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Lola Adewuya

How to Overcome Pre-College Anxiety

Nervousness and fear before your first year is common and a very normal occurrence. Unfortunately, there are about 3 months between high school graduation and stepping foot on campus in which all of the fears you never even knew existed get to fully sink in and keep you up at night. These months can be like those treacherous moments right before your first day of high school but stretched out over ~80 days. It’s quite annoying and sometimes a daily struggle to overcome these fears. While I still get a little nervous, the following reminders have helped me lessen the severity of pre-college anxiety.

How to Overcome Pre-College Anxiety

Common Sources of Pre-College Anxiety & Their Solutions

Making Friends

A lot of people worry about finding their “fit” in college. It might be the first time ever that your classmates aren’t the same people you went to kindergarten with. Making new friends out of complete strangers may be a skill you haven’t sharpened in some time. Or maybe you’re like me–switched schools quite a bit and didn’t quite master the skill of long-lasting friendships. Whatever the case, it’s nothing to worry about. While it’s true that college is a different environment than high school, great relationships are more easily established here for two reasons.

  1. Everyone is equal- The second you step on campus as freshmen, you’re all in the same boat. Everyone’s new, everyone’s nervous, and everyone wants friends. Once you understand that your classmates are just like you, reaching out to them should come easily. You also have the ability to start over. Don’t let whatever held you back from making the most of your relationships accompany you to college. Nobody knows your past or your fears, so don’t bring them!
  2. There are more opportunities– You might have had a few clubs or activities in which you could get to know people in high school. In college, there are tons of opportunities to meet new people. From classes to clubs to greek life and everything in between, there is no doubt you’ll find your tribe somewhere on campus. Push yourself to try new things. Explore places you might not have thought of before. The greatest experiences and friendships come from trying something new.

Overcome Your Fear: 

This fear usually comes as college draws closer and closer. Reminding yourself of some of your best traits is a great way to build up some confidence! Write down 5 things that you think makes you a good friend and 2 things you’d like to work on in college. Knowing your abilities and having a goal to accomplish gives you a future you can look forward to instead of fear.

Gentle Reminder: You don’t need to rush friendships because you fear being alone. Friends will absolutely come, but you should get used to the idea that you can have fun by yourself too. Check out my post on embracing alone time and how it can actually improve your relationships!

Deciding a Major

I totally get it! People around you have been making decisions for you your whole life and, suddenly, you’re the one who has to take the wheel and choose the direction of your future. It can be a lot of pressure trying to figure out a major, especially if you’re someone who has a lot of interests. The truth is, you don’t have to have it all figured out the minute you get to campus. To throw some statistics out, around 80% of college students change their major at least once. Colleges design their curriculums to handle these kinds of changes.

Overcome Your Fear:

Start thinking more about what your passions and interests are during the summer. Following these will lead you to the right subjects. Research the majors that are offered in your school and get a feel for what you might be interested in. The most important thing is to keep an open mind and try new things. You never know what class or professor will spark a new fire in you, and what direction it might take you!

Making Good Grades

You’ve probably heard the lecture from everyone and their mother that high school classes are nowhere near the level of difficulty that college is. Even AP or IB classes pale in comparison to the “vigor” that will be employed in your Math 1 class. While there is some truth to this, it’s nothing you should fear. College is supposed to be challenging. It’s the next level of your education. You aren’t paying an unspeakable amount of money to take 4 more years of high school! Your college also won’t just toss you to the lions. They understand the difficult transition and provide so many resources to ensure success.

Overcome Your Fear:

Remind yourself that it’s nearly impossible to fail if you just take advantage of the resources on campus. Your professors, teaching assistants, tutors, libraries, and 24 hour cafés (for those all-nighters) all want to see you do well. Don’t be afraid to get help, thats what these places and people are here for. Before you step foot on campus, make it a goal for academics to be a priority. You may need to go beyond what’s right in front of you and change up your studying habits if necessary.

Getting Along With Roommates

It’s certainly difficult adjusting to a life with a roommate. It can be nerve-wracking during the summer not knowing how things will turn out with your roomie. You’ve probably read all of the roommate horror stories and are sure your roommate will kill your goldfish while you’re out or something. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get the perfect roommate, there are a few ways to encourage a functional and good relationship. 

Overcome Your Fear:

The best way to squash this fear is to face it! If you know who your roommate is, contact them before school starts and get to know them. You may find out they’re completely normal and that you guys could even become friends. If contacting isn’t an option, start thinking of ways you can become comfortable with your roommate once you get to campus. Planning does a lot to cure a fear of the unknown.


I hope these reminders provide some relief this summer! You’re not alone in this and you should never have to deal with pre-college anxiety alone. If you have any other worries, comment below and talk to me about them. I’ll be sure to help.

 

July 2, 2016
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Friends Can Be Your Biggest Assets

It’s easy to underestimate the influence that your friends can have on you. We sometimes forget that our friendships can serve as another rung in the ladder towards achieving our dreams. In a generation of entrepreneurs, hustlers, and professional risk-takers, we should start considering the people we keep close to us as assets to our business and life goals. How Friends Can Be Your Biggest Assets

If you take a good look at who you keep in your circle, what is their general makeup? I recommend having some friends who are as ambitious and inspired as you. Having friends that you can be constantly discussing, dreaming, and bouncing off ideas with will carry you much farther towards self-improvement than you know.
For example, I have a group of friends who all bring some level of excellence to the table. We’re big on academia, some of us are great creative thinkers, others are political buffs, and all of us are social justice participants. Together, we have deeply profound discussions about topics like current events and politics, philosophical and psychological questions, and our next big ideas and goals. Despite the occasional debates that turn into arguments, I always leave feeling more inspired, more educated, and a more enlightened person. I don’t think I would’ve gotten the idea to restart my blog without seeing a new creative spark in my friend at the discovery of writing poetry.
Having people around you who perform on the same wavelength as you, who want to reach the same level of success as you and who will encourage you to do the same are powerful.

A relationship like this takes a good amount of intellectual confidence on your part to get the most out of it. Your friends might excel in areas where you have room for improvement.  If you want to benefit from a friendship like How Friends Can Be Your Biggest Assetthat there is no space to be insecure about yourself. Their expertise and ambition in their skill set should inspire you to reach that same level in your own endeavors. And you will motivate them as well! That is how these friendships will push you towards greatness.

Similarly, I wouldn’t rely too much on friends who lack your same spirit and ambition. It’s easy to be dragged down by these types, and it will be a little bit harder to work for your goals if nobody else around you is doing the same. They might be great for emotional support, comic relief, and all of the great things that come with friendships, but it’s important to keep in mind that they are not on the same path as you.

When meeting new friends or evaluating the ones you currently have, always consider who will help you become a person you can fall in love with. It comes down to having a healthy balance of friends who just make you feel better and friends who actually make you better.

-Lots of Love, Lola

 

June 28, 2016
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5 Ways to Prepare for Freshman Year

5 Ways to Prepare For Your Freshman Year | macaronsinthemorning.com

Ahh…it’s the summer after you’ve graduated high school. It’s time to sit back, relax, and never get out of bed again until August, right? WRONG. It’s good to rest and have fun, but it’s also important that you don’t waste your summer. There are plenty of things you could and should be doing to prepare yourself for your freshman year.

EARN MONEY

First things first, there’s never a reason not to apply for scholarships. Whether you’re paying for college yourself or your parents are, why not get free money to help relieve some of the financial burden? Try applying for a scholarship once a week and see what you can get! Weekly college expenses can add up too so it’s good to have some extra spending money. Try to find a part-time summer job to save up a little.

STOCK UP

Do a little research and get some dorm inspiration online then slowly start accumulating your dorm decor. I’ve found it way easier on the bank to pick up things here and there than to get everything at once. You won’t find everything you need in one store anyway! Don’t wait until the last minute to do this either, stores start their dorm sales as soon as high school graduations are gearing up, don’t miss out on them!
Related Post: Top 5 Places to Buy Your Dorm Decor

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Have you picked a major? Still undecided? Do a little snooping around your college website and dig into the stuff you’re interested in. I’ve picked Cognitive Science as my major and every now and then I go on its homepage and see what research is going on there and which professors have the closest relationships with my major. On there is also an alumni page that shows where graduates have gone on with this major. It helps me have a better idea of what I could be doing after I graduate and who will be teaching me while I’m in school. It’s also great to plan out your courses ahead of time so you have a solid plan when it’s time to schedule them. You can never be too prepared!

IMPROVE YOURSELF

How can you improve yourself this summer so that you go into college feeling more confident and ready to tackle the year? Things like journaling, working out, reading good books, doing yoga, or listening to podcasts are all little things you can do that will better your quality of life and your mindset. Starting your freshman year on the right foot is all about the kind of person you are going in. This is your future, take charge of it.

GET A HEAD START

If your college has some sort of system like a Facebook group page where you can connect with others, don’t hesitate to do so! These are your future classmates and it’s quite fun to get to know some of these people during the summer. Doing this will allow you to not only get a feel of your class vibe, but you’ll encounter familiar faces as soon as you get to campus. Be careful of what you say in these public groups, though. You can come off as overeager if you post too frequently or obnoxiously. Offensive statements will also never fly. Getting acceptances rescinded because someone got a little too bold is certainly not unheard of.

STAY ON TOP OF THINGS

You’ve probably gotten a myriad of forms to fill out online and papers to mail up to your college. Stay on top of those due dates! In addition, make sure you’ve gotten your last health check up and that your shots are up to date. Don’t be the kid on the Facebook group saying things like “oh..that was due?”

You’ve got your work cut out for you. However, none of these things take forever to do. I still encourage you to have as much fun and as much sleep as possible this summer while you still can! You’re in that transition period where you still have one foot in your old life and the other in college. Make memories with your high school friends, have crazy fun experiences, and go on adventures in your town while preparing yourself for these next 4 years and getting pumped for them!

June 25, 2016
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Top 5 Places to Buy Your Dorm Decor

“Would string lights be a good accent for my dorm, or would they clash with my succulents? Should I spend a month’s paycheck on a PBteen duvet or find a bargain on one that will tear after one late night romp in bed? What the hell even is a duvet? Forget it, I have a date with a new season of Orange is the New Black.”

-Diary of a Mad College Freshman

top 5 places to buy dorm decorWe’ve all been there. Some of you are even there right now. One of the most exciting parts about college (aside from getting an A+ education, of course) is finally getting that first ounce of freedom by being able to decorate your dorm room exactly how you want it. The power to go with an all white, minimalistic chic space or a cozy abode with fairy lights and fluffy throws is all in your hands. With so many possibilities, it can be difficult getting started and finding good, affordable places to shop.

Decorating your dorm can quickly become an expensive and complicated venture without proper planning and knowing the right stores. I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 stores that make shopping for the perfect dorm decor a breeze.

DORMIFY

Dormify takes the cake when it comes to getting inspiration for your dorm and shopping affordable decor. Their store comes with a free design plan that allows you to take a quiz and shows you really cute rooms that they think would best fit your style. You can then shop the products shown in the rooms. I easily identified a color scheme and theme for my room from the quiz. Even though I didn’t buy all of my decor from there, it helped me narrow down my search by far. My favorite products on there would be their decorative pillows (which come already stuffed) and their tapestries.

MODCLOTH

If you’re into the more mature, authentic living, New York apartment meets nature vibe, this is the store to shop. They have really unique decor that will transform your dorm from heavily used closet to Instagram-worthy hangout spot. Their duvets and quilts are on the cheaper side compared to their counterparts such as Urban Outfitters and Free People so I would definitely splurge on one here and it will last all 4 years.

Society6

Society6 is the place to find unique art that will make your dorm your own. It’s a space for artists to submit their artwork, and Society6 turns them into tapestries, prints, and even throw pillows at pretty nice prices. Support creatives and fill your room with art that really expresses your individuality.

ETSY

Etsy has hundreds of great stores in their fold, and they’re often buried beneath the more mainstream mega-stores like Target. There are so many cute handmade and vintage items that you can purchase from Etsy vendors who make their products with love. A lot of the time you can get things personalized too! Take a look through there and you’ll find a lot of what you need without feeling like your money is disappearing.

IKEA

Ikea is your one stop shop for buying all your dorm basics. Things like duvet and pillow inserts, storage, and hangers will all be here for extremely affordable prices. Not much needs to be said about this place, it’s a must on your shopping list.


 

There are still way more stores to shop at that you should definitely stop by like Target and PBteen, but you should be able to get most of your decor shopping done with these 5 stores. The best strategy is to spread out your shopping among different stores and watch out for sales to get the most unique and affordable look! Speaking of looks, what is your dorm theme going to be this upcoming year? Tell me in the comments below!

 

 

 

June 19, 2016
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What They Don’t Tell You to Bring to College

What They Don't Tell You to Bring to College

It’s a week after my high school graduation. The house that once reverberated with the sounds of flowing champagne and high spirits has trickled to an eerie quiet. Everything is finally over. There is no more being swept under the ocean of college applications, superfluous tests, and fears of social ineptitude.

I am left alone with my thoughts, just mine. And, what do I find there? A mess. I’m not exactly sure where the influences of the people who once surrounded me end and where I begin.

I think to myself, I can’t go to college like this.

College is a new frontier, a representation of a bright and shiny future. I don’t want to enter this future being the same person I was in the past.

There is one thing that does not appear anywhere on a dorm checklist. You won’t find it between the mountains of forms one has to fill out before even stepping on campus either. However, it is something that is absolutely necessary to bring– a sense of self.

Much of our generation has missed the opportunity to develop a sense of self early on.

High school was about trying to look picture perfect. We hustled to make the right grades, ran to this club meeting or that extracurricular, and joined the right volunteer programs. Most of us had one thing in our vision, getting into our dream college with the perfect resume. In the process, we forgot how to be more than walking bulletin boards of our achievements and honors.

Now, I’m not trying to talk down on this sort of strategy. For many of us, all of the sacrifice and extra work yields miraculous results in the form of an acceptance letter. Additionally, academia is one of the things that actually do make us happy.

Still, a little more diligence is required in piecing together who we are in order to make the most out of the next 4 years in college.

If you’re anywhere near college age, you’ve probably heard the saying “what you put into college is what you get out of it.” This statement applies to more than going to classes and capitalizing on internship opportunities.

The direction of your success and development as a person is dependent on who you put forward those 4 years.

If you want to get the best out of your college experience, you need to go with your best and most authentic self brought forward. By doing this, you’re giving yourself the perfect opportunity to grow and be successful in your own skin. college preparation

Having an idea of the kind of person you are and who you want to be before stepping foot on campus can protect you from being easily persuaded and making ill-advised decisions.

In college, you are free to choose what you are passionate about and what ideologies you subscribe to. What you value is yours to value alone. That’s a lot of pressure for someone who just grew out of being told what to do everyday of their life.

If you don’t develop a strong sense of yourself, your life can end up feeling extremely shaky when strong influences come into play. And there is a lot of that in college.

You’ll make more discoveries about yourself throughout college. But, the most important things you’ll learn will be built on the foundation you have laid for yourself beforehand.
Want to know what kind of discoveries you’re in for? I’ve made a list of bloggers’ posts that share what they learned in their first year of college. Scroll to the bottom to find it!

Once you understand yourself, you’ll know how to take opportunities that fit you best. You’ll have friends who better suit your personality. You’ll capitalize on your own strengths, and be able to acknowledge your weaknesses.

How can you figure out yourself?

Take this summer to really do some soul-searching. No, you don’t have to spend hours meditating (although meditation is a great way to center yourself).

  1. Solitude: If that word made you go “ugh!” inside, boy do I have a post for you! I wrote all about the benefits of choosing to be alone, and how it can actually help you figure out who you are. You can read it here. To summarize, spending some quality time without external influences can cause your true self to emerge and it often results in a more confident and self-aware you.
  2. Make Goals: Part of knowing who you are is establishing where you want to go. Write down substantial goals that will lead you towards self-improvement. For one, once you’ve accomplished the goal, you’ll know the new and improved you. Second, you’ll know your abilities. This results in a stronger understanding of yourself. Make sure you’re writing these goals down too. You are 42% more likely to complete a goal if you write it down.
  3. Document: Sometimes it just takes journaling and allowing your opinions and thoughts to form concretely. Write about what you like and dislike, who your friends are, etc. It’s even more important to look back on what you’ve written in the past to connect the dots. You’ll start to get a better sense of your personality and ideals by doing this.

There isn’t a surefire, step-by-step way to finding yourself. As long as you’re taking the time to be aware of your actions and thoughts and truly process the why behind them, you’ll know yourself more and more.

Freshman Year Experiences

Endless May: “The Most Important Lessons Learned Freshman Year”

Mostly Morgan: “44 Things I learned My Freshman Year of College”

Love Megan June: “50 Things I Learned My Freshman Year of College”

The Classic Brunette “Tips and Advice for College Freshmen”

As Told by Sunny “5 Things You Should Know How to Do Before College”

Society Being: “What I Learned My First Year at Community College

 

What has been your experience going into college? Tell me about it in the comments!

June 16, 2016
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