Four Things I've Learned in Four Years


fourth year paria fakhrai

photo by emily haniey

photo by emily haniey

As if you couldn’t get enough of the endless cliché list articles and the “what kind of cheese are you?” quizzes adorned all over your Facebook feed, I’m about to slap yet another BuzzFeed-style article down for your reading pleasure. In lieu of my final article written for this wonderful organization—the one that has let me be a part of making Mondays on campus a little bit brighter for the last three years—here’s a list of the four biggest lessons I’ve learned in the last four years:

1. BE A YES MAN: Yep. Just say yes. Seriously. Join organizations you’re afraid to join, start a conversation with someone you may not have normally befriended in high school, go to every event you see posted on the flyer boards of the dorms. Who you thought you were in high school probably isn’t who you are going to be at the end of your four (or more, no shame!) years. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone—new experiences, friends, and places will change you for the better. Embrace that change. Welcome it with open arms.

2. Take care of yourself: It’s so easy to get lost in the abyss of assignments and projects and to-do lists and find yourself drowning away in your stress and anxiety. College is hard. It’s certainty harder than high school, especially when you start getting into those upper-level courses. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Easier said than done, but man, do I wish I would’ve learned sooner rather than later of the magical, therapeutic qualities of a hot bath. I thought all the hype was just for bath-bomb-aesthetic instas but trust me—the hype is real. Whatever it is for you, learn to step away and take a break when your body is telling you that you need one. Your mental health will thank you.

3. To-do lists are incredible: Classes, organizations, employer info sessions, internship interviews, working, working out, sleeping (?????). Life gets busy. No one knows this better than a third year. Remember when we thought junior year of high school was hard? (let’s all collectively lol at our 17-year-old selves). To-do lists quickly became my best friend by my third year, and they have never me down. When you have 23491234 things to do, it helps to write it out. It also is super satisfying to check them off the list. Make that list. You got this.

4.Stop to smell the roses: As quickly as this experience comes, it’ll go. The next chapter is going to be a ride I am so excited for, but in my final months here, I’m remembering to stop and smell the roses. Cheesy, I know, but when I think about all the times of me and my friends laughing over Tlaloc margs (the best Mexican in Athens, thank me later) or collectively cry during hell week in a study room, I remember to take it all in because I know I’m going to miss these moments. Nothing can replace the people I’ve met or the memories I’ve made, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Monday