If you follow me on any social media you know that I graduated from THE University of Texas at Austin this week. My time at UT was filled with many ups and downs. There were times I felt I had everything under control and was the smartest person to ever exist; then there was that time I left the PCL at 4am in tears after studying for 12hrs for both an O Chem and Genetics test I had the next day feeling like I still knew NOTHING, only to be trapped in the parking garage because apparently they close them between 4-6am for some ungodly reason. Thankfully they nice lady on the intercom heard the despair in my voice and let me out. Anyway, I really enjoyed college. While I was here I met some of the best people in the world and learned A LOT about myself. I realized a lot of what I had to learn to survive UT was just review from kindergarten. Here’s what I learned:
NO ONE LIKES MEAN PEOPLE! It’s just the truth. If you are mean and off putting, the chance of people wanting to work with or continue to work with you are slim. I learned this lesson while observing my mentor, Ken. Ken is one of the nicest people I know. He has the rare ability to remember people’s name after meeting them like once, and he always looks happy to see you. People like that sorta stuff; plus it makes you feel good. Being nice helps soooooooo much with networking. The nicer you are, the more people are willing to talk to you, the more they open up, the easier you can connect with them. It really is just that simple. Being nice also helps you avoid drama. Jesus! Don’t let anyone full you into thinking that there isn’t middle to high school level drama at college, there is. Just be nice to everyone and avoid the childish drama.
Listen to the teacher
Teachers, professors, TAs, mentors, most upperclassmen, friends; listen to these people. I would have never made it through UT without my friends and mentors. They helped to guide me and made sure I didn’t make silly mistakes throughout the way. I definitely, learned that easiest way to avoid some issues is to talk to people who’ve been there before you.
Know the class rules
In order for you to change the system, you must first know the system. The problem most people run into when trying to make lasting change is, they don’t take time to figure out why things are in the current state. If you take time to understand why something the way it is, it makes it so much easier to make lasting change. You are able to see all sides and can make sensible changes in the proper manner.
I can’t really be any clearer. Ask questions about any and everything. The primary reason you are in college is to learn, so if you don’t know something, ask. I don’t care how stupid your question is; wait yea, I do. Please remember that Google is a thing and it’s free! Some questions should be googled before asked, but others no. If you are in class no matter the size ask your question. I’ve done it in my 300+ O Chem class and ….it scary as hell, yep it was; but it was worth it. I feel like this going all over the place, so I’m just going to say this: NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS.
Clean up your mess
Throughout college I had many successful days and days that I questioned my intelligence simply because I made a mistake. Those days sucked, a lot! I had to learn to clean up my mess. I found the best way to clean up was to use the SRRM method. Stop. Rethink. Refocus. Move Forward. When you realize that you’ve made a mess, you have to first stop. Stop doing what you are doing. Now! Unless you are trying to clone a gene, S/O to Biobricks FRI, repeating the same steps over and over again will not work! Rethink. Take some time to yourself and just think. Think about the situation you are in, what you’ve tried, why that didn’t work, which parts of the situation can you control, which parts are out of your hands – realize that somethings are just out of your hands and accept that. Then make a new plan. Refocus. This is the hardest things to do. After you’ve just failed a test that you were confident that you aced, how do you get enough courage to keep going? I can’t tell you the amount of times after checking my grade on a test I convinced myself I would never be anything in life. Thankfully, that all changed after I started focusing on vision. My vision is to start a clinic that uses real-time patient data to create general programming and personalized holistic health plans for our patient panel. If you are in college pursing something for your parents it will be so hard to refocus, so please I’m begging you live in your passion and focus on your vision. I know the conversation with you parents is going to be tough. Believe me, I had to talk to two mentors and a counselor before I felt I was kinda ready to tell my parents that I was no longer pre-med. Move Forward. You are your best motivator. Tell yourself that the mess you made is in the past and that you are smart enough to do this. If you dwell of your mess for a long period of time, then all of the previous steps are a waste of time. Move on! It will get better and you will get smarter.
Sleep is extremely important! It is the way our body rejuvenates itself. I’m not going to stay on this long because if I’m being honest, I only got about 5 hours of sleep a night..if it wasn’t during midterms. I usually went to bed around 2am, it felt weird if I went to bed earlier than that, because that meant that I forgot/ chose not to do something. Naps and a healthy sleep pattern are so important, so remember take your naps!
At the end of the day my time at UT taught me a lot about myself and has truly shaped the person I am. I loved UT and I will miss the people I’ve met here. Now it’s time to move on to the next step in my life and I believe that I am prepared.