Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.

From the minute you begin to think about applying to college, you are bombarded with advice. Older siblings, parents, distant aunts, your 10th grade English teacher—literally everyone you know contributes their wisdom about where you should apply and how to do it. Next thing you know, you’re receiving piles of college guides for your birthday, and dozens of emails a day from schools across the country.

Then, you apply. And after months and months of agonizing waiting, you’re accepted. Now a new wave of advice hits you. Don’t take too many courses your first semester, don’t overload yourself with clubs, always wear shower shoes…the list continues. This time the advice comes from older students who have been around the block and know what it’s like.

Without doubt, the advice of those more experienced is invaluable. Learning from other’s mistakes can help make the transition to college life much smoother. But the one thing you have to keep in mind? College is about making your own mistakes.

College is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone. When I reflect back on my college experience so far, the memories that stand out are ones where I took risks. More often than not, these risks led to something exciting and different. I’m not going to lie though, sometimes I fell flat on my face. Although it was hard, I learned how to pick myself up and move on.

So my advice is this: never regret mistakes you make, as long as you learn from them. And trust me, you will make many mistakes in college. Sometimes, there will be big mistakes that will take you a while to recover from. Or there will be little mistakes that you laugh off with your friends. There will be embarrassing moments and all nighters and bad classes and meltdowns. But those are the things that make sure life is never boring. And with each mistake, you learn a little bit more about yourself. Isn’t that what college is for anyway?

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