10 Things I Learned in College pt. 1
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." - Dr. Seuss
And just like that, four years of undergraduate studies have flown by. I graduate in four days from the University of Florida and, and... how in the world am I supposed to feel? I can't say that I have the answer to that question, and I don't think I ever will.
BUT, I do know some of the life lessons I learned in my four years of college. This list is mostly for my own record, but if it helps someone out beginning some of the best years of their life, then so be it.
So I don't bore you, the 10 lessons I have learned are broken into two parts. The first 5 points talk about how to go about college as an individual, and the last 5 points are what I have learned about college as a peer and colleague to others. Here we go!
1. You can do whatever you want to do
There is nothing more empowering than that. If you want to be a doctor, engineer, comedian, dietitian, teacher, craftsman, musician, etc, do it. And work at it with all of your heart. If you find you're working at it with all of your strength and it's not working, work smarter. Find a different path to the end goal you desire. Don't waste time complaining.
2. Stay balanced
Future employers don't want a good GPA in a candidate. They want a fantastic GPA + work experience + leadership roles + a charasmatic person + clean appearance + a connection within the company + 500 LinkedIn friends. While these perfect people exist in the world (and if you can be one of those perfect people, be that person!), employers don't expect us to have it all together.
A few B's in classes throughout the years while getting work experience in your desired field is going to look way better (plus build connections) than a lovely 4.0 GPA with no work experience. So don't sweat the small stuff. Work towards being a balanced student.
3. Take care of yourself
Healthy habits start now. The way we treat our bodies now will affect our bodies for the rest of our lives. Exercising & eating well is key not just to avoid the freshman 15, but to also prevent future diseases. They don't say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" for nothing.
4. Say no
No one knows you better than you. So ya know, do what you need to do. If you need to start studying for an exam a few days earlier than the rest of people, go study. If you don't want one more drink, you don't have to have one more drink.
Don't let people pressure otherwise - they might not need those few extra days. Your alcohol tolerance might be lower than theirs. This can be applied everywhere in life/college. I'll touch on this more later, but if people aren't supportive when you do politely say "no", they *probably aren't the best people to have around.
5. Don't be stupid
College is a time to make mistakes and grow from our mistakes. Do keep in mind you are between 18-25 years old. We aren't children anymore. We don't have to have it all figured out by any means, but start to act like an adult. Use critical thinking and common sense to avoid stupid mistakes.
If you try to cram for an Organic Chemistry exam the night before an exam, you'll fail. Boys that are pushy within the first "Hi, how are you?" interaction will not stop being pushy in other areas. Texting during class will not get you a great letter of recommendation. Being rude to people in your class doesn't bode well for future career networking. Expecting to get hired as an entry level manager with no work experience won't get you far. You get my point. Just don't be an idiot.
College can feel overwhelming at times, but slow down and breathe.
Remember that this could be one of the easiest times in our life.
If something does not go how you planned, your life is not over. You are not any less of a person.
Figure out what you want and keep working towards it.