Over the course of my last four years here at Miami, I've learned more than I ever dreamed I could. But the thing is, as corny as it may sound, I've come to the realization that the amount of knowledge I gained about myself and the world in general is so much greater than any professor or textbook could've ever taught me. And that's what really makes college so special. Somehow, what goes on outside of the classroom turns out to be more invaluable of an experience than what goes on within confined spaces. So here they are, some of the biggest lessons I've learned during my glory years here at Miami:
1. Sometimes you just have to learn to let people go. Friends may join sororities and start only associating with their sisters, your closest girlfriend may meet a guy she simply can't spenda second without, the friends you knew in high school may start becoming people you can no longer respect, and the guy you thought you were madly in love with may have turned out to be just another jerk. But the thing is—people change; YOU change. Throughout college, your relationships can't and won't stay the same forever and that's okay.
2. You have to let go of who you think you are. So many of us come into college and confine ourselves to these small boxes or groups we think we belong in are supposed to be in. We create false identities and carry around perceptions of ourselves that simply just aren't true. Your friends, and perhaps professors, are the mirrors who teach you who you really are and, hopefully, make you realize all that you can be.
3. You get the college education you work and fight for. You can most likely graduate college while partying every night, cramming for exams, quickly rushing to complete assignments hours before they're due, and just always skimming through your textbooks. In fact, you might end up with a fairly decent GPA. But are you really getting anything out of this? Are you really learning anything? Don't waste your money or you time if you're not ready to do some real work and willing to open up your eyes to the fact that if you let it, this college can make you smarter than you ever thought or planned you would be.
4. Sometimes partying with friends is more important than acing that exam. Now, in my last few weeks of senior year, this couldn't be any truer. I look around at the group of friends I've accumulated over these past few years, in total awe of how wonderful they are. College is an amazing place, where the environment makes it so easy to pick and choose the people you want to surround yourself with. This won't last forever. So don't take it for granted. Learn how to budget your time for the things that really matter so you don't watch it all pass you by.
5. Things rarely turn out how you expect them to. Many of my friends (myself included) thought we'd all have jobs by now and be heading into these indisputably bright futures post graduation. But guess what? Our expectations have changed. Some friends have decided to head back home to work at summer camps, others are accepting unpaid internships, and nearly all of us are struggling with the unavoidable reality of moving back into our parent's houses. But I've learned you can't get upset about stuff like that. You can't expect your life to follow the exact path you've dreamt of.