Meet Leah Schwanke, of the Real Deal Girls Project. She has an Associates degree in Nutrition and Diet Therapy and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire. Here’s a quick interview to give you a bit of insight into our work and also “tips from those in the know” for girls heading off to school in the fall!
Favorite thing about your Freshman Year:
My favorite thing about my freshman year was actually living in a dorm. I am an only child and so I have always had my own room, own bathroom, own things and never had an experience really growing up of having to share anything. It was so awesome living on a floor with a bunch of other girls, all of whom were also freshman and so we were all new to this experience and environment. Everyone is so social and you can go eat at the dining hall way more than 3x/day.
Toughest thing about your Freshman year:
I think the toughest thing for me about my freshman year was being the primary caretaker of myself. I am not so far from home but at least a couple of hours and so if I didn’t know the answer to something or how to do something I was sort of left to figure it out. Freshman year will either show you how independent you are, or how to become more independent really quick.
What You Wish You Knew Heading Into College:
What I wish I knew heading into college was how fast it was going to go. I actually am done, I graduated a couple of months ago and it’s all over. I remember so much from my 4 years at this university like it was yesterday. I know most girls entering college have probably already heard everyone say how fast it goes. So I guess I would leave you with, don’t rush. You have all the time in the world to get a job, buy a house, own a business, whatever it is you aspire to do will come. So don’t rush it.
Words of Wisdom for Other Real Deal Girls in Our Growing Community:
I will share two words of wisdom. The first is one thing my cousin told me before I was going to college and I think it was the best advice. He said “When you get there join 100 clubs and quit 99”. You do not need to take that word for word especially if you end up going to a small school. But college is the time to join everything! Try new things you would never even think of trying right now like yoga, tap dancing, juggling, hiking, whatever it is go out and try it. You lose nothing by joining. And have friendships and life experiences to gain.
My other words of wisdom are “Obstacles are only seen when you take your eyes off the goal” it is one of my favorite quotes. My advice with that would be join a bunch of clubs, meet a bunch of people, but always remember where your heart and values lye, and stay focused on the ultimate dream.