As the semester wraps up and final projects and exams loom right around the corner, let's take a moment to remember the valuable lessons the past few months have taught us.

Contrary to what it may seem, the most precious takeaways aren't the ones we binge study the night before a final as we cram an entire textbook's material into our brains. Those are meant to take temporary space in our short-term memory, and eventually fade into the ripples of our past.

The lessons that truly matter are the ones that touch us at the heart. These are the life-long messages that follow us on our journey to our dreams -- a future that unfolds with the discovery of new lessons that shape us and our surrounding world.

So as the last few days of the semester burden you with their notorious doses of panic and stress, take a moment to appreciate the values this semester helped you add to your life's portfolio. And if there was no value added, you might want to reconsider your priorities and career choices. Seriously.

I came across this thought today while sitting in my final MLAW class: what were my greatest takeaways from this semester's experience? I don't know about you, but my semester was pretty eventful -- and looking back on it, I had quite a lot of lessons to learn. As I was lost in my thoughts, my professor clicked to the last slide of his last presentation for the semester, and it read, "Some Thoughts About the Rest of Your Lives." That was my answer.

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So in the spirit of ending the Spring 2018 semester with a bundle of values, here went his list:

1. Don't be afraid that you don't know what you want to do with the rest of your life.

2. Experiment. Take risks.

3. Sometimes the best things in life are serendipitous.

4. Collect mentors along life's journey (and stay in touch with them).

5. Collect even more friends.

6. Read a good book, preferably a novel!

7. As often as you can, travel to a new place that you've never been.

8. Don't take yourself (or anybody else) too seriously.

9. NEVER stop learning.

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And for your information, serendipitous (adj) means "the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident." So be spontaneous, and expect the unexpected.

The twists and turns of life are part of a greater journey that we are all embarking on. School, tuition, grades, GPAs, applications, internships, and career pathways are all just one building block of that journey. Don't let them block your way; change your perspective so that they help build your future.

So after every step you take on this journey, reflect on the lessons you learned while taking those footsteps. The grades will fade from your sight as you take larger steps forward, but the values they teach you will remain forever.