1. Servant Leadership: It’s easy to want to make a name for yourself on campus. Leadership positions are great, but “towels” are always more important than “titles.” Always.
2. Solitude: Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert make time to be alone. Find a place on campus where you can go re-center yourself. I used to sit on top of the soccer video taping tower. This was the one place I could cry, sing, and pray where no one else could hear me.
3. Study Abroad: I always tell students one of the best decisions I ever made was to spend a semester abroad. It changed my life. It can also be cheaper than a semester at your university, so look into it.
4. Stretch Yourself: Take elective classes that will challenge you to learn new things. My sophomore year I took folk dancing, astronomy, and photography. I ended up loving these classes more than I ever thought I would.
5. Study: When I was in college Taylor cost $96.00 a day. Skipping class was liberating every once in a while, but going was more important. So was studying. Enjoy your freedom but don’t abuse it.
6. Selflessness: College has the potential to become some of the most selfish years of your life. You eat when you want to eat, study when you want to study, and sleep when you want to sleep. Remember this life is not about you. Ever.
7. Stewardship: I spent more money my freshman year of college than all four years combined! I didn’t have a budget which meant I wasn’t saving anything. Whatever you do, don’t graduate with credit card debt. Learn how to be responsible with what you’ve been given.
8. Stories: My motto at Taylor was to “make a memory every day.” This allowed me to be intentional with my time. Ride bikes at night, buy breakfast for your roommates, play intramurals, take spontaneous road trips, sneak into the art building and paint, surprise your family on the weekends, and learn how to cook something besides EasyMac and Ramen.
9. Self Work: I graduated high school an insecure, people pleasing, confused 18 yr old with a backpack full of relational and family baggage. I had no idea who I was or how I had been affected by my upbringing. Looking back I wish I would have been more intentional to sort through some of my hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
10a. Seek Peace: Handling conflict was not something I did well in college. I was a peace faker, not a peace maker. Instead of leaning into hard conversations I would sweep them under the rug. This caused more damage than good.
10b. Spirituality: Lastly, it’s been said that those who follow the crowd end up getting lost in it. Take time to figure out what you believe. Without faith none of the above would be possible.