How to Survive College


Anna Fridell posing for the first day of Fall Quarter 2022

Anna Fridell, Columnist

Wondering what the key to a great college experience is? It’s as simple as this: an open mind opens doors to opportunities that we as students may have never known was available. 

This is much easier said than done. To have an open mind means to be willing to search actively for unfamiliarity in planning, engagement and beliefs according to the University of Pennsylvania

There are two ways to experience college. A student can choose to attend class at its scheduled time, get three meals from the Student Union Recreation Center (SURC), get a few assignments done in the library, and head back home to only repeat this cycle day in and day out. 

A better way to approach college life is to keep your eyes open, as the CWU campus holds countless opportunities to better everyone’s experience. 

When walking around campus, you may see an abundance of signs with advertisements to certain clubs, events or gatherings, without giving them a second look. Taking that extra time to really look at these offerings could be a gateway to new friends, new experiences and a source of joy. 

Whether it be attending one of CWU’s Movie Madness nights on Mondays or going to perform or watch a friend at The Bistro’s Open Mic Nights, you are never going to know who you’ll meet or what you experience if you never try. 

I say this with personal experience. As a musician that sticks to my bedroom and shower, performing in front of people and even sharing my passion for music didn’t seem to be “cool” in social standards. It took an act of courage for me to realize how wrong I was. 

The beauty of college is that there is something and someone for everyone, no matter your passions or where you come from. When I decided to take my guitar to The Bistro’s Open Mic Night, it opened my eyes to a full room of people that liked to do the same things as me. 

The worst thing we can do as college students is to become consumed in our daily obligations. 

College is a place to earn a degree. Beyond this simple aspect, college is also a place to learn, grow and discover who we are as adults while living in a campus environment. 

To have aspirations and dreams is a beautiful thing while in college simply because the campus probably has something to help accomplish that dream. 

Want to be an on-camera reporter one day? Central News Watch holds its own newscast that allows students to step directly into those shoes. Want to get out of the country but have never had the opportunity? The school has an abundance of study-abroad programs designed for students that wouldn’t typically have the resources to do so otherwise. 

To survive college, one must engage fully and say the word ‘yes’ more than ‘no’. Our brain’s first thought is to run away from things that make us uncomfortable, but this only leads to close-minded activity. 

According to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, by meeting new people and seeking diversity, you become more accepting of differences and enjoy the variety of those around you.