Yes, obviously we go to school to get an education. We are spending valuable time and money on learning about the structure of the human body, the correct way to paraphrase and insert quotation, and, of course, where the most rare igneous rocks are in the world. All of this information is very important, but clearly not necessary to survive a day-to-day life. Going into my junior year, I’ve come to realize I have learned more about myself and the world surrounding me more-so out of the classroom rather than within it. You can’t find and study these things in textbooks or go to office hours to get extra help from a professor. They are a mix of tasks you’ve never even realized you didn’t know because your parents have done them for you most of your life, and now you’re out of the house and completely clueless. These things you learn, and will soon enough know, on your very own and most of the time you find out the hard way.
1. You can’t go very long without a pair of clean underwear.
2. How to mail a bill…and write a check.
3. How to budget money.
4. And once you fail at that, you learn how to make $10 dollars last all week.
5. You need money to survive... so finding and applying for a job becomes a new skill.
6. Just how good breakfast for dinner is.
7. Also how amazing leftovers taste when you’re drunk.
8. You realize you can’t please everybody.
9. But the people you do please will become some of your best friends for life.
10. The realization that there are more people in the world than within the bubble engulfing your high school.
11. Due dates. Rent, utilities, loans, you name it. You will become a pro at memorizing important dates.
12. Whether you want to believe it or not, you will learn to say no to a night out with friends in order to prepare for that big exam in the morning.
13. Then, after you finish that exam, you learn how many shots you can handle before throwing up and blacking out.
14. Time management is a biggie. Between classes, homework, work, social life, and sleep you really become a huge advocate of preparing and planning.
15. If you’re tired enough you can fall asleep just about anywhere.
16. You also learn you don’t need your parents for every little thing in your life.
17. You learn to appreciate home cooked meals.
18. And when those meal privileges are taken from you, you learn just how crafty you can get with frozen chicken and a box of mac-n-cheese.
19. Eating healthy and working out is way harder to do than previously.
20. Probably because you’re still struggling with money and time management because, honestly, even as full grown adults we have a hard time balancing.
21. You learn whom you like and attract as friends, mentors, and lovers.
22. Walking from place to place is not so bad and can be the best part of the night.
23. Your taste in music will expand or even change completely.
24. You will realize some of your friends from home, who you thought were irreplaceable, can and are easily replaced by friends from school.
25. If you want to eat better it requires more money.
26. Having more money requires having a better job, and more time. Here’s that money and time management thing again.
27. How differently you think on drugs and alcohol.
28. Who your true friends really are when you’re in a sticky situation.
29. How to pregame harder than ever because you can’t afford the $7 drinks at the bar.
30. You will form your ideals, morals, beliefs, and judgments. And if you’ve already formed them previously in your life they will change.
31. How amazing your parents are for doing all of the things you never even knew they had to do.
32. How to appreciate a night in bed with ice cream and Netflix.
33. How wonderful it is that Papa John’s delivers until 3 am.
34. How to clean, yes it happens.
35. Who not to trust in a given situation.
36. Just how lucky you are that you’re enjoying growing as a person in the most fun-filled, exhilarating, stressful, and gratifying years of your life.