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Looking Back to Move Forward

As my junior year is ending and I’m slowly realizing that it’s time to start preparing for my final year at Michigan State. It’s a heartbreaking, yet exciting realization. It’s heartbreaking because ever since I can remember it was my dream to become a Spartan and attend Michigan State, so the thought of the end approaching is a little scary. However, it’s also a very exciting time because I get to start the next chapter in my life and start using the skills I’ve learned at Michigan State.

During this preparation for my senior year, I have really been able to look back and think about everything I’ve learned since my freshman year. For this blog, I’ve picked four lessons I’ve learned that can help anyone entering college, starting a new job, or just looking to step out of their comfort zone.

Get involved, make connections & keep learning

Okay, okay, okay I know the first one sounds like a mouth full, but hear me out! You hear it time and time again to get involved and it’s no joke! The more you get involved in organizations, whatever they may be, the more direction and opportunities you open up for yourself. Make connections with everyone you meet. Whether it’s a professional connection or someone to get coffee with on a rainy Saturday morning, it’s nice to have people there to talk to and ask advice from. Lastly, keep learning! Don’t think after you’re done with college that you’re in the clear to stop learning. You can learn something from everyone you meet. Younger, older or same age, everyone has something to teach so keep your ears and eyes open so you don’t miss out.

Don’t be afraid to get lost- I promise you’ll find your way

I actually have to give my mom the credit for this one. The day I left for college the last thing she said to me was, “Put your phone down, look up and get lost.” At the time I thought she was just saying that because it was a mom thing so it went in one ear and out the other. Well mom, you were right. Within the first week I got lost at least three times on my way to class. Taking my moms advice, I put my phone away, looked up and found someone to ask directions. The cool part is she was going to the same building as me and we became friends all because I got lost on my way to class. That being said, don’t be afraid to get lost, you have no idea what’s out there waiting for you and I promise even if you get lost, you will find your way and you’ll be okay.

Try new food

Calling all the foodies out there for this one! I’ve been known to be a picky eater ever since I was a little kid (ask my mom.) This one actually didn’t hit me until this year; see what I mean about keep learning? Freshman year I ate in the caf on campus and sophomore year I ate a lot of frozen dinners, canned soups and chicken breasts. This year however, my roommates and I have started cooking together and trying new things that we find in cookbooks, Pinterest, and family recipes. It’s amazing all the food I’ve been missing out on because I was too afraid to try it or because it “looked” weird. My eyes no longer go straight to chicken tenders and French fries every time I open a restaurant menu.

Be kind to others

It’s the oldest rule in the book; treat others how you want to be treated. That rule doesn’t stop when you leave the playground at recess. Starting something new is scary for people and everyone needs help sometimes, especially when in an unfamiliar place or taking on new responsibilities. Give directions, buy a coffee, open a door, show a smile, and just be kind to others.