A letter to my college self 

College. One of the best times in life! You get to be more independent, pick your major, and really find where God is leading you in life. But college isn’t all sunshine and A+’s.

I’ve teamed up with Earnest to write a letter to my college self. What do I have wish I knew? What would I have told myself? What would I have changed?

I want to inspire and encourage all the students in college and those who have started college by telling you some of the things I wish I knew!

Dear freshman Hilary, college is going to be fun but hard. Don’t give up and remember these few things:

1. Apply. Apply. Apply.

If you see a scholarship you MIGHT qualify for apply. Oh this scholarship is only for $100, apply. I’m not sure I’ll be granted any financial aid, apply. Every cent and every dollar counts in college. There is no such thing as a small scholarship in my eyes. I wish I had been even more productive in what I applied for because it would have helped me so much in the end. Applying for aid and scholarships is a long and tiring process…but it’s so worth it.

2. Debt doesn’t define you.

With the economy the way it is and the cost of a college education, you’re LUCKY if you graduate with no debt at all. (Very lucky) Debt is annoying, frustrating, and sadly almost inevitable for many that are taking on the task of getting a college degree. It’s easy to become defined and defeated by that debt. Know this: you’re not the only one. You didn’t fail because you have some debt. That doesn’t mean not to take it seriously, just don’t let it define you. Just be smart and start paying on them the minute you can. Use your money wisely and take advantage of my first point.

3. Think about what books you might want to keep

One of my biggest regrets from college is only renting some of my most vital books. At that moment, the price difference is so extreme you just assume that renting is the best. NOT ALWAYS. If you have a major like mine (Journalism or any writing major) some of those books will be great things to keep in your office or room once you get a job. That way you ca always grab it and refresh your memory on certain things. Because now I am faced with paying a HUGE price just to get those textbooks but I really want to have them in my possession. It will be cheaper in the long run to just buy one that seem like they will have a lot of helpful information that you might want to always keep around.

4. Be prepared to wait for a job

When you get that diploma…you expect to have a job within weeks. You can’t wait for the fancy office and the income. But with the economy how it is…it might take a while. It doesn’t reflect on your talents or experience so don’t take it personally. College doesn’t seem to prepare you for when the job doesn’t come fast. They teach you HOW to do your job…but they don’t prepare you for if that job doesn’t come. Be patient. Apply for every job that semi has to do with your degree and don’t sell yourself short.

What would you tell your college self? Are there tips or tricks you wish you had known while you were working for that degree? Let me know down below!

And make sure you check out Earnest if you have questions about loan refinance or need to do that!

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  • Reply llindaxxo

    Great tips! I definitely would have advised my younger college self to do things differently.

    January 23, 2017 at 4:59 am
  • Reply hannaheunicedesign

    Oh man, it’s been rough for me. I have a LOT of debt because I was in a university for 5 years after being in a community college for 3 years. But I had to take a semester off, I had health issues, and my dad passed away from cancer. I graduated with a graphic design degree 2 years ago and I’m still having trouble finding a job. I had a couple of internships here and there. Sometimes I wish I didn’t major in graphic design because it’s super competitive and I felt so inadequate compared to my classmates, but I’ve been designing more (mostly for my wedding) and I’ve been pleased with the results. Thank you so much for posting this.


    January 24, 2017 at 6:04 am
    • Reply writingsandworship

      I’m so glad you commented!
      First off, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard that is.
      Secondly, I graduated in august on 2015 and still haven’t found a job so you aren’t alone. I’m a journalism major looking for a PR or social media job and it’s competitive as well!
      I’ve got a big amount of debt too and it’s hard.
      We just have to remember it isn’t our fault! And the lack of job isn’t a reflection on our skills.

      January 25, 2017 at 4:11 am

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