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Monday, April 9, 2018

5 Life Lessons I Learned from College



Ah, college - a place of education, to get ready for your adult life and career, meeting new people, and parties. Lots of parties. It is also a place of self-discovery and life lessons. These are formative years for people. It definitely was for me. Although I am in still in my last year of college, I thought it would be fun and helpful to share the things that I have learned along the way, especially with those incoming freshmen.


Lesson #1: You don't need to know what you want to do.

The majority of college students seem to think that you have to follow through with their major after they graduate. I was in the same boat, too. But, after having several "mid-life" crises and talking to different advisors, I realized that there was a misconception that we actually needed to figure out our future in college. In fact, nobody actually knows what they want to do! So, don't put too much pressure on yourself for not having it all figured out.

Lesson #2: Some relationships are worth letting go.

This, for sure, was one of the hardest lessons I needed to learn.

At the beginning of college, I felt like I lost a lot of friends. We just didn't seem to "click" anymore. Every time we would hang out, I felt this sense of distance between us. It wasn't really anyone's fault, though. We grew apart. We were growing to be different people and had different interests.  At first, I would stress out about them not texting back and the constant cancellations but eventually started to expect it. Trying to keep these friendships was draining and seemed pointless. I felt angry and bitter. I realized that the majority of my energy was going towards this, and I was tired of it. So, I made the decision to let go. When I cut the friendships off, I felt like I was grieving, but also had a sense of relief. It was even a relief when one of my former friends cut me off. I didn't take it personally because I understood where she was coming from.

If this happens to you, remember that you deserve to preserve your energy towards things that make you happy. Keeping draining relationships can hinder your growth. You also deserve to surround yourself with people who are on the same wavelength as you. But also remember to be grateful for those people because they helped you shape who you are today. 

Lesson #3: Don't fall into peer pressure.

You're constantly getting pressure from basically everyone surrounding you to go to college. But, I don't think people realize that college is an investment, specifically, your investment. You will be investing four years of your life and several thousands of dollars into your education, which is why I think it should be your decision. If you think college is for you, then go for it! However, if you think otherwise, really consider if you're going because you want to go or because everyone is telling you to go, especially if you're going to be paying for the school and/or loans.

Lesson #4: Think about yourself first.

A lot of people tend to put others and their work first before themselves. With approaching deadlines/exams, their social lives, and their jobs, I can understand why, but, I don't think that it should be at the expense of their mental and physical health.

If you need to take a nap, take a nap. If you feel like you're stressed as hell, go to your university's counseling center. Go for a walk if you feel like you've been stuck in your room all day working on your essay. Trust me, if you don't have your health, you don't have anything.

Lesson #5: The things that you are scared to do aren't that scary.

A great way to learn about yourself is to do things that scare you. It helps you get out of your comfort zone and grow as a person.

Growing up, I was always the shy and introverted kid, but I wanted to change that. So, I decided to things that would force me to get out of my comfort zone. For example, I became a campus peer prevention educator. As a peer prevention educator, I had to walk up and talk to people about heavy topics that I cared about at certain events as a means to prevent it on campus. These topics included mental health, sexual assault, rape culture, and dating violence. Fun stuff! Days before the event, I would be anxious and didn't want to go. I would always go and it was never as bad as I thought it would be. It helped me break out of my shell and made me less scared of going up to random people and talk to them. This was true for most things that I did that scared me.

If you're shy, you can start with something small, like, going up to a stranger and sparking up a small talk conversation. From there, you can work your way up. Again, trust me, it's worth it. You get to learn about yourself and grow into the person that you're meant to be.

What are some things that you learned about yourself through college? Share and comment below!

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