My College Experience: How I Graduated in 3 Years

Hey, angels! I am so happy to be writing this post, I can’t even explain it. I’ve been getting loads of questions about my college experience — and it’s pretty unique since I’m graduating in three years! I’m going to walk you through how I chose my university, all about my experience as well as how I chose my major and minor. So buckle up, because this is quite the ride.


Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post, you can read my disclaimer here.


Choosing the University of Minnesota

Just for a little bit of background information, I applied to a lot of colleges. I had seven or eight choices. I enrolled at the University of St. Thomas in early January… I heard back from all the colleges except the University of Minnesota. This was my “challenge” school, so I figured I hadn’t gotten in.

But, low and behold, I was accepted about a month or two later! I kept re-reading the letter over and over again because I couldn’t believe it. Before I knew it, I withdrew my enrollment from St. Thomas and accepted my letter at the University of Minnesota.

I choose the U for one reason: it’s a Big 10 school. I’m not going to lie — I wanted to go to a University that people knew. And, more importantly, that people knew was challenging to get into. But, in the end, I’m so happy I chose the U. I’ve had more opportunities and experiences than I could imagine.

Graduating in 3 Years

Okay, before I jump into this I want to let y’all know that I’m not saying this to brag, BUT I will be a little braggy because I’ve worked my butt off to get here… I’ve had a lot of questions on how I’m graduating a year early, so I’m going to answer those now!

You must’ve entered college with a ton of credits, right? Wrong. I only had 11 college credits coming in as a freshman. My first semester, I took 14 credits because that’s what my advisor recommended. I figured out soon enough that I had wayyy too much free time, so the next semester I loaded up with 18 credits. From then on, I was taking 19-20 credits per semester (15 is the reg.) So, in short, people thought I was crazy. But I like to be busy, so having 6-7 classes was great. I was pretty much busy 24/7.

So, you never had a job or participated in student groups? Wrong, again. Even though I had 19-20 credits, I made time for multiple jobs and student groups. At one point in time, I was the marketing director for one student group, the president of another and still had 20 credits with 2 jobs. I know. I’m insane. But I loved being apart of my college community, so I was (in practically every way possible! I was apart of Alpha Phi Omega (continue reading to know what that is!), Spoon University, which is the coolest student publication on campus, and the Minnesota Daily, our school newspaper (also the biggest student-run publication in the country!) My freshman year, I wrote for the Odyssey (student-run publication) and was apart of Magazine Club. Let’s just say, I was so busy all throughout college, but I loved being apart of campus!

You must’ve known what you wanted to major in right away, huh? Nope, not even close. I thought I was going to major in math (haha what was I thinking?) but I ended up majoring in Journalism! Also, I quickly found out that I loved public health, so I minored in that – even though it had nothing to do with my major. I also took a ton of courses for fun, including an early childhood education class on anthropomorphism (talking animals)! Even though I took a lot of classes that didn’t pertain to my major, I wouldn’t have changed that. I loved exploring different classes and options before declaring my major!

Did you learn a language? Unfortunately, yes. I only say that’s unfortunate because I truly struggle with comprehending languages. It’s the grammar that gets me! But, if you really want to know, then yes. I can speak German (but I’m not saying I’m good!)

Did you live in a dorm? I did! For my freshman year, I lived in a single dorm (meaning, I didn’t have a roommate!) The last two years, I’ve lived in an on-campus apartment, so it was technically still “university housing,” but had the freedom of an apartment. I’ve had roommates in my apartment, and honestly I didn’t have the best experience with any of my eight roommates. BUT that doesn’t mean that I wish I would’ve done anything different.

You Asked, I Answered…

@Lovedbyrileyb asks… Was I in a sorority? This is such a good question! The short answer is no, I wasn’t in a sorority! But, I was in a fraternity. Yep, I’m a lifelong brother of Alpha Phi Omega!

@Margaretpeckenham asks… How did you get out there and make friends? Okay, this is my favorite question. I’m not going to lie, making friends in college is hard… Especially when you go in not knowing anyone. Plus, I didn’t have a roommate (I was in a single dorm!) But, I made friends with pretty much everyone on my floor through our first floor meeting and the first few nights. All of my classes are really big, so I didn’t make many friends in class. BUT I did find tons of friends through student groups!

@chloereneewebb asks… What’s your go-to class style? I have soo many different styles you guys. I’d have work before hand on some days, so I would make a point to dress up nicely… AKA jeans, a blouse and heels. But that definitely wasn’t always the case… On the other half of days, you’d catch me in a sweatshirt, leggings and tennis shoes. But, I always made sure to have my makeup (at least brows and mascara) and hair (at least a messy bun) done.

@Stylesbymar asks… What was your favorite part of college? Saving the toughest question for last… It’s really hard to say my favorite part of college because I didn’t have the typical college experience. I didn’t rush a sorority, I didn’t go to frat parties, I didn’t even have a fake ID. Even though I didn’t drink every weekend, I had such a blast throughout college finding tons of friends and discovering myself. If I had to choose a favorite part, I’d probably say rushing my fraternity — I met some of my best friends there, and I spent literally hours with this group of people.

Headed to College? Here’s My Tips…

Keep your options open. College is scary, we all know that. Sometimes, you think you know where you’re headed or you’ve had a plan since middle school. But, things change and that’s okay. Don’t pick your university based on your significant other, best friend, sibling or anyone else. Choose a school that is right for you. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and where they’re going… But, it’s important to stay true to what you really want.

Go outside your comfort zone. This is something I really struggled with, and that’s why I’m giving you this tip. This might be the hardest thing you do in college, but you’ll find so many new friends, hobbies, things you enjoy that you might not have found if you didn’t go out of your comfort zone. I can assure you that you’ll be so happy you did. I remember not wanting to go to an information meeting for my fraternity freshman year because I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t want to go by myself. BUT I pushed myself, and now it’s my favorite memory of college… Amazing things can happen when you try something new!

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. I get it, all of your high school friends are rushing a sorority or fraternity, everyone knows their major right away, but no matter what everyone else is doing, do your own thing. It might feel weird, you might feel left out… But doing something that you don’t want to do is even worse, I promise that.

Lastly, have fun! College is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll meet so many different people, see a lot of weird things and experience even more odd things. But that’s what makes college a blast! So, go in without expectations and you’ll have the experience of a lifetime. Go on a midnight McDonald’s run, decide to build a snowman at 2 a.m. and stay up until 6 a.m. with your friends because these are the memories that you’ll remember. You’ll remember the goofy moments, the late nights and the spontaneous times. If I could only give one piece of advice, I would say have as much fun as you possibly can.

SHOP THE POST

If you’ve made it to the end of the post, I congratulate you!! Haha, but in all seriousness, this was a long one filled with my college experience, tips and questions from y’all. Whether you’re in your last year or you’re headed off to college, I hope you have a blast!

Thanks so much for reading,

Be sure to find me on Instagram and follow me on LiketoKnow.It.

Xoxo,

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25 Comments

  1. Shannon
    May 19, 2019 / 8:41 pm

    Great advice! Such an exciting time in your life. Congrats on graduating!

  2. June 8, 2019 / 8:39 am

    Oh my gosh I wish I had been this motivated back in my college days! You should be very proud. Best of luck to you in whatever the future brings. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Joanna
    July 4, 2019 / 10:26 am

    It sounds like you enjoyed college life to the fullest. I majored in journalism as well, and then followed a masters in multi-media. In my country uni is only 3 years and you can’t finish early.

  4. Shnooks
    July 4, 2019 / 6:09 pm

    Congratulations 😍 Thank you for sharing your college journey with us ❤

  5. Elizabeth O
    July 5, 2019 / 4:25 am

    I am admiring your motivation. Best of luck on your next journey. Congratulations on graduating.

  6. July 5, 2019 / 5:57 am

    Congratulations! Very good tips to pass on to undergraduates.

  7. Neil Alvin
    July 5, 2019 / 8:14 am

    Congratulations. May you be a very successful person someday.

  8. Neil Alvin
    July 5, 2019 / 8:15 am

    Congrats. May you get to be a successful person in the future.

  9. July 5, 2019 / 8:48 am

    This is great! I unfortunately dropped out of college after a year and a half but I’ve been wanting to go back and get my RN. So I’ll use some of these tips for sure

  10. July 5, 2019 / 9:54 am

    Oh ich gratuliere dir! You have finally made it, and you deserve it after all the efforts you’ve exerted to get where you are right now. It made me think of my College days too right now and my graduation day lol. 🙂

  11. July 5, 2019 / 12:12 pm

    This is such a nice post and this time is precious. Congratulation on your graduation.

  12. Haroon Ejaz
    July 5, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    Very nice job! Congratulations for completing your graduation!!

  13. July 5, 2019 / 11:11 pm

    Unfortunately not all colleges will allow you to have a course overload. I petitioned and was denied because I had what they thought was too far of a commute

  14. Hoang Vi Fessenden
    July 5, 2019 / 11:17 pm

    Wow you go girl that’s awesome

  15. July 6, 2019 / 1:19 am

    great one, I wish collage had as much respect as University in my country [South Africa] basically if you went in collage companies regard your diploma as less valuable

  16. Bindu Thomas
    July 6, 2019 / 5:30 am

    Congrats on your Graduation. Hard work and fun can go hand-in-hand in college, so true. Best of luck for your future.

  17. July 6, 2019 / 8:11 am

    Awesome work for graduating in three years with a full load and work on the side. That is a serious commitment!

  18. July 6, 2019 / 6:05 pm

    Your story is very inspiring, I’m sure you have moved many of aspring students out there. So proud of you! Congratulations!

  19. Shoppers Gossip
    July 7, 2019 / 5:12 am

    Congratulations! great advice…I wish you all the best in your future.

  20. July 7, 2019 / 11:33 am

    Congratulations! That’s really a motivating story.

  21. July 8, 2019 / 6:38 am

    Great personal share and loving the transparency! Wish I was American sometimes and experience the college “lifestyle”! Looks so awesome haha, thanks for sharing.

  22. Luna S
    July 8, 2019 / 11:16 am

    Congratulations on getting into the school of your choice and for all of the achievements you accomplished!

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