Look mom i’m graduating: Lessons from my time in college

a person in a grad cap with the green mountains in the background

I can’t lie… I’ve put off writing this blog to preserve the part of me that isn’t ready to graduate. Looking back over four years and trying to culminate it into one blog is… difficult. So, I hope you have faith in me that the six tips I’ve outlined below were some pretty awesome parts of my college experience. Don’t worry; I won’t try to convince you to go to office hours, join clubs, or sit with a stranger at the dining hall because those things are much easier said than done. I would know. Make the most of your college experience, whatever that means for you. This is your time to grow into the person you dreamed of when you were little. You deserve the world, so go give it to yourself.

a yellow sunset setting over the redstone pines

1. A Prof is a friend, not a foe

Talking to professors can be really scary, especially in your first years of college. In my experience, professors have always really appreciated when students try to make a connection. I was never a big office hours person, which I do regret. But that’s not your only chance to engage with your instructors! I’ve found they love to chit-chat over coffee. Not only is this a great way to be engaged in that course, but it’s also great for networking!!

*Bonus tip: Networking isn’t always done in a formal setting! Talking to your TAs, professors, deans, or anyone else is also a networking opportunity! Showing you care goes a LONG way.

The green mountains with a blue hue

2. Get into that full class

I know this isn’t always plausible, but getting into a full class can be doable. First things first, email the professor for the course! If you show enough interest in the subject, they may add an extra seat for you! If not, at least you’ll be put on the waitlist. Also, check the registration page regularly to see if someone dropped the class.

a purple and orange sky with tall shadowed trees in the foreground

3. Two words: MEAL. EXCHANGE.

Y’all heard of meal exchange? I hope so. You can exchange a meal swipe for certain retail dining options up to two times per week. SAY WHAAATTT!1!1! This is a great option for those on the traditional plan who ran out of points within the first two weeks… what’s up my people . Here’s a rundown on UVM dining options.

the silouette of four people against a green screen

4. Class friends are the best friends

If you take ANYTHING from this blog, by the THIRD WEEK OF CLASS, you should have the contact info of at least ONE person in each class. Not only is this a way to branch out and potentially meet new people, but it’s a great way to make sure you’re both on track in class!
Here’s an example: When I got to class, I would sit near at least one other person. By the end of class, if I hadn’t connected with them yet, I would get a little vaunerable with them. “Hey, I literally don’t know anyone else In this class. Would you wanna exchange info in case we have questions about class?” IT FEELS REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. That means you’re doing it right! Growth is uncomfortable!! (see tip 6 for more).

the sun shines as people sit on the andrew harris green

5. Compliments go a long way

Within my first two weeks of being at UVM, I noticed what I like to call the compliment culture. Giving a genuine compliment is a great way to make friends. A lot of people here are amazing at spreading love in that way; embrace it! I’ve been complimented (nbd) and given compliments on my way to class, in the dining hall, and even in the dorm bathrooms. Don’t be afraid of those quick interactions that end up forming amazing connections. To all the people I’ve complimented and those who have complimented me, I remember you, and I’ll be cheering for you when you walk across that stage.

An orange sky as it sets, with a big tree silloutte in the corner and the town below

6. Don’t be a sore loser (it’s okay to be wrong)

Pardon my French; I didn’t mean to call you a loser. College is the time for learning; embrace it. I made a ton of “mistakes” throughout these four years. But in the long run, its only a mistake if you don’t learn from it. Within these four years, everything you go through that requires strength and makes you uncomfortable is called growth. Don’t let it pass you by because you’re drawn to the more comfortable or easier option. I feel proud of the person I am today because of all the growth I’ve done over these four years. College is the time for change; embrace it!

the top of a mountain with a rock in the foreground and trees lining the area.

The confidence I have in myself for post-grad life is all attributed to the strong person I’ve become here. Everyone in college struggles with something at one point or another. It is one of the few universal collegiate experiences. Revel in it. Those struggles are beautiful when you finally get to stand on top of all of them, declaring you’ve overcome them all. I did it. Now that I have officially shed my first tear while writing, I believe it is time to sign off.

When people ask me if I liked going to college here, I always say, “Well, I’ve never been to college anywhere else. But I am so proud of the person I have become while going here that I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”


Love you guys!!


For the last time,