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10 Things College Has Taught Me

Although higher education teaches us a number of things like chemistry, English, and psychology, nothing compares to the lessons it teaches us about life. Along the way, I often forget the small instances that occur and lead me to these larger lessons that will stick with me forever.

1. Getting away from home is a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my hometown and I am proud to call it home, but getting out of that small atmosphere has made me realize just how big the world really is. Getting out of that comfort zone pushed my limits and challenged me to grow as a person, which I am so thankful for.

2. The friends you meet in college will be your friends forever.

There are many friends from high school that I am still close with and I’m sure we’ll be friends forever, but your college friends are right beside you when you make some of the biggest decisions of your life. They’ll see you at your very worst (not sleeping for days during finals, extreme hangovers, terrible break-ups) and will always be there for you.

3. Staying healthy is important.

Go to the gym and learn to enjoy salads. Chocolate is ok and totally acceptable, but enjoy it in moderation.

4. I am not alone.

I spent so much of my freshman year worried out of my mind because I had no clue what I wanted to major in or what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I soon realized that’s ok and totally normal, because honestly, who really knows what they’re doing with their life at 18?

5. Living on your own is a constant love-hate relationship.

Not having my parents around to give me a curfew and make the rules was really awesome for a while, then I realized I hadn’t done laundry in 3 weeks and it costs money to wash clothes in college. What is up with that!? College taught me to appreciate my parents more than I ever imagined.

6. Studying is a must.

If you want to be successful, you have to put in the work. Plain and simple.

7. Coffee isn’t just a drink — it is a necessity.

Coffee has truly saved my life in college. I never hesitate when I think I might need a cup, because I always need a cup.

8. It takes a lot to figure out what you love.

Most people don’t walk in freshman year and have everything figured out. It took me a long time to realize that you have to take different classes and be active in different clubs and extra curriculars to figure out what you’re interested in. Exploring your options is a huge part of college and it is so important in finding out your passions.

9. Nights in watching Netflix are just as fun as nights out at parties.

I always envisioned college as this wild place where the only place to go on the weekend was a party or a bar; this was so far from true. A night spent in, on my futon, watching Netflix, in my pj’s is almost just as good — or better — than a party. Time to yourself and getting to relax is always important and much needed.

10. Time flies.

This is the oldest lesson in the book but there isn’t a time in my life thus far that this has ever been more applicable. Learning to take in every moment and take advantage of every opportunity is important in these 4 years because they are so short. Before you know it, you’re into your major and looking at grad schools and jobs; enjoy every moment in college.

Sophomore at UNC
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