Monday, June 3, 2013

What I Learned in College: I'm Not a College Girl

This week is a very exciting one for me, folks! On Sunday I walk with my class in Seattle across that graduation stage and officially graduate from college with a bachelors of arts degree in interior design. YIPEE!!! The only anticlimactic thing about it is, on Monday I turn right around to fly back to Los Angeles and finish up my finals at FIDM.  {To catch you up, my degree is coming from Seattle Pacific University, but I'm doing a one year direct transfer program with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA.}

Instead of doing the traditional guest post series while I'm away and finishing finals, I'm taking the next two weeks to get real here on my blog. Hopefully it's okay with you if I take a few days to share all the glorious things I've learned in college. Today is day one. Ready?!


Things I Learned in College: I'm Not a College Girl

When I was younger, I would dream about the day I moved to college, decorated my very own dorm room, made lots of close girlfriends, found my husband and got that shiny degree. Guess what?! It didn't really go like that for me. Most people I know have told me that college was the best four years of their lives and if they could go back to relive any single moment or set of years, it would be the collegiate years.  Friends, can I be honest? I'm not that girl. 

I moved from California to the rainy state of Washington for school, and that took some adjusting. My roommate freshman year of college had a serious health scare (more on that tomorrow.) I missed my mom. I missed the sun. It was hard to adjust to being around people 24/7 in the dorms. Prior to my freshman year, I thought I was an extrovert, but now I know I am most definitely an introvert. While I LOVE being around people to socialize, grab dinner, see a movie, do some homework in a cute coffee shop, I really need to be alone to recharge my batteries.  Girls running around on my floor at all hours of the night was so not my thing! {Hopefully there's a few of you out there who can relate!}



It wasn't until the end of my sophomore year when I finally made a breakthrough:
- Take Vitamin D every single day.
- Drink copious amounts of tea.
- It was okay that I only had a few close friends from school.  I started to really invest in these relationships.
- Get out of my dorm/apartment and go do my homework in a quiet coffee or tea shop.
- Exercise regularly. For me, this was doing hot yoga twice a week.
- Make friends and connections outside of school. This is when I started my blog and began meeting lovely ladies in the blogosphere. I also found an amazing church.
- Find a few places I love going and go often. I happened into a boutique one day, and realized I clicked with the owner. After a few chats, I was working for her by writing the boutique's blog each week. This meant I was able to go into my favorite shop once a week, catch up with the owner and dish on life with her. I also got a discount and was fortunate to buy some cute clothes there on a college gal's budget :) That always helped.
- I realized, through God's grace, that I was being selfish and I needed to live for others and not focus on myself so.darn.much.

And guess what? After that breakthrough I, too, started to enjoy my time at my university and for that, I'm so grateful.  I made a few precious friends that I would never have met if it wasn't for going to school together. Thank you, God!

What was your experience? Did you love it, hate it, or did you fall somewhere in between?!
Happy Monday!
xoxo
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39 comments:

  1. Love the honesty of this post Michaela! I enjoyed dorm life first year, but I had a single room. After that I commuted forty five minutes to school every day and it was harder to really get the full experience. Now, my new school is so tiny it doesn't feel like 'college' in the traditional sense at all. I will remember my college years fondly but I am ready to get to real life!

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  2. Love this! I completely agree. Other than finding my husband, college wasn't really my thing. If I was going to be working that hard at something, I wanted to be getting paid for it. So, three years later I was graduated and have never regretted that decision to finish early. So happy for you and your new journey! God has big plans for you!

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  3. i attended college in washington and still live here! :) it was also weird to adjust to the constant grey weather and rain!
    kw ladies in navy

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  4. College was not my cup of tea either (pun intended). It wasn't until after I graduated that all of the fun started :)

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  5. I was like you. I didnt even do the traditional undergrad course. I didnt live in dorms until graduate school, and it was for only for like a semester and they were post grad dorms so i had my own room and bathroom. I went to school in the evenings during undergrad because i worked full time during the day AND did a fast track course so i could be done in three years instead of four. I have always done schooling a little differently than everyone else. I enjoyed doing independent coursework, and just working mainly on my own. I only have a couple good friends from my undergrad and masters. We are lot alike i think ;)

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  6. I liked college. I hate high school though. I loved living away from home, I hated being home... Don't get me wrong, I missed my parents at times, but I was always independent. Once I graduated I moved far away from everyone and everything. I just wanted a different life I guess. ;)

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  7. So proud of you for being introspective and honest. And good for you for figuring out what worked for you. Congratulations on this special time. Graduation is a major milestone. And look at all you accomplished towards your career while juggling college as well. Amazing.

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  8. I had such a hard time my freshman year of college, too. Everyone was spoiled and already had groups of friends from high school and I felt alone. I dealt with serious depression and anxiety for a while, so the transition didn't help. But I kept at it, and eventually things got better, just like you said!

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  9. College was so hard for me!! I am the youngest of 5, I have 4 much older brothers, they were teenagers when I was born so I was pretty much like an only child. I missed my parents so much and I was not used to living with other people especially girls! There was so much drama and just plain meanness, I was ready to live on a guys floor......lol! I think it was good for me and part of God's plan for my life, but they were not the best days of my life. Sitting here right now in my old farmhouse that we are working on and being married to the sweet man God picked out for me, now those are some good days! :)The Best is yet to come for you, I'm sure of it!! :)

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  10. Happy graduation week to you pretty girl! My sister just graduated from Boston University about 2 weeks ago! Soak it all in!! I definitely would fall in the “I am a college girl” category. hehe that place, it holds such a big piece of my heart. I am originally from CT but knew I wanted to to college in the warmy sunny South. I looked at a bunch, and ended up attending the University of Alabama. Little Connecticut girly in Tuscaloosa, Alabama! I didn’t know anyone there, but went through rush, joined a sorority, and from there it just clicked. I feel so thankful to have adjusted so fast and so well. Still dating my college boyfriend 6 years later and bff with my 5 college roomies. (6 girls. 1 house. Only in alabama hehe) treasure all my memories there so, so much. Happy you learned to adjuster and found your niche :))))

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  11. Love this post!

    College didn't go as I planned either, in some wonderful ways (husband and kids!) and some less. At the end of the day though, I really believe that things happen the way they do for a reason and that it's for the best. Based on your posts I'd say you believe that too :)

    Congrats on being at the end...which is really the start!

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  12. Love this post so much! I felt the same way when I started college and I thought I was the only one who was miserable and didn't like the way things were going! It took me two years and an amazing job to find my way! I'm excited to read the rest of your lessons!

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  13. I was definitely a college girl, but I do agree with you on needing alone time!! I lived in the dorms, but had a private room after the first two years. That was so nice...play time and then alone time. Haha!

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  14. I can def see where you are coming from. I was a commuter so my experience was very different. It wasn't until my final year that I made some lasting friendships and really enjoyed my time there. In the end the only thing that matters is your diploma, and you have one now! YAY! Congratulations :)

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  15. I agree with you. I don't think I was really a college girl either. Did I love the experience? Absolutely, but it was not the best time of my life. Good for you for recognizing it, and being so honest about your experience. Congratulations on your graduation and good luck on finals!

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  16. We are so similar, Michaela! Glad FIDM brought you to LA and we got to meet. I'm so lucky to have a friend like you! Congratulations on graduating-- such a huge accomplishment! But I have a feeling that the best is yet to come. Can't wait to see what you do next xoxo

    www.sweetsandcelebrations.com

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  17. Honestly, my college experience thus far has been so similar to what you talked about. Going out of state for school is really hard especially when you're close to your family like I am, and like it seems you are! I'm interested to see how the next two years of my college experience will pan out. :) Love this series and have a blast being back in Seattle at graduation!!!

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  18. Hi Michaela! I'm a fairly new reader & I love your blog and this post! I can definitely relate to this. I'm still in college (one more year to go!), and I never have & most likely will not have that college experience everyone dreams about. And that's totally okay with me. College is what you make it in a sense, so I guess I made my experience revolve around studying, working, & the occasional fun nights. I went to a community college across the street from my house and then transferred to the university I'm at...right down the street from my house haha! But I love it :) Looking forward to the rest of these posts! Happy Graduation!!!

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  19. Congratulations Michaela! You did it! And learned many great things along the way. Enjoy this next chapter in your life!!!

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  20. Congratulations and well done on graduating.

    Mel
    http://mels-corner.blogspot.com/

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  21. My experience was pretty similar in that college wasn't exactly what I had built it up to be in my head. I had a blast freshman year, but I worked 2 jobs through college and my senior year also had an internship, so I was SO busy and missed out on a lot! I was in a sorority, but couldn't participate in much because I was working all the time, and it really distanced me from the house. I graduated with a handful of really good girlfriends, but I still sometimes look back and am bummed that I didn't put in more of an effort, sleep a little less, work a little less, and enjoy it more.

    Congratulations on graduating and good luck with your FIDM finals!

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  22. Girl I'm right there with you! I liked college alright, but it was nowhere near the amazing experience adults would tell me it would be. Going into college I thought I was an extrovert as well ... now I know better. I need "me" time.

    Congrats on Graduating!!! You are talented!

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  23. I love your honesty! I wasn't a college girl either, but still really enjoyed my time there and learned a lot about myself. Spending some time alone and recharging is so necessary! Congratulations on your graduation...I can't wait to see what God has planned for you!

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  24. Wow thanks everyone for your kind and thoughtful responses! So thankful to know I wasn't alone in my experience :)

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  25. I love this post! I actually decided not to go to college (although I still want to do a degree one day) and one of the main reasons was I knew that it wouldn't suit me being away from home and the people I loved!

    xoxo
    Stacey

    Five Minute Style 

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  26. What a great post! I always felt guilty for wishing away my college years or felt like I was just being a baby about being so far away from home. I knew for sure that I wasn't a college girl when I transferred schools after my freshman year and was still miserable. My classmates used to think I was nuts for going home every couple weekends. They didn't know that I had to do it for the sake of my soul and my sanity! I don't regret one missed party or one Friday night spent back at home. Thanks for your honesty--good to know I'm not alone in this! : ) Congrats on your graduation and best wishes for your future adventures!

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  27. I had a seriously hard time living in the dorms too because I am social, but definitely an introvert.

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  28. Wonderful post! You learned a LOT about yourself in college. I know your parents are extremely proud of you! Thanks for the introvert support; I'm one myself. BTW, there's a best selling book about introverts called Quiet. You might enjoy it!

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  29. I loved my years at school and if it wasn't for Provo, I wouldn't have met my man, so I think I had success!

    Shannon
    http://GBOfashion.com

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  30. Congrats on Graduating! {My sister also graduates this month in Seattle but she goes to Antioch University}.

    I can't really say whether or not if college was for me. Once I graduated High School, while all my fellow classmates were filling out applications for colleges throughout the area and country and getting their acceptance letters/registering... etc. I was talking to a Military Recruiter. I knew I wasn't ready for college and wanted something different. I wanted to just dive right into a job. A hard, technical job. A job where I could travel.... and so while everyone was leaving for college after Graduation of H.S, I was leaving for Boot Camp. It's been 10yrs since then and I wouldn't have changed any of it. I never would have traveled to Europe or random parts of the U.S {of course the kicker was also going to Iraq but eh...}, I never would have met my husband {also Military} and we wouldn't be where we are now. Although I do have my G.I Bill for school c/o Uncle Sam, which I know one of these days I really should get my butt into gear and start some school {I took some classes already throughout the years}.

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  31. ok i am so excited for this series! i love your honesty lady. and i love that you figured how to deal with all the new college experiences (CA to WA)...girllll you were brave right there!

    i'm so so excited for you and proud of you....and all the new adventures to come! love you!

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  32. I love you blog. so fresh and full of life. Im originally from Bellingham WA and I can relate to so much that you are processing.. introvertedness, Mars Hill :) etc. So excited for you and you upcoming graduation!!!

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  33. Such lovely learnings, Michaela :) Reading your words reflects so much of my own feelings on the whole college thing... though this period was long ago for me, I can tell you that I completely relate to you! Which is why I attended FIDM instead. I am so excited for you and what is to come! And I am also looking forward to the rest of this series :) XO Brynn

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  34. Way to go Michaela!

    I loved college! It was such a great opportunity for me to find myself and make great friends! I wouldn't change my experiences for anything!

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  35. I think we're the same person. College wasn't "my thing" either. All the girls running around the dorms in the middle of the night was SO foreign to me!! I hated it!! Haha! So glad the Lord has used both of our college experiences through blogging to make us friends, though. :)

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  36. Love your openness and honesty in this post. I was right there with you girl. And as far as relationships, you are right. Its quality that matters- not quantity. As long as Jesus is first, you are good to go! Excited for you friend as you return to California! Praying for you

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  37. I really really love this. I can totally identify. I just finished my second year. Like you, I thought I was an extrovert but I *really* need to be able to recharge on my own. I'm glad you found things that worked for you - I found a few, but when I go back I'm going to try yours too! I always thought I was the only one who wasn't a "college girl". I love living away from home and making my own life, but I'm not made for wild nights out or having a million friends. Like you mentioned, I LOVE hanging out with people, it's just that I need time away too! Thanks for your honesty.

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  38. Michaela, that was so honest and don't worry you're not alone. I too didn't enjoy college the way I thought I would. It was full of party people, mean girls, and heartbreak and I couldn't wait to get past it. In my late twenties I feel like I've hit my stride, am 100% comfortable with who I am, have made life long friends and know what makes me happy. College isn't the best part of your life by far. Enjoy these last few moments though because there is nothing like this experience but then get excited for all the amazingness that is to come for you!

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  39. Congrats on graduating! I can relate with how you feel. I was not the typical college kid and I found myself more introverted than not. Tea can make anything better. I am glad to hear that you figured out a way to make it bearable.

    Please visit My Webblog: PhD by Publication

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Thank you for stopping by! If you have a specific question, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns.com. I always reply to emails! Have a blessed day! xoxo

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