College has taught me how to live, love and be myself. While college is an amazing experience, there can be many highs and lows along the way. I’ve learned to appreciate all of these experiences because they help me grow as a person and see that college is more than solely academics. Here are some lessons I’ve learned so far:
1. Do what you love.
If you don’t major or participate in what you love to do, you won’t fully appreciate what college has to offer. You are paying so much money to get an education so you might as well learn the skills for a career that will make you happy. As Confucius said, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I never truly learned the importance of this until I started taking courses and realized where my passions and strengths lie. I know some majors may not be as practical as others, but if you love to do something, it will find a way of working itself out.
2. Any college you go to, you can make the best of it.
During my first year of college, I constantly wondered whether I should transfer schools. I believed there were schools that were better suited for my major and my passions. While that might be true, I have grown to love where I am, and I would not change it for anything. The friendships I’ve made, the faculty that inspire me and the clubs that help me grow are worth it.
3. You will eventually find your best friends, but for many, it doesn’t happen overnight.
When I first got to college, my thought process was that I needed best friends immediately. I quickly learned that while everyone feels this way, great friendships take time. While I think it is wonderful to be friends with people on your floor your first year of college, it is important that you are not only friends with people based on proximity.
4. It is OK to lose touch with people from high school.
College allowed me to see who my true friends are. It is inevitable that when you are with the same people every day, you are going to grow close to them. It is also likely that as you aren’t with the same people every day, some of your high school friendships will fade. I now understand the quote, “if you’re not losing friends, then you’re not growing up.”
5. You are not alone.
When I am feeling down about grades, friends, relationships or family, I learned that many people share similar experiences, and that is what makes us human. Especially my first year of college, when I thought everyone was best friends with their roommates, it made me feel alone. It wasn’t until I went on a retreat my first year, that I found out that other people felt the same way.
6. To keep in touch with your family.
As I become busy with school work, friends and life at school, it is easy to forget to keep in contact with my family. Family is so important, and in most cases your parents are helping pay your way through college. I learned they deserve to hear from me every once in a while, and that they are also my biggest supporters.
7. “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
Whatever my troubles are, if things aren’t OK now, they will eventually get better over time. More importantly, I will learn from these experiences.
I still have a lot to learn from college, but this quote helps me get through each day and reflect on the amazing lessons I’ve learned on this journey so far.