Now that I’ve settled into post-grad life (I mean, kind of…), I came up with a list of things I actually learned in college during my time there. This list isn’t entirely complete, and probably never will be, but college was one hell of a learning experience. The lessons I learned in those four years will carry on with my for the rest of my life, and here are 20 of them:
- Don’t let the FOMO get to you because there will always be another party to go to.
2. Eating healthy and exercising regularly is hard.
3. It’s not worth it to worry about what other people think of you – they’re too worried about what you think of them anyways. Nobody has the mind space to keep up with that double-edged sword.
4. A strong work ethic will get you farther than being smart or talented (okay, I kind of learned this from my mom, but I learned it in practice in college).
5. Mental health days are sometimes necessary. Take them if you need them.
6. When you don’t understand, ask questions.
7. One test or paper will not make or break your college career. Seriously.
8. Having a job and relying on yourself for money teaches you a lot.
9. You can learn just as much, if not more, from a class you do poorly in as a class you do well in.
10. Your friend group will change, and that’s okay.
11. Time management is an essential skill. Every future job depends on it.
12. It seems like everyone is having sex. They’re not.
13. You can bullshit your way through a lot of things; learning which things you CAN bullshit and which things you CAN’T bullshit might be the most applicable skill you’ll learn in college.
14. Lowering your standards to take part in the hookup culture won’t make you feel better.
15. Explore! Friends, interests, classes, clubs, your city etc.
16. There can be a lot of peer pressure; be true to yourself, don’t do things you don’t want to.
17. It’s okay to need your parents once in a while.
18. Immunity to coffee occurs really fast. Be sparse with your intake.
19. Always be confident because no one can believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
20. You won’t remember the assignments, you may not remember the classes or the professors, but you will always remember the days spent laying outside in the sun with your friends. Don’t get so caught up in the “school” aspect that you forget to live.
College can be some of the hardest years of your life, especially when you allow the stress and all-nighters consume you. Don’t let this wild time get under your skin and change you for the worse, because we all have to learn these lessons for ourselves. No one goes through college without experiencing half or more of these. You’re not alone.