1. If you have a problem, you have to learn how to fix it yourself.
In my three years in college, I have learned that no one will be there to hold your hand while they solve your problems. Much less be there to hold your hand while you try and solve your own problems. Before college, I always had someone to rely on, someone to help me fix my problems, someone that I could vent to. When I first transferred to SFA, the only people I knew either weren’t in my major, or I didn’t see them all the time. So, I had to figure out how to think for myself. The main thing I relied on was my faith; I would pray and wait. Sooner or later, my prayer would be answered, and others, well I’m still waiting, still praying. I also thought everything out, questioned myself when I had to and went with the flow when I couldn’t.
2. You’re not defined by who you once were.
If you can think back in time to junior high, I’m sure that you can remember that this was mainly one of the first times that cliques started to form. Over the years and into high school, the cliques changed, and you might have made some new friends. With college, it’s a whole new ballgame. Away with the cliques and in with being friends with everyone. I’ve learned recently that when you come to college, you come in with a clean slate. You find new friends who enjoy being around you for you, not because you’re the head of a clique and want to be popular. You don’t find just one group of friends, you have many individual friends. This is one of the best things about college, I think, how you can enjoy having friends without wondering if you will make one mad by hanging out with another one.
3. You actually have to plan things out.
In high school, I was the one who had a planner, who always had his whole day planned out. In fact, the next week of my life was planned out. That doesn’t mean I was the one with straight A's, because I wasn’t. When I came to college, I realized that I would have to up my game. It wasn’t until this past year that I actually got it together and started planning everything out—down to the last detail of my life. A person needs to realize that you have say, “Okay, tomorrow I have this and this, and I have to study for this.” Through all the hard times with the planning, through all the hair-pulling, it will all be worth in the end.
4. Come to terms with challenges we couldn’t before.
The time comes where we need to lay out the obstacles that we have ahead in our lives, and the ones we have already overcome. The way we come to terms with challenges makes us better people, we grow from everything the world throws at us—good and bad. College doesn’t just teach us how to come to terms, it teaches us how to be better people.
5. A sense of discovery.
Before college, we all didn’t know who we were, or what we wanted. After a few years in college, I have discovered what I like and don’t like. What I’m passionate about. That’s why I changed my major to Interior Design. My former major made me unhappy and easily annoyed. After switching, I was in love. I was happy. I discovered that I ate, slept and breathed was something that started to make my life complete.
A lot of college students think of growing up mostly as paying bills, being legal to drink or just having a little more authority over than when they were 17. This is all great, but there is more to being grown-up that I’ve learned. It isn’t just bills and friends and making good grades. I think that when we go out into the ACTUAL real world, we need to understand what got us there, how we how overcame obstacles so we can overcome others. There’s more to being a grown-up and how to live life. College changes you, if forces you to grow.