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Reflection: Leaving behind the advice I’ve learned

As my time here at Tyler Junior College comes to a close, I look back at the events that brought me here and what advice impacted me specifically.

When first coming to TJC, like many others, I was scared. I am a first-generation college student whose family’s expectations rested upon my shoulders. Luckily, I have had nothing but support and advice given to me throughout my time at TJC. So before my departure, I thought it would be best to share some of the wisdom and advice I have received from others and from my experiences.

  1. Join an organization!

I started TJC in fall 2020 and during COVID. Due to COVID, going into college I unfortunately did not have many friends. I was scared and concerned I wouldn’t create the connections I originally wanted to, and I would be forced to just attend school and go home. I was then introduced to The DrumBeat. After many days of contemplation, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join the organization. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made. For some, college can become a lonely experience. One piece of advice I want to give is to step out of your comfort zone and join an organization you might enjoy. You will meet like-minded individuals who are facing the same college experience you are and you will ultimately make friends for life.

  1. It’s OK to not have everything figured out.

When going into college, I was unsure if the degree I had picked was the correct one for me. I have always lived a life of indecisiveness, and I was scared I had made the wrong decision. After voicing this concern, I was immediately directed to the phrase, I’ve often heard, “you have all of the time in the world.” This is a phrase I think really resonated with me during my time at TJC. Instead of focusing on how long it would take me if I decided not to follow the path I was on, I began focusing on what I was passionate about. Going into college you DO NOT need to have everything figured out. College is the time to grow as an adult and follow things you are passionate about.

  1. Take time for yourself.

With college, work, extracurriculars and outside life, things can become overwhelming as a young adult. The need to take time for yourself is extremely important. Whether this is a few hours or a full day, I recommend taking a breather. This was something I did not do at the beginning of my time at TJC. This caused me to be overwhelmed and stressed. Once I learned to take time for myself, I was more at ease with my surroundings.

  1. It’s OK to ask for help.

Regardless of the subject, it is always OK to ask for help. Someone I have just recently met introduced me to a phrase I will continue to think about going forward in life: “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” This quote really stuck because life to me is about learning and the experience you gain from others. College is an opportunity to learn in a variety of aspects. If you are unsure, take the opportunity to ask for help. The purpose of intentionally surrounding yourself with individuals who are experts in the subject at hand is that you are allowing others to help you grow intellectually and mentally.

Overall, my time at TJC has been nothing short of an adventure. The life lessons I have learned from a variety of individuals who come from all walks of life have really made my time worthwhile, and I can proudly say everyone I have encountered has had such a positive and large impact on my life. As I cross into this next stage of life and others enter into the place I once was, I hope the advice and guidance I have received by the members of TJC continue to impact those who attend.

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