By Jamari Jordan
108 Days. I am 108 days away from graduating from the University of Georgia. My parents and professors warned me that these four years would fly by, but I thought that was just them reminiscing on their golden years.
As much as I’m regretting typing this, my mother was right. I look up, and in about three months time, I’ll be standing in Sanford Stadium one last time turning my tassel. With that, I want pass along the wisdom from what this great university has taught me.
Chase Your Passion
This is what they don’t tell you on your admissions visit. Your parents, other nosy family members, or those in general will tell you to “major in something you can make money in.” They’re partially right. But you don’t come to college to find a job. You come to college to chase your passion and find a career.
You can be happy in a job, but that’s only temporary. If you find a career, it’s everlasting and fulfilling. I believe everyday you’re not chasing your passion is an empty day. I came into college as a secondary education major. I thought being a teacher would be cool and a way I could help people. Teaching and inspiring are my passion, but being a teacher is not.
I found quickly in college that I could chase my passion in a very different way. I’ve always been into sports. As a ten year old, I was singing Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia in front of my television on Saturdays as the Dawgs played. I never knew I could have a career in sports unless I was an athlete. My first year in college I was introduced into the journalism/production side of sports and I fell in love and never looked back. It was the best decision I made in my college time.
2. Find Yourself First, then Your Friends (Love)
If you’re going to get through college, you have to be confident. It is so easy to get lost in the college lifestyle. It’s so fast-paced, loose, and free that you can look up and not recognize yourself one day.
Take the time to discover, define, and sometimes re-define who you are. You are going to change in college; you’re supposed to. Just make sure you are changing for the better and not worse. Have a time of the day where you can spend it by yourself and reflect. It could be in the morning or after you get back home from classes, but make sure you have time to decompress.
You can’t be happy with someone else, until you are happy first. I’ve seen friends and peers lose themselves in friendships and relationships because they didn’t know who they were first. Now, I do believe friends or loved ones can help each other find each other. But, one person shouldn’t make or break your feelings about yourself, especially at our age.
3. Enjoy Your Success, but Never Get Complacent
College is hard. So when you pass that history test, get in an honor society, or land that major internship, celebrate. You deserve it. Take pride in your accomplishments, but never settle.
There is always room to grow. You can always sharpen your skills. There is always one more lesson you haven’t learned yet. There is always one riddle you haven’t solved. And that’s the magic in college. No matter how much you’ve accomplished, there is always one thing you wish you would’ve tried. Try It.
4. Live. Laugh. Love.
For 18 years of my life, I was alive, but I never lived. UGA got me out my comfort zone and made me think about myself, life, and my future in a different way. My smiles last longer. My laughs are a little harder. I found myself enjoying life a lot more during my time at UGA,
College is four years (maybe more) that you’ll never get back. It’s the best years of live. Never in life again will you be this free, open-minded, and surrounded by friends. Take advantage of it. Yes, get your education, but don’t remember to have fun.
It’s okay to blow off studying to take that road trip, go to the party, or just sit and talk with friends. I’m not going to remember the exam I took, but I will remember all those moments I had with my friends laughing, roasting each other, and sharing stories.
5. Give Back to the University of Georgia
The University of Georgia gives you so many opportunities, experiences, and life lessons. Never forget to pay that forward. Student Alumni Association is one way, but I’m referring to mentoring.
It is vital to share the lessons that you’ve learned with those around you. Your advice and guidance can help an underclassman avoid the same mistakes that cost you opportunities. Make sure the next class of Bulldawgs are well prepared so that they can continue the tradition and legacy of UGA.
I learned that community is everything, and if you can help your community, you should. I learned when to hop on ticketleap for a Pajama Jam ticket. I learned where not to stand to avoid getting bumped by a stroll line.
I learned that they don’t want to succeed. They don’t want you to win more. Many people were uncomfortable with me and those who like me on campus. But like VP Victor Wilson said, “Ignore them.”
The lessons I have learned inside these Athens lines will stick with me for the rest of my life. I learned how to become a man here. I learned that I could chase my passion and it will lead to a career.
I learned that it’s okay to stumble or even fall down as long as you get back up. Ultimately, I learned that I will never love a place like I love the University of Georgia. Once a Bulldawg, always a DAWG.