As my senior year starts to wind down (seriously, only three weeks left!), I’ve really started to think about my time here at Rice and what I would’ve liked senior Serena to say to bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman Serena. The list isn’t that long – thankfully, I think freshman Serena did her best with the resources she had – but I nonetheless want to share with you some thoughts I had to make the college experience even better! I say all this in reference to Rice, but of course, this could apply to you no matter where your journey takes you!
1) There might be some pressures on you to get a certain major, grades, or internships once you get to college, and you might feel pushed in a lot of conflicting directions. Whether that pressure is from friends, family, or self-induced, it can make your life so much harder when you’re trying to decide what you want to major in or do with your time at college if you’re trying to please others. It’s not easy, but try to ignore the voices. Follow your passion! As cheesy as it sounds, following your heart will lead you to where you need to be!
2) Everyone here is incredibly intelligent, well-rounded, and talented, which might be a little hard to cope with in the beginning. Be careful not to compare yourself to others. We all come here with our own stories and personal challenges, and you learn and work at your own pace. At the end of the day, you get to say what “success” means to you. Don’t forget that you’re a fantastic student and person that is deserving of every accomplishment!
3) Explore! Spend time dipping your toes, trying new things, and really making an effort to shape your time at college with things you care about! There are so many opportunities, but avoid overloading yourself. Narrow down your interests and really devote yourself to them. Delving into one or two things and giving it your all will reward you a lot more than small involvement in a lot of things.
I hope these pieces of advice help you going forward. Above all, do as President Teddy Roosevelt once said, and “do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”