64 Brutal Lessons I've Learned In 64 Weeks Of College
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64 Brutal Lessons I've Learned In 64 Weeks Of College

Welcome to the real world.


After two years of college, I'm officially halfway done, and I've officially spent 64 weeks away from home, living my life on my own, and allowing myself to experience the real world. And the real world can sometimes be amazing or sometimes be cruel. So here's to my first half of college and all the ways my life has changed, and here are 64 lessons I learned in my 64-week experience (and sometimes grapple) with reality:

1. The world will, more than ever, pressure you to sacrifice who you are for the sake of other people. Don't do it.

2. Just because "everyone's doing it" doesn't mean you should too.

3. Many people are unkind without ration. But dwelling on them only holds you back and makes you unhappy.

4. Many people are also kinder than you may think you deserve. But acting like you don't deserve them can make you miss an opportunity for a friendship or relationship.

5. You will have an urge to quit everything at some point: your classes, your majors, your passions, your friendships, your long-distance relationship. But the key is to push through because you can.

6. Some things may never go back to what they were--your body, your GPA, your friendships. You have to learn to accept that.

7. Don't be rude to your parents. You will realize how important they are to you when you're away from them for so long.

8. Your life is precious and could end at any point.

9. You may make what you consider the worst decisions of your life, but they don't define you if you can move on from them.

10. Instagram pictures are worth a thousand words but also can tell a thousand lies.

11. The more you pretend you have a thick skin, the thicker your skin actually becomes.

12. If you want to change your luck, you have to change your habits. Talk to that guy, go to office hours in that difficult class, take advantage of gym membership so you can shed those extraneous 15 pounds.

13. Relationships really don't happen by magic and take more work than they did just a year or two ago.

14. Even when you think "everybody is doing it," it's not true. Everyone who is doing it just likes to broadcast it.

15. Many people and pursuits that seemed so amazing will leave you disappointed. But you have to move on.

16. NOTHING is more important than your academics. Nothing. Not the frat party on Friday night, not your Tinder hookup that ghosted you, not how you looked on gameday.

17. The only person who can really stick up for yourself and take responsibility for your actions is you.

18. You will probably feel extremely lonely at times, but that's nothing to be ashamed of--most other people feel that way too but very few will admit it.

19. Most people only really look out for themselves. But you should too. After all, once you have a family, you can't do that anymore.

20. We've all been *that* person. So it's okay if once in a while, you're *that* person too.

21. There are always people out there to help you, even if it doesn't seem that way. But it's up to you to find them.

22. Many things will make you feel like a failure— from bad exam grades to broken relationships to struggling to pursue an academic path that keeps you in college for an extra few years. Own it. We're all failing, but we're all growing from it.

23. A lot of people you thought were your friends were never really friends.

24. It's tough when you trust people too much, but it's even worse when you live your whole life as someone who's cynical.

25. You will often have no choice but to speak up. Sometimes the world does not have time for shyness even if it's in your nature.

26. Everyone will try to rush their lives and will tempt you to do that. But you have every right to live your life at whatever pace you wish.

27. Time flies and life goes by very quickly, so it's entirely up to you how you want to spend that time. You don't want to look back and think about how unhappy you were or all the things you never did.

28. You have no choice but to accept yourself or else nobody will ever accept you.

29. The number of real friends and people who matter in your life is very small, but never take those people for granted.

30. Nothing makes you appear stronger and more mature than if you admit you were wrong, accept your own faults, and show a willingness to improve.

31. It's okay to give things up. You are still in a period of finding and discovering yourself, and it's important to explore.

32. You will experience some of the most dramatic changes in your life, but you will only be happy if you learn how to embrace them.

33. Fewer people are judging you than you think. Chances are, there are many other people out there just like you.

34. Sometimes, everything you do has to be outside your comfort zone.

35. The people who cause you the most pain also have the most pain within themselves. You have to hope their pain heals rather than wish more pain on them.

36. So many things in life really aren't fair. But you will never find happiness if you can't come to terms with that.

37. Fear of judgment will hold you back from so many things and keep you from achieving all that you possibly can.

38. Feeling sorry for yourself will get you absolutely nowhere.

39. Even if you work very hard at things and feel like no one works harder than you do, a time will always come where you have to work harder.

40. No matter how intelligent you are, you will feel dumb at some point. There's always more to learn.

41. College majors are the absolute perfect example of how money really can't buy happiness. You could be making a fortune in the future if you pursue a certain major, but it's not worth it if you aren't happy.

42. People will always be talking about you and perhaps saying things that aren't true. And you may talk about other people, not realizing the truth. You can't think about that or worry about that.

43. You can allow yourself to change but you shouldn't give up your wonderful qualities for the sake of trying to become someone else.

44. You aren't ever defined by any numbers. We aren't that cut and dry.

45. It's okay to be brave and explore in order to discover who you really are.

46. If you live your life with the attitude that any time is supposed to be the best time of your life, you will always end up disappointed.

47. You will have TONS of critics, but it's only up to you to determine who is worth listening to.

48. Nothing in life is "handed to you."  Reality is, you have to make it happen.

49. There is nothing more imprisoning than dwelling on the past.

50. Life tends to favor those who are more forceful, almost too forceful, in their pursuits. At times, you may need to be more aggressive than you'd like to be.

51. You have to find the strength to say "no" to things. Not just "no" to drugs or risky activities, but "no" to nights out with friends to study, "no" to skipping class even though you were up all night studying, "no" to those irresistible dining hall cookies fresh out of the oven.

52. You cannot go wrong with choosing to be kind, even if it's difficult sometimes.

54. Even if you think you're the "only one," you very rarely are.

55. There will always be people who are unkind to you, but if we all put our worth in those people's hands, we would all be worth nothing.

56. You have the choice about whether you want to make today productive or miserable because both take the same amount of effort.

57. It's far better to improve from the mistakes you make than to never make mistakes at all.

58. Some of us have more money than others, but time is a level playing field: we all have the same amount and it entirely up to us on how we want to spend it.

59. People will always disagree with you.

60. If you want to receive the love and empowerment you think you deserve, you have to start by empowering the people around you.

61. Most worthwhile endeavors require courage.

62. We all are inherently selfish. People won't remember your personal accomplishments but they will remember you by how you made them feel.

63. We all deal with degrees of stress we never thought we'd have to endure before. However, what matters is how we handle it.

64. Tomorrow is always a complete mystery. So many things can change in a moment.

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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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