11 Ways College Will Absolutely Change Your Life

11 Ways College Will Absolutely Change Your Life

You'll gain more than a degree during your time as a college student.
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At 20 years old, I can genuinely say that my time at the University of North Texas has been life-changing. I have learned a lot about myself and my goals what I want my future to look like, and without coming to this college full of opportunity, I do not think I would be able to say that.

Although college can be stressful from classes, to dealing with financial aid and deciding what to do with your life, I have come up with a list of things that have made me so thankful to be a college student.

1. Independence

Entering the real world seems scary at first, but once I got into the swing of things, it was not as bad as I had thought it would be. In fact, you will find yourself preferring to do things independently sometimes whether it is eating lunch by yourself or making your own doctor’s appointments.


2. The college experience

Many incoming college students come looking for the ultimate college experience including, but not limited to, dorms, Greek life, and college parties. You are going to make many memories during your first run-in with these aspects of college, some good and some, not so great. Regardless, you can say you did it and walked away with knowledge of more than just what you learn in classes.

3. Finding a purpose

As many other incoming college students, I was unsure of what my goal in life was. Whether it be career-wise or whom I wanted to become as a person, I had many questions that only I would end up being able to answer. I am only half-way done with college, and I am an entirely different person that who I was when I entered, and I am excited to find out what else I learn about myself

4. Connections

More than likely, your college is flowing with resources and counselors that will help you succeed throughout your student years and beyond. There are endless opportunities for any area of study, from internships to volunteer work, your resume will be booming before you even get your diploma.

5. Overcoming social anxiety

One of the biggest challenges I faced during high school and at the beginning of my college career was my struggle with social anxiety. I always felt fearful of change and new people or situations. Ever since coming to college and getting the hang of things, I realized that I could face whatever is thrown my way. I no longer fear the unknown, in fact, I crave it.

6. An introduction to diversity

My absolute favorite part about college has had the opportunity to meet all sorts of different people. You are going to meet people from different races, ethnicities and cultures, genders, sexualities, religions, and backgrounds that come from all over the world. It is such a blessing to hear stories on how someone got to where he or she is because we have all come from different ways of life and somehow ended up in the same place, and that is just really cool.

7. Responsibility

Responsibility is something that can be learned with or without attending a university, but the beauty of college is that you are with thousands of other young adults making the same mistakes and learning from them. Learning by doing has proven to be the most beneficial way of growing up, and you will not be alone while doing it.

8. Adulting

This term becomes all too real too fast. However, one of the best parts about college is that you have a bounty of resources at your fingertips to help you through any impossible “adult” task.


9. Life experiences

Did you even go to college if your roommate’s car broke down an hour away from campus? Or when the tornado alarm went off for an hour in the middle of the night before a final? You WILL get through it, and you WILL laugh about it one day…eventually.

10. There’s always time for fun

Football games, movie showings, concerts, guest speakers (we had Bill Nye the Science Guy and Nev Schulman from Catfish!) and workshops are available on college campuses. These events will be some of my best memories from college and are always so welcome in between the stress of classes. There’s something about going to a free Eli Young Band concert with your friends that make you enjoy those times in between the chaos.

11. Lifelong friends

You will meet the best people in college. You will be around so many different people with similar interests and personalities that you are bound to find your niche. You will not remember what life was like before you met them, and you definitely won’t want to.


Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Dear Senioritis, You Have Taken Many Of My Bretheren, But You Shall Not Take Me

Bring. It. On.

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It is one of the deadliest diseases known to high schoolers around the world. It takes the lives of thousands every year in high schools big and small. It rampages and destroys grades and social lives everywhere. Even worse, it is one of the oldest plagues with no known cure that every generation has dealt with.

What could I possible be talking about?

Senioritis, of course. Senioritis, as described by Google, is a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance. Basically, it's the last semester of high school, and no one cares about anything but graduation. Symptoms include countdowns written on classroom white boards, college commitments and having no care in the world about anything. In severe cases, students fall so sick, they have to skip school for days on end. It is truly a nightmare. All attentiveness in classroom goes downhill.

There is only one medicine shown to have some effect on the illness, and that would be final exam exemption. A motivation for seniors to keep their grades above an 80 or 85, depending on the school, so they can exempt their final exams. While it is not a complete cure, it does help remove side effects as students are now forced to work hard enough to maintain the necessary grade for exemption.

The past semester, I have lost many friends and foes to senioritis. It does not discriminate between male or female, big or small, rich or poor. I am afraid. I am afraid I will be next. As the next semester begins, I am afraid I will be its next victim. It is only getting stronger by the minute. And as the days goes by, it will gather its forces: school field trips, prom, spring break. I pray that I will be spared, but that is rarely heard of.

I was able to avoid Senior Skip Days last semester. Others were not so lucky. But in this war, it is all for themselves. I have done much research, but they are all inconclusive. Nothing seems to work. Changing sleeping schedules, hanging out with friends, setting goals — it all depends on the person.

As college application season has passed, we now only wait for results, but until then... what? What will happen? Will a cure be found, or will we all be doomed to this plague? If there is anyone out there who reads this, I forewarn you — save yourself. Find a cure. If not, you will end up like me or worse. For now, all I can say is that it is unavoidable. Sooner or later, it takes over. The real question is: who's next?

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