College Transition ft. Nicole

8:50:00 PM


Hey everyone! Welcome back, this week I have a slightly different post. If you are an OG Virtually Vogue fan then you probably remember my girl Nicole! She is back today so that I can share two different college experiences and have her share her tips with all of you. This post is longer than usual so grab your favorite snack and read on!

What have you been up to since moving to college?

Fatima: As all of you know, I moved to New York for college at the end of August. The past month and a half has flown by but I have already experienced so many great things. I have been working really hard in school, tutoring kids in Harlem, doing some photo shoots with friends, exploring the city, and of course working on the blog. A lot of my time has been dedicated to situating myself in the city and finding what groups I feel are the right fit for me.

Nicole: So it’s official! I have successfully got through my first quarter of college! In the 8 weeks since I moved to here to Washington, I have (re)discovered my passions and interests, began new healthy habits, binge watched a few too many new shows and movies (Insecure, OUAT, Law & Order: SVU, and AHS), and missed San Francisco more than ever.

How did you decide where to go?


Fatima: Ever since I was younger I always dreamed about living in New York. When applying to colleges I wanted to find a school where diversity was celebrated, so it resulted in me falling in love with the school I now attend. Their values very closely align with my own, and I love that I have the duality of a small school with a bustling city around me. It is a challenging experience being so far away and being somewhere that is constantly in action, but I am appreciating all of the lessons I am learning. 


Nicole: Being granted the opportunity to attend a 4-year university is a huge deal for my family and I. Growing up, going to college has always been a goal that my mom and I have planned and prepared for, for years. Going to college, however, is not only very expensive, but competitive, so in my senior year of high school, scholarships and offers were the main driving force that determined where I was going to spend my undergraduate years at. That’s how a full 4-year scholarship to a great university brought me here, to the greater Seattle/Tacoma, WA area.

What do you miss the most about San Francisco?

Fatima: First and foremost, my family, my dog, and my friends. Obviously. If you know me you know that I am incredibly close to my loved ones so moving thousands of miles away from them is #rough but we're making it work. THE FOOD, especially Latinx food -- no shade to the East Coast but you guys haven't really experienced authentic Mexican food sorry. Also nothing beats my mom's cooking, it will forever be unmatched. If you've ever been here you know that New York is beautiful but also filthy. I grew up with beautiful hikes and the beach literally 5 minutes away from me so I for sure miss the nature and clean air. A little bit of quiet wouldn't hurt either lol.

Nicole: Growing up in San Francisco, I am always drawn to the city and urban areas. I remember during the college application process thinking that going to school in a city was the only way I would be happy. Well reflecting back on it now, not only is that completely false, but I find going to college close enough to a city, actually amazing. To be quite honest, it’s been pretty helpful in terms of getting 8 hours of sleep, because it’s really tranquil out here. True, I miss the my family, the food, and the cultures in my city, but I know I will always have San Francisco to come back home to anytime. Being out here also taught me to the importance of recognizing how lucky I am to be from San Francisco, afford to stay there, and call it home.

How was your transition to college?

Fatima: The first word that comes to mind would be overwhelming. There were lots of ups and downs over the first few weeks but it was definitely very different than my life at home. I met so many people within a week and just constantly introducing myself was very draining. Saying bye to my family was so hard and the heat was awful at first. However, I met some people who I'm super close to now and I really feel like I solidified my passions. In terms of academics, figuring out my time management again was a challenge but now I feel like I'm handling all of my work super well. Also I was inspired to start blogging again and I have gotten so much support from my friends at school and back home so it has been amazing overall.

Nicole: In terms of transitioning into college, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of activities, classes, and clubs that I wanted to partake in. I left high school with a firm idea of what I want to pursue in college, but with all of the opportunities in front of me and given my leadership participation in high school, I really wanted to do everything and more. I’m learning to take things one at a time, and I’m able to look forward to always doing something more every single day. My values and passions are the same as they were in high school. I know what I wanted to get out of the classes I took and I know that I just want to be a more knowledgeable student in general.

Finally, what are your tips?

Fatima:

  1. This may seem weird, but have a meal by yourself sometimes. I think part of college is learning to be comfortable being alone and spending your time however you like.
  2. Try different study spaces until you find the one you like most. I personally have two places I adore and every time I go there I get in the zone and manage to do a lot of work. 
  3. Get to know your roommate so that your room is somewhere you feel excited to come back to. The better your relationship and the "homier" you make it feel with decorations, the better you will feel about it.
  4. Make friends as much as you can your first year but also don't feel obligated to stay with people you aren't vibing with. Friends in college come and go but if you get to know people who share the same interests as you, go out and do what you love with them!
  5. Sleep as much as you can! Since moving here I have had really bad insomnia which hasn't been great for my health so I would for sure say getting sleep is essential.
  6. Stay in touch with your loved ones, know they're missing you a lot and they will always be there for you so let them know how it's going. Even just saying "how was your day?" can have a huge impact. Nicole and I do it all time :) 
  7. Mistakes are normal, embrace them, learn from them, and keep moving forward!

Nicole:
  1. Look at your syllabus, do homework early, and ask your professors about assignments EARLY! Trust me, finishing your work a week in advance may sound challenging, but once you get into the habit of getting one day ahead at a time, it’ll get easier. 
  2. Keep a planner. Stay organized and you can physically see how many weeks/days until you can go home, be on break, or do something fun. It’ll also help you remember your assignment deadlines. 
  3. Sit in the front of the class and build a relationship with your professors. They’ll acknowledge your presence and contributions to the class, and you’ll get to feel more of a connection to what you’re learning. 
  4. Make your bed and clean your room, especially if you have a roommate. It’ll set you up for a good, organized mindset for the day. 
  5. Breakfast. The thought of being able to eat food is enough to make me wake up early enough in the mornings, especially on weekends. 
  6. Call your family and friends back home OFTEN if you can. They miss you. Are you homesick? Call, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, or just text them. 
  7. Go work out! Money is going towards you being at the school you’re at so use the facilities/resources. The way I get myself to go everyday is by thinking: the walk there is cardio; if I have 15 min to spare in the day I can at least do cardio on the bike; I can get a really good smoothie afterwards if I put in the effort; and last and most important to me, it’s good more my mental health. 
  8. Go out, step out of your comfort zone and be social. Here’s some advice I’ve been told: “A weekend missed is a weekend not missed at all.” “Literally everything happening at those parties now will happen for the next 4 years. Don’t feel any pressure to show up to things simply because it feels like a typical college thing. I can guarantee that you are not going to miss out on a life changing moment if you stay in tonight.” “The friends you make now may or may not be the friends you’ll have next semester. You don’t have to feel pressured to stay with the same group 24/7.” 
  9. Take care of yourself and stay in whenever you want! Go take a shower and put on a face mask, or turn on your fairy lights and go watch a show or read a book/fanfic. 
With lots of love, 

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