After my first semester of college I wrote a post called, “10 Things You Learn At College.” It was the first time that I saw a post really take off. To this date it is still one of my top-viewed blog posts. Looking back on it makes me laugh a little bit. I still believe in everything that I said, but in a short time my life is completely different than it was then. So since I am about halfway through college now (I still don’t fully believe this), I decided to check in and share what else I have learned.
1. What you learn outside of the lecture hall can be just as important. Not to sound too cliché, but you learn a lot about yourself in college. You learn from the people that you surround yourself with and the experiences you have with them, and these lessons help you grow as a person.
2. Living in an apartment is very different than living in dorms. Yes, you had your freedom in the dorms–away from your parents that is. But life after the dorms is a whole other game. Welcome to land of cooking and buying your own toilet paper.
3. It’s not always about the grade. It can be difficult to accept a lower grade if you are someone who is used to getting straight A’s. Sometimes the most valuable lesson is learning to not overwork yourself just to get the A.
4. Sometimes you need to dance in the rain. A while ago at work, someone said they needed to pull me out of my shell more. It’s something that I have been trying to work on. In general, I would say that I am a pretty outgoing person, so I have been trying to be more social–accepting invitations to grab a meal with coworkers on break or joining the conversation when we have downtime. But I have a tendency to hold back a little. As I was walking back from the gym earlier, I realized that sometimes you just have to let go. You have to stop thinking about what other people are thinking or what they could think. This is definitely easier said than done, but you can bet that I will continue to break out of my shell and that I totally danced in the rain all by myself just because I could.
5. The calendar doesn’t expand just because your schedule does. I always say I wish there was more time in the day. But I know I would only fill it with more activities. Be careful not to overload your schedule, you will soon regret it if you do.
6. Eat the ice cream. I love ice cream, and I am not ashamed of that. Sometimes I think society makes us feel like we need to be embarrassed about eating things that are bad for us or that we need to have excuses about why we didn’t get to the gym that day. I work hard to be healthy–both mentally and physically. And I won’t let one get in the way of the other.
7. Coffee habits are really easy to form. At the end of the school year I felt like I wouldn’t survive if I didn’t get my daily dose of caffeine. Good sleep is so important! I know it isn’t always possible to get that ideal 8 hours, but beware that you can quickly become dependent on that cup of Joe.
8. FOMO* is so real. The first thing that comes to mind is the title of Mindy Kaling’s book, Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Maybe that has to do with the fact that I am obsessed with The Mindy Project right now, but is also super relatable. Sometimes your friends are going to be doing something fun, and you won’t be able to join them–but you will be tempted to.
9. If a guy/girl is not putting in any effort, he/she is not worth it. Your time is valuable. And if someone likes you, they should respect that. If they want to see you, they will make the time and they will put in effort to make real plans with you. I’ve liked plenty of guys. In fact, sometimes I think I fall in love every other day.** But that doesn’t mean that I am going to settle for uncertain plans or hoping that a guy will want to “hang out” because going on a date is too much of a “commitment”.
10. Your parents did a lot more than you ever noticed. After living in my own place for almost a year now, I have become so much more appreciative of everything that my parents did. They always made sure I was fed, and that I had clean clothes. But they also washed the kitchen floors and cleaned the showers. When someone isn’t around to do these things for you, you quickly notice.
11. Acting your age is overrated. So you are legally an adult now, that doesn’t mean you always have to act like it. There is a time and place to act grown up. But sometimes it’s okay to act silly and have a little fun.
12. Forget about the little things. Don’t get bogged down in the details. Being annoyed and bitter is really easy, but being happy is way more satisfying.
13. People will come and go. It has always been hard for me to grasp that some people are only meant to be in your life for a certain amount of time. There have been people that I considered really close friends that I don’t even talk to anymore. It’s a shame, and sometimes I miss having those friends. I think of those people as long-term guest appearances. And the people that stick around are the regular cast members. Watch out for those people: chances are they are pretty special.
What have you learned so far outside of the classroom?
Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll do another version of this post when I graduate.
*Fear of Missing Out
**This isn’t real love. The only guy I have ever really loved is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But since he’s off the market now, I am trying to keep an open mind–or rather, an open heart.