15 Things I Learned In College
As graduation closes in on me, I've recently been reflecting a lot on my college experiences... What have I learned? What advice can I give to those beginning this journey?
It's a lot but definitely not everything. Here's 15 things I learned in college.
1. "college isn't for everyone."
College can create so many opportunities for those who decide to continue their education. It exposes individuals to new experiences and new interactions. But the truth is, it's not for everybody. I've seen so many people struggle, change their majors, and/or change their minds and drop out...
If you're in college right now & you're reading this, I'm not telling you to drop out or quit or whatever because I personally believe that you can never go wrong pursuing a higher education because education is for everyone - as long as you maximize your time & the resources that are available to you.
All I'm saying is that success is different for everyone. And sometimes the way college is is just not suited for a particular individual. Some people thrive in more structured learning environments and others don't & learn much more from world experiences. You just have to figure out what is best for you.
2. For some, it's a time to figure life out.
For most people, college is prime time to discover identity. This liberating time is going to push you to interact with others during class, at parties, at organization fairs, everywhere! You're going to learn so much about others, about yourself, and about the world. College is just the beginning.
3. don't get hung up on friendships.
Not everyone you meet in college is going to be a life long friend. Most come and go. Some you're only friends with because you share the same major, others because you're in the same student organization. It's not that deep and that's OKAY. Bringing the point back: college is a time to find who you are as an individual. Don't forget that others are doing the same.
4. don't get hung up on romantic relationships.
The same goes for romantic relationships. Don't rush into these. Guard your heart.
My first official college relationship lasted about 6 months and that was a f*cking nightmare. I've learned that you don't need some "potential" bringing you down. If you meet someone special, that's soo wonderful but NEVER lose sight of the vision that you have for your life during this time. It's a time to explore both new opportunities and relationships.
Just be smart, be safe, and have fun.
5. college parties are not necessary.
If they're not your thing. Don't go. If you're curious, go. But it's not a requirement. You'd be surprised that there is a large percentage of university students who don't take part in anything other than their academics. Some students have full time jobs, some students are parents, and some students just don't care.
I've been a full time student, I've been a commuter, and I've been a working student. My first college party? I haven't been to one! I've been out to bars but an actual party? Nah. It's just never been a thing for me and I don't feel like I'm missing out because I'm just not that keen on it, y'know? Besides, I think the bars are so much more fun anyway. No one is going to come bangin' on your door at 1 AM in the morning because it's too loud because you're at a bar...
6. don't forget about school.
I'm talking to the freshman who may be reading this. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're 'free' now. No parents to nag you every time you leave the house. Have fun but don't forget that you're attending university because you're here to receive an education. These loans rack up, fam. Just keep that in your head somewhere.
7. be smart with your money (& Use your Student Discount).
Through experience, money runs out fast. You should prooobably spend it wisely. Probably on mostly useful things. If you want to spend it on experiences, make sure you get a good price. Use your student discount when you're grocery shopping, at the mall, when you shop online. Find ways to save money. Because when you've used it all up, you're parents might not be able to help you out this time.
8. remember your family.
Don't forget to call your parents every now and then. Check up on them. Check up on your siblings. It's important that you don't forget about the people that care about you the most.
I remember not being super close with my family in high school but for some reason, being away from them has brought me closer to them. If you're like me, reach out. It's never too late to mend familial relationships and to form better understanding of one another. (I also prayed about this a lot. So that helped tons.)
9. best way to cure a hangover is to...
Sleep it off. Eat heavy foods. Lay in the sun. Or throw it all up.
Hangovers suck. Know your limit to avoid this.
Important message: Never drink & drive. Always have a designated driver and make sure that you're going in pairs or more when taking lyfts or ubers.
10. work out however you can.
Exercise helps with overall health. Not only does it help with physical health, it helps your mental health as well. Exercising allows you to sleep better, be more focused, and it helps reduce mental stress (which you will most definitely have).
So if your university has a gym, free group exercise classes, etc. take advantage of it. You're already paying tuition for these things, might as well go, right? At my university, they would host free yoga sessions in different parts of campus & I'd always try to go to those.
Invite your friends or go on your own! Just keep your body healthy!
And if you really have no time, do some exercises in your room! Yoga mats are only $5 at some dollar stores!
11. take a lot of pictures.
I'm about to graduate and I have almost no pictures of me out and about during my time @ university. If you're like me, you're going to want to look back on these times. Of course, always be present in what you do, but if you can, cop a cute photo of you & your friends having ice-cream at your college town's best ice-cream shop, y'know? There's no shame in bringing your Polaroid camera with you (or any camera). I always bring mine along & there's never any regrets.
12. be wary of roommates.
I'm the kind of person that will pay for my own private room and I did. Regular dorms were not my thing. I don't trust my things to be out in the open when other people's friends are over. If the locks are weird, I would never trust the entirety of my stuff to be in an unlocked dorm room where a random could come in and steal. Call me paranoid but I have never gotten anything stolen. And that's all I really care about.
Now, apartments are a different story. You can have your own private rooms and share a kitchen & living room area & depending on what kind of complex it is, a suite bathroom can be an option (which is much better than regular dorms).
I think it's important to have conversations about each others' living boundaries when choosing a roommate so make sure you ask questions and know what you want and make it clear to the other person (vice versa).
13. be kind anyway.
There are going to be all kinds of people at university. Not everyone is going to like you. You're not always going to agree with others. People can be rude, mean, ignorant, or all of the above. And there's going to be some annoying ass people out there that will make you want to straight up leave class. If you ever interact with someone like these that I've just mentioned, BE KIND ANYWAY. Just be the better person. That interaction is temporary so either walk away or just be kind. It's not worth it, fam.
14. dress comfortably.
I'm all about dressing cute for class. But I was a biology major and honestly, barely got any sleep and I would walk several miles a day just to get to class. So most days I wore little makeup, sweats, and basic sneakers. I always get cold in class so I bring a sweater with me. If you can look cute and comfy at the same time? That's even better.
15. be prepared but don't bring your whole house with you.
When I run into a friend on campus, there seemed to always be a 'little turtle' comment of some sort about my appearance. Ya'll... I carried so many things in my backpack that it was bigger than my entire torso. Don't be a turtle! First of all, it's so bad on your back and secondly, you're probably not going to use everything that's in there in one day. So just bring what you need and maybe the basic essentials (lip balm, band-aids, USB + charger, laptop, snacks, etc.).
If it's your first year going into uni, I hope this helps you! If you've been here, done that like myself, I hope it was a fun, nostalgic read!
And comment some of your own advice too; it might become useful for others who may be reading this post as well!
Happy Sunday, babes!
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