Lessons I'm Taking from College
Well, that was fast. In less than two weeks, college will be over. Between the emotional stress and sleep deprivation, college can seem longer than it actually is but in fact, these were four short years for me. As any student should, I have learned valuable lessons along the way. What I'm saying in this post isn't everything I've learned, but some of the lessons that stand out to me.
From the very beginning, I think one of the first lessons I learned was that people are raised differently from you. Before college, I was used to being around people that were like me. My friends and I grew up in the same city and even though some of us went to different schools, we still held similar values and had similar mindsets. College was completely the opposite and I don’t know if I was naive to think overwise. I knew people hold different values, but I encountered people that just lacked them all together.
Another lesson I learned is to live in the moment. It feels like just yesterday that I was climbing that annoying ladder to get into my bunk bed in my freshmen dorm and now I’m about to walk across the stage. Part of living in the moment also means it’s okay to be spontaneous. Yes you should do well on your schoolwork but it means nothing if you didn’t have some fun along the way. And not to sound like a hypocrite, but that brings me to my next lesson. I learned it in my senior year...a little late I know...but it’s okay to stay in some weekends if that means you’ll get a better grade on your test. Some weekends. It’s all about balance.
Next lesson I’ve learned...
You’re crazy if you don’t use all the free amenities and resources that universities have to offer. The gym (because the freshman 15 is real, or in my case, the sophomore 20+). I was doing so well freshmen year. I went to the gym around 6am and tried to watch what I ate but somewhere between the end of that year and sophomore year it went downhill. But anyways...Counseling sessions. Career center. The list goes on. These are here for your use and free of charge so it’s a disservice to yourself to not use them.
Lastly, it’s important to make connections in college. The right connections, the ones that will get you far in life. Make yourself known to professors in office hours. Let them know who you are from the beginning so that if you ever need anything, they already know your face. Having a support network is vital to your success. I always needed letters of recommendations for things that I was involved in (study abroad, McNair, grad school, etc). If I didn’t have a solid support network and connections, it would’ve been hard to get those letters. Support networks are also good for being that shoulder to cry on when college just gets too tough.
It’s too soon to tell just how much I’ll miss this chapter of my life, but I’m sure I will. I made amazing memories and really tried to live up to the college lifestyle. I stayed up all night with friends on random Wednesday nights, went on 3am McDonald’s runs, and chilled by the pool all summer long. As cliche as it sounds, college really is what you make it. I decided to forget my responsibilities sometimes and live a little. Life, whether in college or not, can’t be taken so seriously all the time. With less than two weeks of my undergraduate experience left, I'm taking away all of the amazing and not so amazing memories.