9 Things I Learned In College, But Not In Classes

9 Things I Learned In College, But Not In Classes

Your education is expensive, but not as valuable as the lessons that you learn between classes.

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As I creep closer and closer to graduation, I've started looking back at my college career with a wider lens. While there are a decent amount of things I would rather not relive, I don't regret those moments. However, I did learn a lot just from making friends, experiencing things by myself, and going out a weekend or two.

1. It's OK to procrastinate on that paper

Sometimes, things happen and our schedules get the best of us. I can't tell you how many times I have procrastinated on a paper until the genuine last minute. While that isn't necessarily a good habit to follow, it's never too frequent. As long as you get it done and don't half-ass your work entirely, you did your job better than you think. Also, sometimes people work better under pressure. I can definitely say that when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, I tend to perform better on assignments.

Just know that it's OK to procrastinate, but don't make it an every week kind of thing. That's when you'll start to feel like you're drowning.

2. You can't always make solid plans 

Everyone has their own schedule. The more things you're involved with, the harder it gets to find the time to share with the people around you. Whether it be extra-curriculars or too much homework, sometimes plans fall through. I'm not saying that you shouldn't make plans, but you should learn to adjust accordingly. Flexibility is necessary in social life, as well as work life, too.

3. Don't drink heavily in the middle of the week

While midterms really took a toll on most of us, I can definitely say that you shouldn't spend your time booze-cruising your way through your assignments. I know it's... Really hard. There is a way to balance everything, but alcohol is never the answer. It's the reward you get when your work is all done and over with. Don't ever forget that.

4. Put someone in their place, if you have to

You can't get along with everyone. Not everyone is going to like you and you're not going to enjoy everyone you encounter. However, that doesn't give you the right to be unnecessarily petty and mean when things get heated. Sure, you can put someone in their place if need be, but use those moments wisely. Unless the situation calls for pointing fingers, it's better to stay out of arguments. Silence says a lot, too.

6. Make mistakes and take notes

This is real deep-boi hours talk, but it has to be said. The biggest part of life is making mistakes and learning from them to better yourself. This also means blatantly owning up to mistakes when you're wrong or when you've taken things too far. Being able to apologize and mean it can mend fences or get that pressure off your chest. Whether or not it fixes things, know that you took the time to let someone know that you care about your mistakes and how that person feels. You are trying to make things better. It's up to them to forgive you, but at least you tried.

6. Put down your cell phone

Sure, I say this a lot, but take a break!

Social media and cell phones have become things that help you get through your day. But if you think about it, you're missing out on a lot of things. Generations before you didn't have cell phones and got along just fine. Maybe you should turn off the screen, avoid your messages, and take a walk every once in a while. You'll be surprised at what you'll find in the non-digital world around you.

7. Change up your routine

This kind of goes with putting down your cell phone. Getting stuck in too strict of a routine can really take a toll on a person's overall happiness. Things can get monotonous. You start to wonder what you're really doing with your life and forgetting how to truly live it. Add a spontaneous adventure here and there. Treat yourself when you need the TLC. Don't be afraid to step out of the rut.

8. Go out, drink, and have a good time... Within reason

(Sorry, I was looking for an excuse to use a GIF of Brett from "Big Brother". He's very dreamy.)

Don't be fearful of the crowds or how people behave once alcohol takes over. It can seem kind of scary from a distance but, in the spirit of experiencing new things, you should take the time to go out and see what the social scene is like near you. While there is always the fear of danger–as there are a lot of dangerous people out there (especially these days)–don't let that stop you from fulfilling your dreams of going to a bar or club and returning unscathed. There are a lot of police officers and bouncers around to help you in case you get into a jam. Just be careful and know your limits.

9. Open your heart

While this is the hardest lesson for me to learn, it is definitely the lesson with the most benefits. As an example, I still can't tell anyone how I feel about them, but I am trying to be better at that. And just because I am terrible with opening up doesn't mean that you should be. Everyone has their character flaws, but developing your openness should be a constant work in progress. I'm not saying to unload all of your laundry on strangers, but definitely try to feel more comfortable telling people how you're really feeling instead of just saying "I'm fine" or refusing to admit to something that's been on your chest for weeks. Open your heart. You'll be surprised at how much lighter it'll feel.

While some of these things are hard to accomplish, everyone has their strong suits and their weak points. It's all about constantly learning and bettering yourself as the years go by. These are just a few of the things that I've learned. I'm definitely not done learning, either.

long story short, just be a little more fearless. Don't be so cautious or you'll live your life with regrets that you can never change.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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There Is No 'Right Way' To React To A Shooting

Everyone is different.

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After the shootings this year in New Zealand, Brazil, and close to home for some of us Aurora, people have been reacting in different ways. With some offering their thoughts and prayers, donating money to help pay for the funerals of the victims, fighting for action in regards to ending gun violence, candlelight vigils basically anything that can help them in this time of grief.

There is no right or wrong way to react to a shooting — everyone grieves in their own ways. We should not judge one another for how we grieve in a tragedy.

People have been saying that thoughts and prayers won't do anything. However, maybe it can be a comfort to some people—a way to let people know that they are thinking of them and that they care.

Sometimes people may want to donate money or blood to help out any survivors who may have suffered from blood loss or create GoFundMe accounts to either help out with medical expenses or to pay for the funerals of the victims or even start charities like Islamic Relief USA. Donating your time and money is a good way to help out because you are making a difference that is a form of action you are taking.

There is also grieving in the form of vigils. One example of a vigil is this guy who makes crosses every time there is some kind of tragedy. Vigils are often a good way to remember the victims, to pray for the healing of the survivors, to talk about what they were like as people.

Some people even want to take action by demanding that the laws change a good example of this would be March for Our Lives, which happened after the Parkland shooting last year. This march was fighting for gun control or should I say changes in the gun laws America currently has.

Some people also do acts of solidarity, for example, wearing a hijab like the prime minister of New Zealand did when she went to go visit the Christchurch shooting survivors. My community college had something a couple of years ago called Hijab Day to help show solidarity with our friends. I participated, and it was quite an experience—no one should ever be afraid to be who they are.

There is never a right or wrong way to react, and no one should ever criticize one another for how they react. It's not a test where there is a right or wrong answer—everyone is different and that is okay.

No one should ever have to be afraid to go to school, go to work, or go to their place of worship or wherever they decide to go. Whatever we decide to do to make a change, as long as we are taking some kind of action, is good enough for me.

Nothing ever gets done by sitting around and doing nothing, so whatever it is you do, get out there and do it. As long as you are showing support it doesn't matter how you show it.

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