. Do not expect to be taught. Do not blame bad teachers for your lack of knowledge. Teach yourself via books, the Internet, hands-on experience, and mentors.
  • Don’t settle! C’s should never be good enough, nor should B’s. Yes, A’s are hard to achieve, but so are most of the worthwhile things in life. Seek and strive for all that makes you a better version of yourself!
  • Do not be a jerk. Ever. Be kind. Be humble. Remember that small acts of kindness can impact others in a profound and empowering way, which impacts you, too.
  • Remember that you are not the only person on earth. Look around you. See the birds and trees and all that nature has to offer. See the people in the cars next to you on the highway; the people in the supermarket beside you. Notice them all; like you, each person has their unique, daily-unfolding story. We all do life together.
  • Rid yourself of the versions of yourself that don’t work: say goodbye to lazy, boring, tired you and strive to become the person that you and others are excited to be around.
  • If you want others to take you seriously, take yourself seriously. The same goes for respect; you need to respect yourself before you can expect and demand respect from others.
  • Cultivate your passions. Build each one step by step. Invest and commit to them, while always remaining open to engaging in new passions.
  • Accept help from people who want to help you; learn to know the difference between someone who really wants to help versus someone who wants to help because they want something from you in return.
  • Be inclusive. Do not leave people out. Never try to make someone feel inferior. Go out of your way to make sure others feel welcome and included.
  • Be open minded; rigidity is likely the result of years of listening to what your parents or family thinks and believes; find what you believe, but do not trade in one rigid line of thinking for another.
  • Get excited! It’s your life, not a life sentence (although you can make it one).
  • Do not go on default. Aim to be aware, and in your awareness, choose acceptance, ask questions, and practice empathy.
  • Lose the victim attitude: my life is terrible, everything bad happens to me, nothing works out for me and so on. The best way to empower yourself is to create a plan with greatness as your destination, and follow it, crooked paths, bumpy roads and all.
  • Delve into scary situations; no, don’t do crazy outlandish things that will jeopardize your safety, but when it comes to taking on jobs that seem way beyond your knowledge/experience or classes that challenge you, go for it full speed ahead. Surprise yourself. Grow into yourself.
  • Choose your friends wisely. The people you chum around with have a tremendous impact on your study habits, personal fitness habits, and your aspirations. Surround yourself with superstars in the making.
  • Have faith in yourself. If you don’t, who else will? And on that note, seek out people in your life who have faith in you. It will help you to keep real, stay focused, and move forward.
  • Communicate effectively. Lose meaningless phrases: I’m sorry for the inconvenience. No problem. And so on. Think about what you are saying. Practice awareness. Use words to create bridges, not breakdowns.
  • Help your family and your community. Always give back when you can. Kindness not only impacts others positively, but it ricochets into your own well-being.
  • No one knows it all. Learn to appreciate what others have to say, if only to use it to figure out what you have to say. Listen to others with the same focus and attention that you wish to be listened to.

And most of all, remember and know that there is no shortage of good days in this life. Keep trusting, believing, and giving all you got, and make those good days become the rest of your life.

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