College: The Factory of Life Lessons

College: The Factory of Life Lessons

You Live to Learn and Learn to Live
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No one lied when they said that college, or life itself, is a learning curve. I feel like there is always two options when a curveball is thrown your way. You can use it to better yourself and learn, or you can let it take over you and shut down. Don't worry about if you'll ever have enough experiences to become a well-rounded person because college will provide you with more than a few to go out into the real world with a bag of tools in your hand. Here are a few lessons college has taught me so far:

1. If you stress about having stress you'll end up more stressed.

There is a lot more on your plate than you're used to having and it's entirely normal to get overwhelmed. It'd be a little peculiar if you didn't get a little stressed from time to time. However, you can't let the stress consume you because it will only make the situation worse. You may have three tests this week, two papers due next week and a lab report to hand in by Friday, but I promise you will be okay. You have to take one assignment at a time, one day at a time, and one week at a time before you take one year at a time. Stop thinking ahead and running yourself into a wall with all the work you have to do and make a list, and cross each task off at a time. Trust me you'll feel like you're conquering the world with each "x" you make.

2. Take time to make yourself happy.

This goes right along with numero uno. If you feel down, stressed, or just "blah, take the time to make yourself happy. No, you're not being selfish, you're doing something healthy to make yourself feel better. It is not wrong to take time away from all the craziness and not care about making others happy to make sure you yourself are in a positive place. Go get your nails done, go get a wax, go get a random tattoo, put on a face mask, go to a spin class, hey streak across campus if that's what it takes to put a smile on your face. Just make sure to make time for YOU.

3. College is a lot different than high school, but it's also pretty similar.

No one was wrong when they said that college is definitely an adjustment from high school. You have never experienced a workload like this and it will it like a train at full speed. It's the first time you don't have your mom or dad to help you write an email or help problem solve or make an appointment for a tutor, you're on your own. But you know what, you'll learn quickly. What has to be done will get done because you will get it done all by yourself. That's right, you can adult. College also isn't too far off from high school because there will still be the "jocks", the "band geeks", the "cheerleaders", the "nerds", and everything far off and in between. The difference is, you learn to not care. The people who support you and accept you for you will be the ones standing next to you when you marry the love of your life and the ones who don't, you'll see on Facebook occasionally and that's perfectly okay. But no matter the people you meet, you will have memories to last you a lifetime, laugh so hard your abs hurt, dance down the halls in fuzzy socks, slide down the stairs on your butt on the way to get food, jump in the elevator, and go on spontaneous adventures to tell your kids about. You will find your 2nd home.

4. Learn to have some fun and put positivity back into the world.

Learn to laugh a bit more, smile a little big bigger, hug a little bit harder, and live life to the absolute fullest. God didn't give you this life to waste on grudges or sad times or to not think that what you have isn't enough. He gave it to you to be the child he created. You are smart, you are an individual, you are caring, you are loving, you are strong, and you are going to conquer life and everything it has to offer. Never doubt yourself and what you have because you are more than enough. You will pass that test. You will make it through that crummy week. You will do any single thing you put your mind to because you are YOU. Spread that same positive attitude out into the world and let other people know how awesome they are because it takes such less energy than spreading negativity into the world already full of hate. Gandhi once said, "be the change you wish to see."

5. Home will always be where the heart is, or Heart will become your home.

As much as you try to be a strong independent young adult, your family will always have the key to your heart. A call to your mom will always make you feel better. An "I love you" from a grandparent will always put a smile on your face. A hug from your dad will always make you feel safer. And even a slap in the head from your annoying brother will make you laugh. Don't discredit the amazing support team you were blessed with. You'll always have cheerleaders on your sideline and that's pretty awesome if you ask me. And you'll even make a new family full of crazy, loud, loving people just like you. They may not be blood, but a sorority is still family. You now just have over 100 new siblings to be there for you, but you don't have to drive an hour and a half to have a laugh anymore. You can jam to Drake, do some cartwheels, and stuff your face anytime you need with some pretty amazing sisters. Don't forget the original homies who got you through the last 4, 6, 8 years of your life.

Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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