My life has been going in such a positive direction lately. I may do a life update in the next coming weeks. For those of you who don’t know, I will be graduating high school next week. I am absolutely thrilled. I will be going to college at the University of Central Florida. With this in mind, I wanted to give a nice glimpse into the college experience from one of my close friends(She’s like a sister to me), Casssondra Angu (A.K.A. Cassie) Cassie recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications from the prestigious University of Florida. She was also on the pre-med track. I had the pleasure of speaking to her about her college experience. Here’s what went down:
- How would you describe your college experience?: “Necessary. If I could use one word, very necessary-integral to my growth. I needed to go to college so I can figure out who I am and figure out a lot of different things. You learn so many things in college.”
- What would you advise your freshmen self about college?: ” Work harder. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let every closed door lead you to your actual destiny. Really focus. Enjoy it and have a really good time. Don’t stress about the future so much.”
- What was your greatest challenge in college?: “Passing my pre-med classes. (Laughs) Aside from that honestly, giving myself the grace to fail. You have to let yourself fail a few times in college and learn how to go through those things. If you give yourself the chance to fail, you learn so much, instead of trying to fight it.”
- What are some study tips and strategies that helped you in college?: Work hard. Treat every class as if it is the hardest class you’ve ever taken. Even if it is not. Always strive for excellence. Also, its okay to skip class to study.”
- What would you describe as the biggest difference between high school and college?:”Everything. The only similarity is that you learn and that there’s friends there. You schedule your own classes. You wake up. You have to cook. There’s no free lunch. There’s a lot of things that are put in your own hands in college. And honestly, the material you learn in high school really doesn’t affect your life or future the way that college material does. It definitely prepares you for your life.”
- If you could change one thing about your college experience what would it be?: ” I would change the fact that I was not open to fail. Your still going to have challenges, whether its small scale or large scale. Fighting it made it even harder. I was still trying to be a perfectionist.”
- What are some things you were involved with extracurricularly in college? Was it difficult to balance it with your academics? “Yes, because I also worked a job. I did a lot of quality not quantity. I worked for a radio station for a while doing like medical journalism type stuff. Then I wrote for a health magazine, which I loved. I did volunteering with palliative medicine with teenagers. And I sang in the gospel choir, and other little things with my church.”
- For the girls out there, what is the dating scene like in college in comparison to high school?: It depends for everybody, because some people go to college and they really do find (I won’t say their man forever) but they do find a man. There’s a lot of foolishness in college, people trying to have a good time. Then there are people who are serious. It’s kind of like, pick of the draw, you never know who you’re going to get. Whereas in high school, there’s a lot more proximity with boys. But in college, you can be with someone that you never heard of, or met. My first boyfriend, I knew him very well. I knew him for 4 years. So it wasn’t like a shock for the type of person he was. But in college, you can meet someone and they can be a scammer, you never know. But I’ve had some good situationships, so….”
- How can you live on a budget in college and what are some ways to live frugally?: “Don’t buy designer clothes, obviously. Shop on sale. Don’t buy full price. Make a budget. Just pay attention to your spending and look at your account frequently. Have a limit for all the things that you buy. Like for me, I won’t spend more than $50 at a time, at the grocery store. Also knowing how many times you can eat out a week. Because you’re going to feel invincible, then you’ll be looking at your bank statement like, “dang” this is all food…”
- How do you deal with your newfound independence? Do you get homesick?: I never got homesick in college. Lakeland is not really…I was homesick sometimes, but more so for my friends. Like not to live at home. Some people go wild. I was just so excited to do whatever I want, but not in a bad way. I would stay out till 4 in the morning, but it would be cool.
- How did you avoid the freshmen 15?:” Exercise everyday. Sometimes you get it, but not freshman year. Like, I feel like I gained 15 pounds, sophomore year. When I was stressed and really sad and stuff. Just work out every day. College is great because it has so many options. So go for what you like.”
- How do you make new friends in college? And is it difficult?: You make new friends by being where freshmen are. And being open and friendly. Don’t be closed off. Don’t think you’re too good for anybody. Don’t be afraid to approach someone because they’re different than you. Sit in your student union, if that’s where most freshmen are. Go to events that are freshmen based. Be talkative in your classroom. Be nice to everyone you meet.
- What are a few lessons you learned from college?: “Love yourself above all. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Don’t like someone, just cause they like you. Failure is ok, and its not the end of the world. You’re not a failure if you fail. Don’t wait till the last minute to study for an exam. Take advantage of all the tutoring options you have. If he tells you he’s an F-boy, he’s an F-boy.”
- What are some of your favorite memories in college?: ” My 21st birthday in Miami. A lot of it was. I went to a church conference in Atlanta with my friends. And dancing. I’m always dancing .Whenever there’s dancing, it’s always a good time.
- What’s next for you?: Following the will of God for my life and listening to his voice. Probably medical school or going to get my masters.”
I know it was a long one today. But thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this interview. Feel free to comment. Also make sure to check out Cassie’s blog. It is