lessons I learned in college

8 Life Lessons College Taught Me Outside Of The Classroom

College is hard and so are some truths that I had to learn along the way

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Before starting college, I thought that it would be the best time of my life full of wild parties and crazy experiences. I was right in a way but at the same time, I was wrong because college brought me more than the parties and crazy nights. College also brought me friendships that were meaningful and eight lessons that would stick with me even after I walk across that stage soon.

1. Hookups usually do not end with a relationship

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I had many instances where I resented the person I had hooked up with and it was because of the fact that I had expected them to actually be friends with me and get to know me as a person. My advice here is that if you truly want a relationship then its probably best to not give yourself up too easily.

2. Some people who you trusted before college will turn into people you can't trust 

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Unfortunately, college is a time when you will lose people that you thought you would keep in your life forever. It can be that high school friend or even a family member. Life has a way of teaching us that some people are not meant to stay with you forever.

3. You are responsible for yourself

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Being in college forces you to become independent of yourself. Fortunately for me a sense of independence was already instilled in me thanks to my rough upbringing. In college nobody is going to tell you to do your laundry, clean up, etc. Your teachers are not obligated to remind you about upcoming assignments or keep track of how many days of classes you missed. All of that is up to you

4. Some people will never change

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You can talk it out, cry, beg, whatever but some people won't change their actions even if their actions hurt you. At that point, it is up to you to either stay and deal with it or walk away and know that you are worth more than how they treat you

5. The most awesome people you meet will come from unexpected places 

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Best fiend #1: first saw him at a campus event as I was on my way to class. The next semester we started seeing each other around campus a lot and we even joined the same club together unexpectedly.

Best friend #2: Knew her in one of the clubs I was part of since freshman year. Sophomore year was when I was going through a rough time and every time she would see one of my dark Facebook posts she would always message me. We are still close to this day

6. You are not responsible for the happiness of others

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I use to be the biggest people pleaser before college. Once I got into college, I realized that half of the things I was doing was because of other people. Another thing I learned is that nine times out of ten those people you do things for won't even appreciate you. Once I realize this I started to focus on my worth and what I want and needs.

7. You can still be good friends with someone without hanging out with them every day

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So I got one best friend who I see at least twice every week and another best friend who I only get to see at least twice a month. What I had to learn was that people go through other things and sometimes they are too busy to think about you. This does not mean they will forget you but they just do not have the time for you. This lesson did nothing but make me cherish every moment I had with my best friends especially the one that I barely see.

8. It is not wrong to seek help...for anything

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The price that comes with being an independent person is the mindset that I do not need help, even if my grades were suffering. I had to learn in some hard ways that sometimes you just have to set your pride aside and admit that you do not know what you are doing.

There may be more things I may have learned along the way but these were the main lessons that helped me shape the way I think and act to this day. College life brought me happiness, excitement, tears of joy, tears of defeat, but most importantly college brought me a new kind of strength I could never imagine myself having.

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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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