I know it's cliché, but ...

By KEREN BARUCH
On May 8, 2014

This may be the last time anything I write receives more than 10 views.

The pressure to produce intelligent yet creative content is so far above the ground that I've decided to do something The Spectrum usually does not allow me to do because it's just so unoriginal.

For my final piece, I will provide you with a list of clichés I believe are mandatory to live by.

Never judge a book by its cover.

You'll never truly know that "weird" girl in your chemistry class if you don't give her a chance to show you she's not simply a label you branded her with in your head. College is the time to let go of your high school clique and branch out.

One of my current best friends loves telling the story of how weird she thought I was before coming to college because I was on the softball team. Ironically enough, I judged her for being from Long Island - I always assured my friends from home that I would not join a "Long Island girl clique."

Well, said friend and I ended up joining the same sorority and she realized I was more than a goggle-wearing softball pitcher. If we hadn't been able to get past our original judgments of each other, we would have missed out on an incredible friendship.

Don't bite off more than you can chew.

The four years you'll spend in college are a true test of time management skills. And while it's crucial to engulf yourself in your college community and become an active member in organizations while maintaining good grades and a social life, taking on too much can be detrimental to your health. Make sure you're taking on enough to keep you busy and help you grow academically and socially, but also set aside time for relaxation. Save your attempt at being Superman for Halloween, not for your everyday life, because it will get tiring.

If you don't, you may end up having a mental breakdown six days before your LSAT and taking a spur-of-the-moment four-hour drive to visit your boyfriend because you absolutely hate everyone and everything and can't handle the stress of being a senior editor at The Spectrum, president of the Alpha Phi sorority, a Zumba instructor who teaches 16 hours each week, a daughter and a friend. And trust me - it won't be pretty.

Learning how to balance is fundamental to a healthy college career.

Actions speak louder than words - talk is cheap.

Don't talk about how badly you want a 4.0 GPA if you're not going to take time out to study for your tests, do your papers and attend your lectures - even when attendance is not taken.

Don't apologize to a friend or significant other if you know you're going to do whatever you're apologizing for again.

Don't say your diet and exercise regimen will start tomorrow. Just wake up and start it.

Don't promise to keep a secret if you know you're going to blurt it out eventually - whether you're drunk or sober.

Don't spend your college years talking and not doing.

They say, "If you see something, say something," but we spend far too much time saying and not doing. Actions have purpose - doing things leads to change and actual outcomes. Don't waste time telling people you're interested in donating more money to charity or volunteering at a hospital - fill out an application and do it.

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

If you spend your college years fearless, you're doing something wrong. These years are your time to grow and challenge yourself. Do something that scares you. It'll show you you're capable of more than what you believe.

Before joining The Spectrum, I was not aware I had any writing ability. I used to genuinely fear interviewing people in the UB community because I thought I would sound foolish or nervous. I second-guessed everything I wrote and didn't even like to speak up during editorial discussions because I feared sounding unwise.

I was afraid, but I never let that get in the way of my journey. I ignored my stomach jitters and ended up producing content I never knew I was capable of.

This goes hand in hand with the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone. It's more important to try something new and completely mess it up than it is to stay inside your comfort zone and never screw up. If I never faced my fears, I would never have become a senior editor at The Spectrum, which ultimately ended up defining a majority of my college career.

Better late than never.

It's not too late to involve yourself in clubs or organizations, to make friends with the "weird" kid in class, to turn those words and promises you've been sharing with the world into actions, to do something that scares you and to step outside of your comfort zone. Even if you're graduating, these clichés are relevant to life after college.

Clichés are repeated often for a reason - they're true. These will be some of the best years of your life. Take advantage of that. Never judge a book by its cover, don't bite off more than you can chew, focus more on your actions than your words and never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

If you embrace these clichés, you'll be good as gold.

 

email: keren.baruch@ubspectrum.com

 

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