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Personal Column: Experience everything you can in college

Maleyia VaughnAs I finish up my last year of college, I’m starting to think more about my future and less about my past, but I still can’t help but think about all of the things I wish I would’ve done more of.

For example, I didn’t join a sorority until my junior year because I didn’t think I was the “sorority girl” type. Although I joined, quickly fell in love with it, and became the vice president of public relations and marketing, I still feel like I missed out.

Whether you’re in school or just working, my advice is to take every opportunity you can. Everyone is busy and there’s never going to be a good time to take that dance class you’ve been wanting to try, go to a football game, or take a day off to visit the Oklahoma City Zoo, Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Boathouse District, or just a new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. So just do it.

My point is definitely not to slack off and not do your homework or get your work done, but it is much better to end up feeling like you’re doing too much than to feel like you should’ve done more.

If you feel like you’re missing out on life and all you do is wake up, go to work or school plus all the extra stuff before and after, then go back home to sleep, then you probably are. We’ve been so tricked into the mindset that we have to work to live, but we don’t think about that we’re wasting our lives at work.

Here’s just a few tips that may help if you feel like you’re missing out:

Wake up earlier, even if it’s just an extra 30 minutes, you can take that longer shower, go for a run, or just take a little extra time drinking your coffee in the morning. If you can do it in silence, science shows you’ll feel more relaxed all day. If you’re like me and like to listen to music or watch TV in the mornings, then just do it. Don’t worry about what science tells you is best for you for that short amount of time and just enjoy yourself. Waking up earlier actually makes your day longer, but in the best way possible. And if you decide you need that second cup of coffee to do so, do it and don’t feel ashamed.

Plan, buy yourself a nice planner or calendar and write everything down you absolutely have to do. From there, see what days you have available and plan out a road trip or just write down “me time.” It seems silly to plan out your fun times or the times for yourself, but it really helps. If someone wants you to do something on the weekend your “me time” is scheduled, oh well. You already have plans. And I think as we all get older, we start to realize plans with ourselves are definitely a thing.

That brings me to my next point, Make “me time.” If your schedule is anything like mine then on that last point you probably thought I was crazy talking about “what days you have available,” but just make some time. Even if it’s an hour long bath on Saturday nights instead of going out, or a few hours throughout the week. Find time for yourself anywhere you can. Without that “me time,” you can’t actually take care of yourself and your own sanity, so just do it. You’ll feel better and be able to take care of everything else you have to do more efficiently while feeling good enough to do the fun things too.

And finally, just take care of yourself physically. Try to drink a gallon of water a day, eat healthy, go for a walk or workout for at least 30 minutes, get at least six hours of sleep at night, and take time to relax. Working out can be included in your “me time” if it’s what you enjoy doing, but if you hate working out, do it on top of your “me time” so you don’t feel more miserable about your schedule. I know for some the rest of my suggestions seem kind of crazy, but it’s all worth it, trust me. As I previously mentioned, the more you take care of yourself, the better ability you have to take care of other people or things. But also don’t be afraid to treat yourself every so often. Eat that extra slice of pizza, get an ice cream cone at lunch, or get the chocolate cake for dessert because after all, life is too short to be left feeling like you missed out on anything.

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