I'm currently enrolled in a communications class this semester and the classes are hit or miss. Sometimes we go straight into notes, learn the material for the day, and head out the door. Other days we do high school level activities, watch long TED talks, or watch documentaries. Usually, I can debunk about every point made in a video we watch, making it pointless. Let's face it... I can "enjoy" those videos from the couch at home. The activities are usually too long, and they don't cut to the point — what a waste of my time. Fortunately, my money isn't going completely to waste. I've learned life lessons throughout my high school and college education that one can't get sitting in a classroom listening to TED talks.

1. People will try to screw with your life time and time again

But you can be the bigger person. People regularly come to my side, spend every day with me, and as soon as I refused to put up with crap, they would bolt. As soon as I became "too attached," people would run for the hills. Here's the thing... that's okay. People aren't always meant to stay. My personality isn't meant for everyone. I'm blunt and I don't sugar coat. Some people don't like that, but that's not my problem. My best friends from high school and college don't seem to mind. Those people who hurt you and treat you poorly are not your friends. Ditch them. You'll be a much happier person.

2. People have differing opinions and you need to be open minded

I'm not saying toss your morals and values out the window, but if someone has a different opinion, it needs to be respected. I have many peers that practice a different religion, and some handle it more gracefully than others. Some like to throw it in my face, others like to have an open conversation about it, while a few want to try to convert me and tell me my life is a lie. You can't have an honest discussion with people if you bash their beliefs or try to change them. This goes for politics as well. Just because someone likes one candidate over another, it doesn't give you the right to tell them they're wrong. You can have a discussion with them over why you prefer the other candidate, but everyone needs to have an open mind in conversations.

3. If you burn yourself out, it's hard to stay on task

Keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy is a difficult task, especially in college. Part-time jobs seem like full-time jobs and exams take up the little free time we have, but it's important to take a few minutes and evaluate. I burned myself out to the point where I took a three-week break. I was a music therapy major, and the schedule and homework load was too demanding. I was in school from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, and that didn't include a four-hour rehearsal after. I overbooked myself. Now that I have more control over my life, I feel like I can conquer more. Take the time you need for yourself so that you don't become overwhelmed and burn out.

4. Social media should not dictate your future

Yes, it's fun to see what the Vlog Squad from YouTube is doing every day and laugh at the funny memes that come my way, but I don't obsess over social media. I used to be on Snapchat daily and watch new stories roll in about every hour. I scrolled through Facebook whenever I was bored. Likes and follows on Instagram used to be everything to me. It was unhealthy. If you love Netflix, you may have heard of the KonMari method shown by Marie Kondo. She helps people declutter their houses. If it doesn't bring you joy, pitch it. I do the same thing on my social media accounts. I unfollow and unfriend people all the time. I had 430 friends on Facebook, and I didn't recognize half the people I was unfriending. I have 20 friends on my Snapchat, and I rarely use it anymore. My feed is much more controlled, and I limit what people see. It makes a world of difference.


You can't get this kind of education sitting in Biology 101. I've learned how to talk to people by sitting on a tour bus for hours. I've learned how to deal with moronic friends by watching them walk out. They are hard lessons to learn, but I'm a much better person for it. If you feel like you aren't learning in the classroom, remember that you're learning so much more out of it.