Everyone knows that college is great for academics, but there are life lessons learned in school that will impact you far longer than a textbook. These are just a few of the life lessons you’ll learn in college and treasure forever.
- Just Be Nice
Now is the best time to start building relationships with others in your field of study. As focused as you are on your current classes, you also face the added stress of figuring out what you’re going to do the day after graduation. And in an increasingly competitive workforce, an impressive GPA and well-written resume will get you only so far. That’s why it’s so important to make connections during your time at school.
In college, you’ll learn to never underestimate the power of a thank-you note or a no-strings-attached favor. A simple letter expressing appreciation to a professor may result in a recommendation for an internship. And when you help out a classmate in need, they will often be more than happy to return the favor, which could be valuable in the workforce. Plus, it’s just nice to be nice.
- You Will Change as a Person—and That’s a Good Thing
When you’re early in your college years, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got everything planned out—the religion and political party with which you affiliate, the foods and music you like, and the career you want may all seem set in stone. But it’s likely at least some of that will change. Your political or religious views may evolve, or you may take a photography class and suddenly rethink that medical career for which you were destined.
The truth is you may never entirely know who you are, and that’s okay. Change is good, and in college you’ll realize that sticking stubbornly to your guns won’t get you very far. Those class debates don’t just help you build book smarts; they also open your mind to new perspectives.
- The World Isn’t So Scary After All
One of the most significant adjustments in college is living on your own and being an independent adult. But as exhilarating as it is to live without a curfew, you’ll also suddenly be faced with laundry duty and feeding yourself on top of your coursework.
All that new responsibility can be overwhelming when you’re a freshman, but every year you’ll get a better handle on your responsibilities. You’ll figure out how to navigate your way around town and how to stay safe on campus. You’ll learn when to reach out to your support system and how to make a doctor’s appointment. Come graduation, you’ll feel ready to do everything that seemed impossible or confusing just a few years prior.
- You’re Your Biggest Critic
Remember in high school when a wardrobe malfunction or a wrong answer in class seemed like the end of the world? In college, you’ll finally realize that no one cares about that as much as you do. You are your biggest critic, and understanding this will take an immense weight off your shoulders.
In fact, realizing this will make life after college easier, too, as you’ll learn to not sweat the small stuff. Bad haircut? Hair grows back. Tripped in front of a crowd? No one will remember the next day. This gives you time to focus on more important matters in life, like building your career and surrounding yourself with people who love you for you, bad haircut and all.
- Your Only Destiny Is the One You Create
In high school, it’s easy to feel like your life is the result of other people’s decisions. Your parents created you, they sign your field trip permission slips, and they decide what you eat for dinner. In college, though, you’ll quickly learn that you are in the driver’s seat of your life. It’s up to you to register for classes in time, stock up on groceries, decide on a major, and choose between that unpaid internship and a trip to Europe for summer break.
Not much in life is predetermined, which can be incredibly freeing. You have the opportunity to decide who you will become. Knowing this will serve as an empowering reminder whenever you face a big decision in life.
College is a life-altering experience. In just four years, you’ll expand your horizons, discover new passions and interests, and learn a few things about life you may not have discovered otherwise.
Sage Singleton is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She enjoys writing articles that will inspire, educate, and influence readers. She loves that words have the power to create change and make a positive impact in the world. Some of her work has been featured on sites like MSN, Huffington Post, Bustle, Paste and Babble. In her free time she loves traveling, reading, and learning French.