Lifestyle Self-Care

Dear College Self | Sharing Tips before You Enter College

August 30, 2017

Dear College Self

Dear College Self, I have so many things that I’d like to tell you. I think now is the great time since most will be busy and here are some college tips.

Dear College Self | Things I wanted to say to myself some years ago

It was 2009 when I first stepped inside a university to study for the tertiary level. At first, I felt almost every emotion that existed in the world. From happiness to sadness, it was there! I also remember the first year, first month and especially the first day. How I wish I had siblings who would have taught me back then the basics when it comes the first few days of college.

Now, as I share some of the things I would’ve told myself back then, I hope that this would be helpful to all senior high school students in the world. Even if I’m from Philippines, I guess our present educational system is also the same with the other countries in the world.

Yet, even if there were lonely parts in college, I would have to say that I had a great time during those years!

Here are the things that I would say to myself before and even during those collegiate years.

#1 How I wish you knew how to read people better

Back then, I did not know how to read other people. Let’s say that even before, I would always see the best in people even if they are really not that good people. There were times that I had been too trusting with many people and some ended up disappointing me. I’d like to tell myself back then that just choose a friend or two and you’ll be good. Or even by yourself, it’s not that bad.

Actually, it’s the safest thing. To be with yourself and just a friend or two.

P.S. Another look here would be:

Choose your friends wisely.

#2 I wish I could tell myself back then to never stop trusting yourself

There were those days that I have lost faith in myself and in what I can do. It was the time that almost everyone was better than me but I know that I’m good at something too.

A little drive or support was also necessary since my spirits were down back then and there were also insecurities that drove me a little crazy as well.

#3 Experience is one of the best teachers ever

Whenever school is mentioned, we would cringe usually because of the early hours or the amount of school work we have to do. On the contrary, not everything is taught in school.

No matter how long we stay in school or study, we never learn how to recover from a hangover or how to smoke a cigarette. We learn those kind of things through our friends, some through cousins. Yet, experiencing those at an early stage will be significant in the latter part of our lives.

#4 Saving is not starving

Back then, when I wanted to buy something for myself, I will not eat for how many days. I’d use the money or my allowance to just save up for a new pair of shoes or clothes. Ultimately, I got sick with ulcer.

It was both a nightmare and an eye opener. Since before, I would skip meals just to save. I realized that it was not how to take care of my body properly. That even if it was for something that could benefit me, the execution was totally wrong.

To my dear old self back then, I wish you knew how eating or food can be truly valuable in one’s life. Now, I don’t stop myself from spending for food. I’d always spend money for food because now, I know it’s an essential need for survival. Deep inside, I learned the true worth of saving. Even if my parents sent me to school, I’ve saved somehow in order to lessen their expenses when it comes to my needs.

Some would wonder about financial aid for uni. Universities and colleges have certain programs that may fit your needs but if it doesn’t, feel free to search the world wide web for links or information about getting financial aid for your studies.

#5 Don’t take things for granted

You may be blessed or born with a silver spoon in your mouth but remember that you are spending your parents’ money.

Especially to those living away from their parents, budgeting is a tough thing to do. You are given a certain amount of allowance that is suppose to last for a month. Don’t spend it overnight because the consequences will be quite hard.

There are a lot of options to ease financial stress. If student loans are overwhelming look into refinancing or consolidation. Earnest has a ton of great information on how they can help you here.

Last but definitely not the least!

#6 Your biggest enemy is yourself.

This is a lesson from a movie that I just recently watched and it’s applicable even in high school or elementary not just in uni.

You may ask why?

Nobody else other than ourselves would hinder us from reaching the best versions of ourselves.

Now that I’m pursuing my post-grad degree, I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Some were regrets back in uni during my undergrad days. Things that I wished I knew and things I wish I didn’t know.


Most of these are the top things I’d like to tell my uni self. Yet, time doesn’t move backwards but forwards. Let this be known that these may not be applicable to all of you. Maybe to some, yes.

Nevertheless, enjoy your university life while it lasts!

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11 Comments

  • Reply ROBERT LEE September 9, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Hi.

    Do not be too hard on yourself. Of course, you intend to share your wisdom to incoming freshmen. As such, it is only natural for you to think of the past and the things you could have done differently.

    But the biggest and untold lesson, I feel, is that wisdom that you gained. Even if there were people to guide you along, the truth is that you are bound to succumb to the rebellious free spirit where you feel you have it figured out. In other words, you may not have listened.

    Having said that, the experiences you had is among the best things you can ever have. Hence, this post.

    Cheers.

  • Reply theresa September 9, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Your post sounded like it really all came from the heart. I agree with some of your points like to choose your friends wisely. I had to join a group even if it’s against my idea because I need to fit in. College can be enjoyable but also stressful. I also hope I had know these when I was still studying.

  • Reply Pia September 9, 2017 at 6:58 am

    I really, really love this post!! 🙂 i wrote something similar – a letter to my 20-year old self. . I especially liked advice #6 – your biggest enemy is yourself. I can totally relate because my self-doubts really hindered me from soaring at that age. Glad you were able to learn these leassons earlyAnd if I may add, don’t worry about not knowing these things in college. You wouldn’t be this wise if you didnt have those experiences then. 🙂 (sidenote: omg. You started college in 2009. That makes me feel so much like a tita! Hahaha)

  • Reply Me-An Clemente September 9, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    OMG! We started college in the same year – 2009. I had been wanting to write something about my college self. Spent five years in college, but I still think I wasn’t able to maximize it. I also think I would have done things in another way if only I didn’t lose to myself. Thus, this movie quote you got really speaks to me. “Nobody else other than ourselves would hinder us from reaching the best versions of ourselves.” Nevertheless, things happen for a reason. I may be successful if I read a letter from a future self but there is certainty that I won’t end up doing blogging with the love of my life. Anyway, thanks for sharing this letter. So much feels.

  • Reply Berlin | Momi Berlin September 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Me too! Got so many learnings. And now im passing the learnings to my boys. but just like their mother when she was in college, she seldom listen to her mother.

  • Reply Grace September 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I can relatw to this. I missed the “university days”. I remembered when I went back to school and shifted course, I was a working student that time, I realized how I have taken things for granted when I was younger, when all that I need to was study. I didnt take advantage of that time and went on my ways. The result? I was unable to finish my studies. I was so stubborn back then and I wish I knew these things before. Great post!

  • Reply Scenes From Nadine September 9, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    These are really great things to say to your college self! Everything is so full of wisdom. I wish I had all these words of wisdom back then. Unfortunately, I was just a reckless and immature girl who did the exact opposite of everything you just listed here. Haha! I really like #3 though (“Experience is one of the best teachers ever”) I had a fun college life, but I can’t say that it was perfect. I definitely had a lot of regrettable experiences back then. But now, looking back, in a way, I’m glad I went through them. They shaped me into who I am now, and I would probably be a different person if I didn’t have those experiences.

  • Reply Clarice September 9, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    What a coincidence since I just finished watching Jody’s movie, Dear Other Self. 😛

    Anyway, thank for this wonderful advice. I am working with some senior high school students in a special training program (one of my personal passion projects) as a community volunteer and I will share this with them.

  • Reply Kris September 9, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I can totally relate with this post! I only have a few friends that I can still consider as a friend 6 yrs after. If I would give an advice to my college self would be not to give too much attention to what others will think. Live your life the right way and leave their opinions out of your head.

  • Reply Aica Batoon September 10, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Few more months and I’m going to graduate, finally! This is my 6th year in college for I was a shifter. I also wish I have told myself these things as early as my first year in college. We may not have the same experiences, but I would just like to say that we experienced the things we did for a reason. 🙂 Some reasons we still may not understand until now, but I’d suggest to just live the lives given to us with no regrets. I’d love to give you a HUG! May God bless you heart! <3

  • Reply Swayam Tiwari September 11, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Maria, For most of us, the University is the best place where we make friends, develop relationships etc. No, in hindsight, I guess, it is our School. But, since I am more than double of your age, let me proffer an advice- friends last till the time you are successful in their eyes. In fact, most of the friendships today come with benefits. Don’t you think so?

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