A Rude Awakening: 10 Things You Took For Granted In College

You’ve definitely heard that college is the best four years of your life. Now, I can’t vouch for whether or not that is actually true; I’ve only been out of school for a year and a half… What I do know, is that I miss college every single day since I left and I know I am not alone in this sad sea of post-grads. There are definitely things I miss more than others, and coincidentally these are the things I think I took most for granted while I was still in school. I’m willing to bet that I am not the only one, so I’ve compiled this list of the 10 biggest things we took for granted when we were in college:

1. Living close to all of your friends.

When you’re in college, you likely live very close to your friends. Whether you actually live together or not, when you live around campus, no one lives more than a few miles from each other (and a lot of the time, an easy walking distance from one another). Once you graduate, people disperse, and it is significantly harder to hangout with your friends when they live in another city or even another state.

2. Having very similar or nearly identical lives as your friends.

Let me tell you, it is incredibly easy to maintain friendships when you have a group of people whose lives are very similar to your own. Your schedules are similar, you experience the same things on a daily basis, and you are all able to laugh about the same stories all the time, because you lived them together. When you graduate, this all goes away and I promise you’ll miss it.


3. On-campus resources.

You mean there isn’t a bunch of people out in the real world ready and waiting to help me with my resume? College campuses also usually offer services that you just won’t find in the real world, such as FREE healthcare services, tutoring, academic advisors, mental health services, career help, organized study groups, and more. I definitely didn’t take advantage of these resources as much as I should have. Don’t make my mistakes – take advantage of these awesome (and most importantly, free) resources available to you.


4. The library.

Yes, really. There’s something to be said for a quiet afternoon in the library, and it really is the best place to get some work done. Coffee shops are a close alternative, but they’ll never have that “sh*t, I have an exam in three hours” work ethic of a good old-fashioned library.

5. Campus itself.

I often find myself missing campus. When you first arrive at college, campus seems huge and intimidating, but you soon fall into a rhythm and it becomes a place of comfort. You might not realize at the time, but your college campus is a special place, filled with beautiful buildings, opportunities, and even just quiet corners to people watch.


6. Learning.

This is definitely something you take for granted while in school. College is a time when, unlike high school, you get to (mostly) choose classes based on subjects you are most interested in. Do you realize how cool that is? You get to spend your days learning about things you find interesting and challenging – and you may never have an opportunity this flexible again.


7. Intellectual conversations with like-minded people.

The combination of intellectually inclined individuals combined with an environment of learning provides an incredibly unique environment you simply won’t find anywhere else. While the expectation to always be on top of it and ready for a discussion might seem draining and mundane while you are still in school, you will miss that intellectually charged environment. Turns out it’s extremely difficult to find someone in your life who is just as interested in discussing the complexities of refugee camps in Jordan as your classmates were.


8. Intellectual conversations with non like-minded people.

In contrast to the above point, another unique part of the college experience is the ability to have a productive conversation with someone who doesn’t share the same views as you. Once you graduate you realize how special this is – just log onto Facebook and see people stubbornly getting into fights over their disagreements to see how well people handle differences in the real world.


9. The availability of new friends.

You have an astounding amount of chances to meet new people when you’re in college. Every class, every study group, every party – they’re all chances to meet new people. When you have a real job in the real world, whether or not you love your coworkers or hate them, you basically see the same group of people every day. You have to try so much harder to meet new people! This is definitely something I took for granted while in college, and probably one of my biggest regrets as well.


10. Your roommates.

Maybe you love your roommates, or maybe you hate them. Usually it’s a bit of both. One thing is for sure, though: you most definitely take them for granted. When you move out/away, you will miss those late night talks, nights out, inside jokes, and little quirks your roommates had (even though they probably annoyed you at the time); you will wonder why the hell you ever complained about getting to just hang out with your friends at basically all times.


College is an experience unlike anything you will experience ever again. The freedom, friends, roommates, classes, stress, it can all seem overwhelming. This makes it much too easy to take it all with a grain of salt and think negatively, but take it from me: you will miss them. Enjoy the college experience for all its worth, and don’t take s single minute for granted!  

Featured image via quietthechaos.


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