10 Things I Learned in College pt. 2
"I always knew that when I looked back on the times I cried I would smile. But I never know that when I looked back on the times I smiled I would cry."
Incase you missed part 1 of what I learned in college, here it is. Read that first. Now that everyone is caught up, here we go! Part 2:
I could not be more thankful for the past four years. It's such a strange feeling looking back. I can't say I'm sad. I'm incredibly grateful for the friends and experiences. It does feel weird moving on. You're telling me I'm not going to live in a house with my closest friends, and go to class with more friends everyday? That spring break, summer vacation, and reading days are over? That study parties aren't a thing in the real world? I know life goes on, and I'll still have those friends and still have great experiences, but it'll be different. Anyways, I digress. Here are my final 5 lessons I learned in college.
6. Surround yourself with good people
One thing that makes college great is the variety of people you encounter. They will reason differently, have polar opposite political beliefs than you, and come from a family that does things differently than yours. Learn from these people, and understand where they're coming from. It'll grow you as a person. Keep in mind that these people that surround you, should be challenging and encouraging you in some area of life. They should push you to be the best version of you possible, and be there for you along the way to help you become that person. If a "friend" is not supportive, a bad influence, or a constant source of negativity, don't keep that friend around.
7. Communicate effectively
Communication has been the biggest lesson I have learned in college. Not many people will understand your feelings unless you tell them, and no one needs to feel embarrassed about their feelings. Be honest, direct, and delicate in your communications. Listen to what others say. Communication is not just a one-way street. Most of my problems the past four years have boiled down to a lack of communication or some sort of misunderstanding due to poor communication.
If at all possible, travel. Study abroad, go on road trips, and make it out of your back yard. Traveling stretches your limits, increases your mental flexibility (because nothing ever goes as planned), and teaches you about other cultures and people. All of this keeps your point of view in perspective. It reminds you that you are not the only person on the planet, and that you are not the most important person on the Earth. Maybe even that your way of living life is not the only way to live life. Traveling can also grow your appreciation for your home and where you came from. For making your way to Europe for cheap, see this article.
9. Help others
Helping others keeps the point of view in check as well. Most often, I have found that helping others ends up encouraging me more than the person I am helping. Whatever you have, share it generously. If you have time, give your time. If you have money, give money. Volunteer at a food bank, give rides to the grocery store to friends without cars, invite friends over for a dinner. Whatever you can do to help ease the burdens of others, do it.
10. Make the most of your time
Just like life, college flies by. Enjoy it. Don't sweat the small stuff. Work hard towards what you want, and enjoy your company along the way. Travel, learn, go out, make friends, help others, and find that balance of responsibility and fun that comes with being a young adult.
Cheers to my fellow class of 2015! Let's enjoy who we have become in the past four years as we move onto our next big adventure. To the class of 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019: enjoy it. These are some of the best times you'll ever have!