What I Actually Learned in College from the People that Matter

It’s hard to believe that my time at Millersville University is coming to an end in less than a month. For the past four years I’ve studied chemistry, but don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you what I learned in organic chemistry. I won’t tell you about what I learned academically because I learned that it doesn’t matter that much. Everything I learned in the chemistry department you can learn from Google. What I really want to do is tell you what I learned at Millersville that made me a better person.  The lessons I learned from the friends I made here.

Let me start off by telling you about how my journey here started. When I started at Millersville in the fall of 2016, I was very afraid of making friends. I constantly bailed on plans to meet up with people because I was afraid people wouldn’t like me. I am so grateful for the people in my life. The friends I’ve made at Millersville have no idea how much my life has changed for the better because of their friendship. So thank you guys. 


Abby was the first person I met on campus during my freshman year. I credit her for breaking me out of my shell. Abby is authentically and unapologetically herself at all times no matter what and she taught me to do the same. One thing that sticks out to me about Abby is her love for James Cameron’s "Avatar." Yes, you heard me right, the movie with the blue people. Although it’s a strange passion, Abby inspires me and reminds me to love what I love without shame. 


Hannah is our Her Campus Millersville president and my roommate of three years. In the time that I’ve known and lived with her, she has always radiated kindness. She reminds me to always be patient and understanding even when I feel angry and frustrated. In the summer of 2018, we went to a music festival together specifically to see All Time Low play at the end of the day. It rained all day and we were afraid it wouldn’t happen. Together we waited in the rain for hours and by the time the show started, the sky started to clear and a beautiful rainbow appeared over the stage. If you choose to live with patience and positivity, the sky will clear. 


There is so much I can say about Em but what stands out to me about Em is that she stands up for herself. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and you always know what she’s thinking. When I’m with her, I’m always reminded that my thoughts and feelings are valid and worth expressing, no matter what anyone may think. 


I have lived with Steph for two years now and she has become one of my closest friends. To me, what stands out about Steph is she is extremely outspoken. In my sophomore year of college, Steph and I didn’t know each other very well. She was over at my dorm with a group of friends and I casually mentioned that I had broken up with my boyfriend at the time. She said, “Good”. I don’t know if she remembers this subtle moment but from there, I knew we were going to be friends. She constantly reminds me that I deserve better and that I am worth more than I think. 


Nikki taught me that not only is it ok to laugh, but it is also ok to cry sometimes. I have lived with Nikki for three years now and we have seen each other ugly cry close to a hundred times. There was a period of time three of my roommates including myself, had pets die within a few months of each other. Nikki was the last of us to lose her family dog. She got the call about her dog’s passing while we were in a Taco Bell at midnight. Not only did she cry in the parking lot of a Taco Bell, but on the way home she had it in her to laugh at the circumstances. She even made a "Marley and Me" joke. Tasteful? No, but that night we learned how much we all needed to laugh. 

At Millersville, I have met friends I will have for life. The piece of paper I will be getting in the mail in the coming weeks commemorates four years of academic achievement and I am so proud of myself for getting to this point. However, the academic lessons I learned to get the diploma are not nearly as valuable as the lessons I learned that helped me love myself and the people around me. For all of my fellow students who beginning their college journey or in the midst of it, don’t let the books distract you from what’s really important. 


HCXO, Kaylee