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This Wednesday, I'm flying back to Chicago and concluding my 5th term at Dartmouth. Woah. I can't believe how much time has passed since I started my journey here, and the speed at which it has happened motivates me to make the most out of my remaining ~2.5 years here. In this blog post, I want to share some of the most important lessons I've learned after being in college for a little more than a year.

1. Slow down

Most Dartmouth students are hyper achievers. Whether through sports, academics, or extracurricular activities (all 3), its incredible how dedicated the student body is to investing in themselves. I came into college stressed about how I would best take advantage of the resources available to me - so much so that I wasn't always living in the moment. Indeed, the most important lesson that I've learned here is that I should take time to slow down and enjoy life. If you constantly stress about the future, you'll be wasting your opportunity to bask in the present. In high school, I told myself that once I got into college I could finally relax and have fun; in college, I found myself saying the same thing about grad school or different grant programs. There will never be an end to the next rung of the ladder in life, so it's critical to take advantage of the present; in beautiful Hanover (usually), moments spent admiring my surroundings are even more precious

2. Listen to yourself

In high school it's easy to get caught up in what everyone is doing; after all, you were taking the same classes with the same schedule in the same building with all of your peers. In college, this is flipped on it's head; with everyone having varying schedules from term to term, your best friend has to become yourself. At first, it was difficult for me to adjust to an environment that was totally divorced from my high school. However, I feel that being forced to pave my own path has helped me explore my sense of self. College is definitely a great time to come into your own!

3. Professors!

Professors are one of the most valuable parts of college. I've had the great opportunity to get closer to some professors this year. In my view, it's critical to have an older mentor who you can approach with any confusions, problems, or goals – most professors love to get to know their students, so this is a great way to both learn from fascinating people and make new friends!

There are so many more things I've learned at Dartmouth; while college isn't always as it is glamorized to be in Hollywood, it is an incredibly valuable and transformative experience. I can't wait to see what the future holds, and keep reading if you are too. 

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