hey everyone and welcome back to my channel if you’re new here my name is Sienna I make videos every weekend and you should definitely hit that button down there and subscribe. today’s video is going to be about the top 10 things I learned during my first year at college I just finished my freshman year at Harvard. I’m going to be a sophomore I grew more in my freshman year at college that I did in probably all your high school combined like it’s really an intense environment I just want to put that out there like no matter where you go to school or like if you’re moving across the country like I did or you’re just like going to your home University College is like a big deal and it’s kind of scary sometimes and you’re gonna learn. much. I just wanted to compile a list of like top 10 things that I learned these are like the real 10 big things that I had to kind of deal with during my freshman year you see me looking down my phone I put all my notes on here. sorry about that I like had to have a script for this. the first thing that I learned is that relatability and authenticity goes a super long way everyone tries to act like they have it together but inside they’re really just as frustrated scared angry upset anxious sad you name it as you are. if you can connect on that level that goes a huge way with people the best relationships that I formed in college were based on that and not based on like the superficial stuff like you all have social media you’re gonna know each other through social media but in your in-person interactions like you’re gonna connect on the level of like haven’t showered in three days and you know what I have a paper tomorrow that I haven’t written yet people are struggling just as much as you are and especially at a place like Harvard like I know that there’s this idea that like everyone who goes there is perfect and we don’t have real-world problems and like all the stuff but just totally false people there are just like any other college students they’re still stressed they still have fun they still go out they still do everything that normal college students do they didn’t really make mistakes they really struggle with basic things like you did you just make a lot of stupid mistakes in college like everyone regardless of where you go. like people are not perfect especially if you go to a very competitive school like Harvard you’re constantly gonna feel like you’re not enough and like you’re not doing enough and they call it like impostor syndrome and it’s actually very real and you feel like you don’t measure up and you’re like an impostor in your environment because you feel like you aren’t enough I’ve definitely felt that literally everyone has felt that before for Harvard specifically everyone is used to being the top of their class the gifted child like all of that and then you get to school and everyone gets thrown together and everyone is the best of everything and it’s really scary because you’re not gonna get every club you’re not gonna get every class you apply for you’re not gonna get every internship you’re not gonna get every job that’s just a reality that you have to deal with rejection very early on college I found that like you really have to work for things and things aren’t handed to you at all you’re. individual in college and it’s. easy to get diverted from the path that you’re on. you really have to learn how to stay true to yourself and I’m still working on that I haven’t fully learned that yet you don’t want to let other people’s experiences to find your own I had to learn to view my success like more internally to and rather than externally. not am I making good grades do I look like a success to other people is my social media good enough like all about focusing more on like am i surrounding myself with good people that really make me happy and bring out the best version of myself am I actually happy like when I get up in the morning do I feel energized or do I just feel like blood do I really enjoy what I’m doing you know am I being the best version of myself that I could possibly be right now for myself not for anyone else that was like one of the biggest lessons that’s why I’m starting with it first – this one’s about academics you do not have to pull a single all-nighter in college especially in a place like Harvard you literally do not have to do that doesn’t matter what your major is good time management is going to save you learn when you work best for me that’s really really early in the morning once I had about like 10:00 p.m. my productivity just plummets. I know people who do their best work at 3:00 a.m. that’s fine like you can do that in college you find when you work best and make sure you’re working at that time. for me I needed to go to bed early on weeknights in order to get up early and do school. I would actually plan my classes later. that I could get up in the morning and do my work for them because I knew that I would be more productive in the morning than in the afternoon know what time you work best and work during that time it’s simple this also goes with this point but study smarter instead of harder there is a huge huge huge difference this is something that I had to learn I’m still learning it. studying smarter means make sure you’re prepared make sure you’re organized make sure you good mental space though somewhere quiet where you study well for me I literally like to lock myself in like meeting rooms that’s when I do my best work. find an environment like that and just go I would turn my phone off literally turn it off stick it in your bag and make it very hard for you to get it don’t social study don’t half-ass it I would sometimes be like hey like I really want to see friends but I also want to study. why don’t I combine both and then instead of studying for three hours and seeing friends for three hours and having fun well let’s do both for six hours and then I would just be in the library on my phone talking to friends joking and barely getting any work done but it wasn’t really fun because I still felt like I was doing school and. many people do that guys I’ll only tell you like even elite institutions people don’t know how to study that’s a fact like this might have worked for you in high school but it definitely does not work for you in college now I don’t know why people are struggling. hard to get this or that they think that like more hours equals more done it just really does not think they should have like a master class as soon as you enter college on time management and productivity and how to study smarter because it is a huge time saver academics are tough right they kick your ass but you don’t have to sacrifice your life the third thing I learned was how to plan I literally learned how to plan everything there is a joke at Harvard that students are. attached their Google calendars that will literally compare them be like ooh who has a busier Google Calendar if this goes back to time management but planning is key I use a Google Calendar which is my baby and then a daily planner I use one by day designer because it helps you plan out literally every single day and as much detail as possible and I love both the best thing that I learned about like organization and scheduling was schedule your free time to literally schedule everything as soon as you get an assignment a task I’m meeting anything like what it in your calendar and then what I would do is everyday flesh out basically what was happening that day and take your to-do list instead of just having a list of like super long to Do’s actually put it into your calendar. I’d say okay from 2:00 to 4:00 I’m working on my essay my goal is to get a rough track if I don’t get a rough draft in that time I’m gonna move on to something else because I’m not gonna let one thing occupy my entire day. even if I’m super stressed about this paper and I haven’t gotten it done I’m gonna make sure everything else gets done and then during those times I would make sure not to do anything else like even if there was like a random email popped up that I should respond to I wouldn’t respond to it and last it was time for emails I think it’s called time blocking and it’s. effective like please guys do it trust me it’s gonna change your life this is one of the hardest things I had to learn is that people are going to disappoint you a lot a lot a lot it’ll be your closest friends it’ll be your mentors it’ll be your family it’ll be yourself like a lot everyone is flawed the ability to see the flaws in the people around you and love them and be accepting and encouraging of their growth and their journey with those flaws is what’s gonna make great relationships and that was something I really struggled with because I am a perfectionist and I demand perfection from myself and most people in my life around me and just realizing the people are human especially it’s the first year of college like people are struggling they have. much of their own stuff going on that you don’t even know about give everyone the benefit the doubt like everyone’s trying as hard as they can and there’s. much about people that you don’t know there’s. much about me that I haven’t shared with you guys like I haven’t shared of people at school like there’s. much that people don’t know that goes on behind the scenes or like at home it’s really really tough and you need to treat people without knowing that but understanding that they are going through a lot regardless and accepting their flaws like this is what makes for great relationships you know romantic relationships it also makes for great friendships. it’s supporting someone with their flaws like recognizing that that is a flaw sharing your own flaws and then not faulting them when that flaw here’s just supporting them in their growth and in their journey and you know loving them not to spite them but in addition to that okay number five taking care of my health and the environment became a huge priority for me and one of the biggest things that I learned was that I’m really passionate about that and I need to prioritize that in my life in order for me to be happy I need to exercise every day if not every other day like as much for my fitness as for my mental health and just overall sanity also eating healthy and really paying attention to what I was putting in my body was huge I didn’t gain the freshman 15 luckily and I think a huge reason behind that is that I really paid attention to how my body felt when I ate certain things or when I was treating it every way I try not to eat junk food like I really tried to prioritize eating green foods having color on my plate like it’s really hard to maintain a good diet in college and like of course a junk food of course I ate ice cream like most nights I might have eaten dessert like it’s okay just there’s has to be a balance when you eat healthy you perform better you sleep better like your relationships about it like all of it it really is kind of an inside-out thing it’s the same with all of those things – these things all work with each other you know. when you work out your mental health is good when your mental health is good you are better with your relationships when your buddies really should shoot you’re happier when you have your you do better thing like it goes on it’s a cycle. caring about your overall Howell physical and mental is huge like I started seeing a therapist and that was amazing for me I you know there’s a lot of stigma around that especially at Harvard which there shouldn’t be we get a d-minus in mental health I’m gonna be real with you guys like people really struggle there I struggled there a lot and having a really good person to talk to whether it be a psychologist a psychiatrist a therapist really prioritizing your mental health in college is a huge thing and I learned that it’s something that I need to do otherwise all other areas of my life will suffer I want to eliminate the stigma around it I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to see your therapist I don’t think you have to have something wrong with you per se to go see a therapist I think it’s nice to just go talk to someone and to get things out because a lot of times I would burden my friends with them I’m like an overshare but you have to be respectful that. many people are going through all of their own stuff and they may not have the time or like mental capacity to actually deal with everything that you’re going through. it’s really nice to just kind of unload that on someone whose job it is to listen to you. mental health key and then also like along with prioritizing my health this video is in partnership with care of. if you don’t know what care of is it is a vitamin subscription service. 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I started taking b12 zinc iron veggie Omega threes because I can’t take fish oils and then I also started taking vitamin D because most Americans are actually vitamin D deficient I found out and I’m California and used to a lot of Sun and I even had to take vitamin D when I was in California because I wasn’t getting enough especially in Boston it was really important for me to take some that was personally what the quiz recommended for me and it’s been helping me a lot I actually really like them it’s super convenient to take in the morning it’s just a little packet like this it’s super cute it has your name on it and it comes with like a daily challenge or note or quote of the day. it’s like really great to just start your morning with that their packaging is compostable. it is very very eco friendly and as someone who really cares about the environment this was a huge thing for me. there are packs are plant-based compostable they’re plant-based film would pull fermented blend of corns cassava root and sugar cane. they made them compostable and like very eco-friendly but they’re also fresh and like keep your vitamins fresh and then you know can feel good about saving clinic while you take them in the morning to finish this point about health and wellness I have a little promo code for you guys. if you want 25% off your first care of order go to take care of comm and enter the promo code Sienna 25.
I really recommend them they’ve worked closely with me before and I’m really excited about this video okay my camera died and then it just kind of malfunctioned and freaked out and I had to sort that all out. setup and the lighting and the positioning is a little different I am. sorry number six I used to be terrified and I mean terrified of making phone calls literally my mom would call up like Costello or like a grocery store something and be like oh can you call them and see if they have this note hand me the phone while she was driving and I’d literally scream and throw it back at her like I was. so. scared of talking to people on the phone I don’t know why because I could do it in person also whenever I would have like a business call or an interview in high school if I’d have to be in a quiet room with my notes all in front of me and I would have to be in the room like 10 minutes before the call and we’ll have rehearsed everything and everyone had to be quiet and like I was. so. scared for that and then in college like everything became less of a big deal I think which was really good for me I had to make all of my own doctor’s appointments therapists appointments chiropractor appointment dentist appointments like talk to administration pay bills all of that becomes your own priority and you really learn how to be self-sufficient and. I’ve got over that anxiety about talking on the phone very very quickly which was really good for me and. whereas I used to have to have like the perfect setup in my room at home in high school I can literally be like walking to class while eating breakfast while texting a friend while putting something in my Google Calendar and be on like a business call or interview you kind of just learn how to multitask and things don’t become as big of a deal anymore like you definitely care about them but I really really learned that you can easily fit that stuff into your life and not let it consume you with anxiety which is what it used to do to me before number seven I learned that I needed to have something to do outside of campus that was just for me and I think this is really important universally but I think especially at Harvard because they call it the Harvard bubble and all of your classes and your clubs and your friends your social life is like all in this bubble in Harvard Square and Cambridge and you don’t really venture outside of it. not many people go into Boston and not many people do things that are outside of Harvard whether that be like hobbling or even just doing a job that’s like not related to Harvard at all and for me I really loved being involved in. many things on campus and that was a really big priority for me but I also really liked having things that weren’t really affiliated perfect I started doing YouTube that was a huge thing like in December I just kind of picked up and did that and I mean one here we are now which is great but also like I have something that’s just mine that’s not I mean it is I guess related to Harvard because I talk about my life and I’m talking about it now but it’s not through the school if I went somewhere else I would still have UT and I started working for bumble and that was amazing and just doing things that kind of give you a little bit of perspective and like I hate to say the real world but kind of like put you a little bit more in the real world and like interact with other people outside and I don’t think a lot of people prioritize this and it’s kind of like you know like while you’re in college you really want to focus on like what you’re doing in college I think it’s really important to have things that are just yours it’s almost like no one can really take it away from you also for your on-campus activities make sure to do at least one if not two things that are just entirely purely for fun even if you’re worried about your career and networking and all that. like that is gonna come later and like you can do clubs that are gonna help with that you should actually like them like please make sure you actually enjoy doing them before you sign up for things don’t do it just because it looks good on your resume have things that you just purely do for fun make sure you do those and I really learned that those quickly became the things that really balanced my time in college because it didn’t feel like I was constantly stressed and constantly working for things that I wasn’t excited about. I joined expressions which is the hip-hop dance company and had. much fun with that and then also modeled and did runway in the identity’s Fashion Show which is like our on-campus fashion show. to purely for fun very out of the box never did them in high school probably never would have tried them in high school and it was really important for me to put myself in like those more uncomfortable situations to really grow making sure to have those things that were just separate that you know no one can take away from you they’re just yours but also that you’d use just purely for fun and because you really love them like those are the things that I’m gonna prioritize almost more than anything going forward and I know that for me okay number eight take advantage of the speakers this is huge this is huge who choose you are only in college for four years it may sound like a long time it really is not like my year went by with that and I saw. many people that weren’t taking advantage of where they were there’s. many cool things going on in campus and don’t get me wrong like I couldn’t go to all of them of course but I really tried to prioritize going to people famous lecturers speakers people giving workshops like career workshops like just fun workshops just kind of everything I saw. many cool people speak I saw Andre Osman who wrote call me by your name I saw Travis Scott I saw Sophia Bush I saw the Democratic presidential candidates I went on a trip to New York with women in business and got to go toward tons of companies that was super cool like those opportunities are the ones that you’re gonna look back on and remember like you’re not gonna remember the time that you were stressed about this essay or like oh that you had this piece at DU or something if there’s a speaker on campus and they’re well-known even if they’re not well-known just go to it or if there’s like a workshop or something that could help just go and you can prioritize that time it’s literally only an hour or two of your day it’s not gonna be every day and most likely I knew from me that I would probably just waste it being on my phone or answering emails or something it became. worth it for me to go to those and looking back with the semesters I realize I accomplished. much and learned. much just by going to those things and got. inspired – you’re not gonna have these opportunities after college like you aren’t gonna have famous lectures and academics and celebrities coming to your campus you’re not gonna have these amazing workshops for free you’re not gonna have all of this incredible advice like it’s literally right there waiting for you to take advantage of it that became a huge priority for me jump on the opportunities they’re not always gonna be there I swear the Sun hates me today it keeps adjusting I am. sorry the learning curve guys I’m getting there okay. number nine support your friends this was a huge one and something that I learned very quickly was super important like you and your friends are probably not gonna have the same interest you’re probably not gonna be the same club’s like it’s gonna be a lot different and you’re all gonna have rehearsals and plays and performances and shows you guys are gonna be doing. many different things individually and there’s gonna be. many opportunities for you guys to go support each other do it every single time really really really really make it a priority to go support your friends and the people that you love because everyone is struggling everyone thinks they’re a failure everyone is trying as much as they can and it actually means. much to people that you show up and that you give them love and that you support them like I don’t care if you’re tired I don’t care if you have a million other things to do like really truly make it a priority it kind of goes back to what I was saying about like lowering your standards a little bit this is something that I won’t lower my standard on I know my two friends will support me and what I do and will show up to my things will you know come to my dance performances well height me up we’ll share my YouTube videos you know just be there for me and support what I do and what I love and in return I would always always do the same for them when you look back on it the money’s not gonna matter time isn’t gonna matter what’s gonna matter is that you showed up for your friend and you were there and you gave your support and trust me it goes such a long way when you have friends like go hype them up be there for them like just just do it okay number 10 I realized how important it was for me to get off campus I would try to go into Boston at least once a week if not twice I know not many people do this but it’s a short T right away public transportation you don’t have to go anywhere I take tea all the time and just go exploring be a tourist in your own City go do something fun it was. important for me to to spend time with like non Harvard people and again here it’s the real world but like interact with the real world a little bit more it recharged me a lot and gave me a lot of perspective and I always felt reenergized every single time even if it’s just going into your city more often do it just seriously just do it just get off campus spend some time by yourself study in the city one day study at a new coffee shop even if it’s just changing up your usual pace it’s. easy to fall into a rut in college and I think I’ve easily did that and once your daily routine isn’t exciting anymore it’s hard to be happy and passionate about what you’re doing. the littlest tiny ways that you can make yourself happy and spark joy in your life now I’m sounding like Marie Kondo but literally going to a workout class in the city or exploring a new running route actually fake I don’t run but this worked for my friends being outside is very important being in nature just get out of your dorm go experience something new get lost a little bit just take some really quality time by yourself all right that is it for this video thank you guys for watching until the end if you did that was a lot I just threw at you I spent. much time thinking about these and writing things down and just reflecting and I think it really encompasses my year and kind of everything that I’ve learned like I’ve changed. much this past year it’s actually kind of crazy I’m. grateful to be where I am and I’m learning. much and it’s actually been amazing like I really value my education I value college as a whole not just the academic part but the whole entire experience I think is. incredibly important you know this isn’t gonna be everyone’s experience this is just mine but I just wanted to share with you guys cuz this has been one of the most transformative years of my life and it’s kind of coincidental that I just started a YouTube channel like halfway through it. you guys are going to experience that and hopefully someday I’m gonna be able to look back at this and be like wow like this is when I was going through a really tough time this is how I got through it this is what I learned this is how I’m growing and I can’t wait to look back on it when I graduate to and just kind of realize how far I came I’m. excited for the future I’m. excited to go back to school I’m ready to tackle this sophomore year like here we go baby thank you guys. much for listening love you all I’m rooting for you kisses and I’ll see you in my next video