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My planned graduation date is May of 2021 and that daunting date has me reflecting on what I have learned in college, during this transitional period from college-life to professional-life that I now find myself in. I have been thinking about what lessons I have learned in college that I can take with me into the world. Because--let’s face it--even though college may seem like our whole world, it really isn’t. There is so much more to life that is waiting for us beyond graduation.

I want to be a writer, so when I heard that I would have to take science and math classes in college, I thought it was ridiculous. Why would I ever need math or science, since I’m going to be a writer? But, because it was mandatory for me to take these classes, I decided that I would make the most of them and try to learn something from each class. 

So, what have I learned from college? I’ve made sure to take important lessons from all of the classes I’ve taken. I learned in math that I am actually really good at it—I enjoy solving math problems—despite being told by teachers when I was younger, that girls just aren’t good at math. I learned that I love astronomy and physics and learning about how the world works. I learned that if we don’t study history carefully, we are sure to repeat the mistakes of the past. These are all invaluable lessons that I will carry with me wherever I go.

Some of the most important lessons that I have learned from college are those I have learned outside of the material taught in classes. I learned how to ask for help when I needed it from a mentoring program in my former college’s English Department. I learned how fragile the human body is, and how much it needs to be taken care of when I spent months on end studying nonstop and sleeping very little. I learned that taking care of myself is the most important thing I can do for myself and for my education. If I do not take care of myself, I will not learn, or complete my assignments, efficiently. If I do not care for myself, I will not be able to enjoy life or look on the brighter side of things. And learning how to enjoy life in this way is perhaps the greatest learning outcome of all that I have been given.

I could go on and on about what I have learned about college, both in and out of the classroom, but I will save that for another article. I am incredibly pleased with the lessons about life I have learned from my experience in college, and these lessons make me excited about the future. I look forward to learning in what I plan to be my final semester of college, and I eagerly await the opportunity to implement the lessons I will have learned from the rest of my college experience, in my post-college life.

Lauren Taglienti is a writer of short stories, essays, articles, novels, and plays whose work has appeared in numerous publications. She is studying English and creative writing at Stony Brook University and interns for bestselling author and filmmaker Adriana Trigiani. Lauren is an open book who thrives when she is vulnerable because that is how she conquers her fears and connects with people. Her passions include health, wellness, self-improvement, being creative, helping others, and spreading the messages of empathy and kindness.
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