When I was in high school, I thought the hardest choice I’d make in college was figuring out my major. People only seemed to ask if I had picked one yet.
Although picking a major is a daunting decision to make, there are other important choices that will come later in college.
Choosing a major wasn’t too difficult for me. I figured out what interested me most and what kind of career would best suit my abilities. Once my decision was out of the way, I found the next choice was even more important: choosing what kind of student I’d become over the next four, short years at Ohio State. I had to choose what my legacy would be at Ohio State and how I wanted to live my college life as an undergraduate student.
For me, being a devoted student comes before going to games and other social events.
Every college student is different and each journey isn’t the same. Following your first big decision about what college to attend, the most important and perhaps the hardest choice is choosing your own journey and following it. You can choose to be an average student—coasting by and giving minimal effort. You could choose to put your life into your school work and shoot for the highest possibilities. Or, you could choose balance, figuring out you can have school and a life as well.
College isn’t all fun and games—figuring out how you will find balance and how you will perform as a student is key to your success.
For me, the choice between being an “OK” student and a hard working one came after my first semester at Ohio State. I had just earned a great GPA and I had a ton of fun with my new friends. BUT, I was only taking introductory courses and the next semesters would be much, much more difficult. I had to choose how I would handle the stress from here on out—and what I would make of it.
I found after my freshman year, my fellow peers had to make this choice, too. I heard my friends asking, “I want to get good grades, but I also want to have time for myself, what do I do?”. I heard the occasional, “She studies in her room 7 hours a day and I never see her.” There’s nothing wrong with anyone’s path or chosen way, but what you do end up choosing is vital to your future career.
Do you want to show your future boss you tried to get involved in everything you could? Do it! Choose what kind of legacy you want to leave behind as a student and follow through with it. After this big choice, everything else will fall into place. You will get the opportunities you work for—whether you give 100% maximal effort in school or choose to balance school with a busy life of clubs, sports and extracurricular activities.
Big choices are never easy, but they come with being an adult and having responsibilities. Your character is what you are when no one is watching—and the kind of undergraduate student you are is what you choose to do when no one is there to guide you. My best advice for any student who’s currently making big choices right now is figure out your path and follow it—everything else will fall into place.
What is the hardest choice you’ve had to make in college? Share in the comments below!
Natalie is a neuroscience major on a pre-medical track at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She is a member of Nu Ro Si, a neuroscience honorary and is also a member of the organization Ohio Health Aid. With her degree, she plans to attend medical school at The Ohio State University and eventually become a Neurologist.
Apart from her school extracurricular activities, Natalie enjoys spending her time jogging around campus, meeting new people, and playing sand volleyball with her intramural team. She is also passionate about health and helping others, which is why she wishes to pursue a personal training certification. Apart from helping others in fitness, Natalie also loves helping others achieve their academic goals, which is why she pursued a job as a student ambassador. She is excited to represent the company and to be a part of the Cengage Team!