20 Lessons I've Learned In College
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20 Lessons I've Learned In College

There are some things you can't learn in a textbook.

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20 Lessons I've Learned In College
The Atlantic

I spend hours a day studying, but when it comes to life, there are some things you could never learn from a textbook. While college has increased my academic knowledge, the lessons outside the classroom have impacted me just as much.

1. You have your whole future in front of you.

You get to decide what you want that future to look like. You are at the point in your life when the decisions you make are yours and yours alone. Sure, other people can influence you, but at the end of the day, everything is ultimately your choice. You get to decide which path to follow.

2. It truly is just a bad day, not a bad life.

Sure, things may not be great now, but a few weeks from now, you won’t remember what you were crying over. Life goes on, and you really are going to be OK.

3. You have to put yourself first once in a while.

While it’s important to be there for others, you truly can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s OK to take time for yourself and just relax for a little while. Your inbox full of emails isn’t going anywhere.

4. Still, it’s important to be there for friends.

Your friends will understand when that you cannot always hang out with them, but it’s good to be there for them when you can be.

5. You are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that is OK.

There is literally no way you can get everyone to like you; someone will always find something to criticize. Let it go…

6. …no one gets to determine your self-worth but you.

You cannot let anyone else be responsible for making your opinion of yourself. You have to decide that you are enough on your own.

7. Both of these lessons brings me to my next point, which is that it’s important that you love yourself.

Give yourself some credit sometimes. Stop harking on your “flaws,” on the embarrassing moments, on all the times you thing you messed up. Recognize that you are human, forgive yourself, and move on. Focus on the things that you love about yourself.

8. You are capable of so much more than you think.

College has pushed me in ways I never imagined, and I have found out how much I can actually do. Your limits are so far beyond what you’ve always thought.

9. At the same time, college taught me how much I can handle.

While I’ve discovered myself to be strong and capable, I’ve also learned where I need to draw a line. Part of understanding how far you can go is understanding and utilizing your support system. Asking for help is OK.

10. The heartbreak will heal.

No matter how shattered your heart feels, you’re going to be able to look back it one day and realize it brought you exactly where you needed to be. It probably feels like someone punched you in the stomach right now, and it probably feels like you’re never going to stop crying. I can promise you that one day, the tears will stop. Eventually, you will find someone else who makes you smile, but, more importantly, you’re going to be able to smile on your own.

11. It’s probably worth the risk.

As clichéd as it sounds, you’re going to miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. You really will look back and wonder; you’ll regret not being honest, not asking the questions you want to ask, and not pursuing what you want to pursue. Chances come in all aspects of life. Take them.

12. Part of making your own decisions is making the decision to prioritize your academics.

You’re paying to get an education, so you might as well make the best of it. Not to mention the fact that these classes are preparing you for your future.

13. Don’t forget to have fun.

Yes, academics are the priority, but be sure to take some time to do fun things. The crazy adventures you take with your friends are going to help form you as a person, as well. It’s important to remember a huge part of college is growing not only academically, but as a person. Taking a break is OK-your homework will still be there when you get back.

14. College has taught me how important it to embrace opinions differing from your own.

While you do not have to agree with these opinions, it is crucial that you hear them. The more exposure you have to them, the more you learn. You become more capable of understanding other’s perspectives, and it might just open your eyes to something you had never considered before.

15. Laughter is the best medicine.

Did I just shamelessly instill another cliché? Yes, yes I did. But this lesson is one that is important throughout life. There is truly no feeling that can compare to that of laughing until you cry.

16. Every day, I look at my friends and realize how lucky I am to have them.

Your friends help shape the person you are and the person you will be, they support you, and they give you some of the best memories of your life. Be grateful for your friends, and tell them how much they mean to you.

17. You’re never too old to need your parents.

Keep them updated on your life, go to them for advice, or call them just to hear a familiar, comforting voice. Call them just to talk, and tell them you love and miss them.

18. Being an adult is hard.

You’re going to have to do things you don’t like, and you’re going to have to make difficult decisions. It’s part of growing up, and it can be challenging.

19. But you don’t have to act grown up all of the time.

Should you make mature choices and ask responsibly? Absolutely. But is it OK to hang out with your friends, watching Disney movies and coloring? All I’m saying is that they make adult coloring books for a reason.

20. The best thing you can do is be yourself.

This is your first step into adulthood, your first taste of molding your own path. You are discovering yourself every day, and as you find who you are, it’s important that you embrace that person with every fiber of your being. Hold true to yourself no matter what comes up, and I promise everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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