#FlashbackFriday: Ashleigh Mavros shares senior year wisdom

By Ashleigh Mavros

Oh, freshman year. I was a magazine feature writing sorority sister with side-swept bangs. Now, as I make my way into my last semester at Ohio University, all three of these things have changed. I don’t regret a single second of my college experience, but there were definitely some hard lessons learned along the way. Still far from knowing everything, I do feel a wee bit wiser than my 18-year-old self and am eager to pass down advice I wish I had received.

Have no idea what you want to do? You won’t know four years from now either. I started as a magazine feature writing major and made my way to PR, but I’m still not 100% sure where I want to be in five years. I wake up every day with a different dream and I love the ambiguity a PR career allows

Grammar matters; take JOUR 1330.  I tested out of having to take the class, but I’m paying for it now since grammar serves as my occasional kryptonite. As agonizing as it is, it will be worth it

Don’t be intimidated by classmates; be inspired.  Being a part of Scripps, my super-competitive academic nature had me looking at everyone freshman year as my competition. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, I’ve switched my mentality and look to my classmates for inspiration. I don’t know how many times this summer I’ve found myself bragging up my classmates (talking to you Sandy,  getting a front page article your first week at USA TODAY)

 Find a handful of blogs and news sites and read them every day. Plain and simple, you won’t survive in the journalism world without being aware of the changes around you

Very few relationships make it from start to finish in college. I remember my tour guide supervisor Maddie Stevens telling me freshman year that college is best experienced single. With a serious boyfriend at the time I thought I’d be the exception. Touché Maddie, I wish I had listened to you sooner

Keep it classy on social media. I promise you, employers will check out every single page you have. Rule of thumb: if you don’t want your grandma to see it, don’t post it

Get a hard drive. Ashleigh; a week before finals you will fall asleep, accidentally destroy your screen and lose everything on your laptop. A $50 hard drive would have been a fair trade for the stress and agony a week before finals

You never stop learning. The most meaningful learning experiences won’t be in the classroom, but from outside involvement. To this day, I stay curious and have even been known as, “the girl that asks all the questions.” You will never know it all, so let the desire to learn keep burning

Stay true to your morals. In high school I was heavily involved in my community through different service events and volunteering opportunities. To this day, my most meaningful work comes from non-profits

Studying abroad will be the best college experience. When I told my parents I wanted to study abroad in Mexico they told me no, but I pay for my entire education so six months later I was on a plane to Merida. The city, people and culture will forever hold a spot in my heart and I couldn’t imagine going through college without studying abroad

Relationships you build freshman year will be like no other. I met three of my best friends within the first two days freshman year; two were my roommates and the other was a weird girl who lived down the hallway, but we accepted her anyway (Jasmine Garcia). We’re all still living together senior year and words can’t even express how much these girls mean to me

 Ask the professional to coffee. I PROMISE they will love to chat with a newbie to the field. I underestimated what insight I could gain from professionals. If they decline your invitation, they’re not worth your time anyways. Out of the area? Shoot an email or give them a call

Don’t underestimate yourself. Being in Scripps with so much talent and drive it’s easy to sell yourself short on your abilities. If you would have told me freshman year I’d be interning with Fahlgren Mortine I would have said you were out of your mind; YOU ARE CAPABLE

No one will ever have the answer but you. Should I graduate early? Should I join a sorority? Where should I intern for the summer? I asked friends, family, advisors and professors but the only answer I ended up following was my own

You will not leave OU the same person, and that’s a good thing. I’ll be the first to admit I have completely changed since freshman year, and you know what? I love the person I am now. College forms you over four years and spits you out a better version of yourself

Do what scares you. My best experiences have been when I was scared to death of taking an opportunity. Fear is the best motivator; don’t ever let it hold you back

Don’t ever take one single second for granted. You will hear this a million times before you graduate, but there really is no place on Earth like OU

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