I'm not saying I have college all figured out. Every day I learn more about myself and find new ways to navigate through different mindsets and compromising situations, but I definitely have a clearer head on my shoulders. I wave off small stresses, I guide myself through my not-so-positive train of thought, and I refuse to let myself be my own worst enemy. Spending three years at my fine institution, I've come to realize through experience that I'm the person who's responsible for my actions, I'm the one who's in charge of my own mindset. 

With all of those disclaimers, I guess I can start with my own little school survival guide. Just call me Ned Bigby...


No one in your life should make you feel less about the work you're doing or the interests you have. The people you surround yourself with should influence your life, brighten your day with the conversations they have and the traits they exhibit. A quote that's always stuck with me is, "If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room"

No one person can encapsulate every thing; the reason people come in and out of your life is because you need a little more of some thing at some times. Let the people you run into along your way impact your life because no experience is useless. You'll learn, you'll grow, and you'll make it through with a solid support system of friends that'll always add some zest into your life.


Be straight forward, be transparent, be real. I've taken some laps around the online dating world, and as trying as those times were, I can honestly say that I learned so much about what I wanted from a relationship. Sure, some guys might think I come off "strong" because I start the conversation as myself, but ultimately, if they like me, that's what they're getting. I hate small talk, I want to get your opinions about the stars, the universe, and life in general, and how am I supposed to find someone that feels the same way if I don't present that side of me?

Make the first move, there's no correct way to go about dating someone, but putting yourself out there will attract so many more people than you'd even think. Recently I've come to terms with the fact that you can't make someone like you. You can work SUPER hard to find a relationship and sometimes it just won't happen, but there's a time for us all

Group Projects

Oh, the dreaded group project. Studying CS, I have partaken in my fair share of group projects, and luckily, my groups were pretty great. Everyone did their fair share of the work, but I know that that's definitely not the case in most groups. The only real advice I can give that would help is to not let yourself depend too heavily on anyone else.  

It's incredibly frustrating to be the person that's carrying the team, and it's also incredibly disrespectful to be the person that's the "group slacker". Do what's asked of you, and if you're struggling/falling behind, communicate with your teammates. They'll understand and appreciate your transparency. 

Group projects are just as important as any other assignment – get your work done for the sake of you and your group. And don't be afraid of a little confrontation. 

Studying for Exams

I know it's easier said than done, but there really is no point in stressing yourself out. The work will get done, the exam will get studied for, the problem set will get solved, and you will be okay. 

desk, library, student, College, stickers, studying, Book, Bowl, computer, snacks, crackers, glasses
Megan Japczyk

No same process will work for everyone. People understand material in different ways, whether it be because you're an auditory or visual learner, or because you're an analytical thinker or memorization machine. You'll come to realize the most efficient way to study that works best for you, but always remember, study smarter, not longer. Use the materials available to you, professors will hardly ever go against the grain, and just do your best. Not every class will be your shining moment, but you owe it to yourself to try. 

Work-Life Balance

Now THIS is a tricky subject. Attaining a life you're happy with takes time, and some days it'll be harder than others to stay in while your friends are going out, but always remember, there are many more nights to go out. Ultimately trust your intuition – some weeks, your schedule will allow you to have fun with your friends, while other weeks, your workload will have you stuck on your couch with your head in a book. 

Fun comes in many different sizes. It doesn't have to mean drinking until 3am at the bar with your friends, rather fun could just be a simple night in watching movies and talking about life. Find what you enjoy, and find people who are on the same page.

beer, coffee, wine
Nicole Korolevich

Spend time with your people, it'll keep you sane. And take care of yourself. You won't be able to get any work done if you aren't okay enough to do it. Give yourself time to breath, it doesn't make you weak – it makes you human. 

Applying for Internships

Funny how finding a job can feel like a job in itself. Last summer, I jumped on the opportunity to intern at L'Oreal USA, and it was truly the best summer of my life. I would highly recommend the intern experience to every student, no matter what you're studying – not only because it'll look good on the resume (but isn't that a plus), but also because you'll learn so much about yourself and how the world around you works. 

When applying to internships, send your resume EVERYWHERE. Don't find yourself hung up on the particular qualifications the company asks for – you never know if you have what they're looking for. Write a killer cover letter that communicates your passions and what you can bring to the job you're applying to. 

Diana Milton

Companies see interns as investments in their future, so make them see you. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to talk about the skills and experiences you bring to the table. Be proud of the work you've done, and welcome opportunities with an open-mind!

Everyone's college experience is completely different,

but you really only have a time like this once in your life. You'll probably never find yourself living in a 5-minute radius from all of your best friends. You'll probably never be strictly with people from your age group again. Make this time count, and allow yourself to make mistakes. Fall in love with the wrong person, get the offer from your dream company, explore new places, create crazy memories the night before a big exam, and just let yourself learn a lot.