If you follow me on social media, especially Twitter, you will know that I’m about to graduate college. Although this whole time I just wanted to leave and graduate, the sadness is creeping in because I know I’ll be leaving a place that was my home for 4 years. I learned a lot through my education, but there are a few things I learned outside of the classroom.
You Can’t Judge Someone for Who They Were Freshman Year
Everyone still comes with the mentality that they have to be like everyone or likes the same things, in order to get friends. For some, it takes them a while to find out and accept who they really are, so if someone changes, let them be. Most likely you drastically changed too, college is just a learning process.
Some of the Truest/Sincere Friendships Come Out of Unlikely People
My closest friends now were not the people who I met during orientation. Some were my coworkers at my on-campus job, others I met in a class that I took as an elective. Also, friendships are more sincere because you have to make time for people, unlike high school where you are stuck with them for 8 hours. Making time for people shows that you care and friendships become valuable.
Some Professors Genuinely Care
Depending on where you go to school, it is sometimes hard to get to know your professor but if you have the chance, do it. Some professors do care about how you do in class and sometimes can connect you to others in your field, giving you more options.
It’s Okay to Commute
Shout out to all my commuters! I remember when I decided to commute I thought I would be missing out my whole college experience and it wasn’t like that at all. Although it is kind of hard to stay connected because a lot of events/meetings are planned around people who dorm, you can still participate and be active. It gets hard at times, don’t get me wrong, because you have to make an extra effort to actually go to class. But it’s freeing because you don’t have to be at school 24/7. People may scare you but you get the best of both worlds commuting, plus you get to pick and choose what you want to participate in, instead of having a roommate drag you to something weird.
You Learn to Appreciate Your Parents More
Some school days are long and junk food will become your go-to meal and you will soon begin to miss a home-cooked meal. You will also realize that as much as you wanted to leave the nest, you will miss them so much, so make sure you call them.
Just Because In-N-Out is Close By Does Not Mean You Should Eat It
You’re independent and can finally eat whatever you want. Don’t do it. Even though it is tempting to eat a shake and fries at 1 in the morning at the beach, you will slowly start developing unhealthy eating habits and that is not good. Let’s be real, you’re probably going to waste a ton of money on food, just make sure you’re not overdoing it.
Trying Something Random Can Benefit You
You’ve obviously heard that college is about trying new things and learning about yourself, so try something new, that is extremely unexpected for you. I ended up being part of the commuter cabinet for SGA, which is random, but I had a great time and learned how to discuss things with a group. Plus, you meet tons of new people and I can actually add that to my resume.
You Have to Go With the Flow
A lot of stuff you probably did not plan for will happen. The easy A class you signed up for is actually hard. You run out of food. You pull an all-nighter and miss a class. College teaches you how to time manage but it also helps you realize that things happen and you just have to make them work for your benefit someway. “Life goes on” is pretty much the phrase I adopted these last few years.
Don’t Worry About Not Having the “Typical” College Experience
You may have the illusion that college is all about partying and having fun and doing dumb stuff, however that stuff isn’t for everyone. Yes, there are probably people who do this but sometimes you will just want to stay in your room and watch Netflix as you study and that’s okay! Just because you’re not constantly updating your Instagram with new adventures, does not mean that you’re enjoying college your own way. Don’t let the cliché view of college fool you.
Despite the Status of Employment Rates, Graduating College is a Sweet Feeling
Think about it, there are tons of people who can’t go to college. It’s a privilege we all take for granted. Even some people start college but don’t finish. Making it to the end is something we should be proud of, even though we hated all the work it took us to get there. Enjoy the moment, it is an important achievement.
Although I was really happy to just graduate and start a new chapter, I’m starting to get feels about leaving college behind. For four years, it is the place where you grew as an adult and realized what you wanted to do. It’s bittersweet leaving this place behind, but that’s just how it goes.
What are some things you learned in college that wasn’t necessarily part of your education?