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5 Things I Learned Outside the Classroom

College can teach you a lot of things. As someone who is about to graduate in less than 2 weeks (and by graduate, I mean stay at my house and do nothing because #quarantine), I’ve been reflecting on what I have learned over these past four years of my life. Sure, my classes have taught me the skills necessary to be qualified for a job in my field. If I’m being honest, though, the things I have learned about myself, about how to be a better friend and a better person, I have not learned in a classroom. Rather, the most important lessons I’ve learned in college have come from my experiences that have nothing to do with school (or homework or grades).

Do Things That You Are Passionate About

In college, it’s easy to get so caught up in the pressures of school that you forget to feed your passions. Whether it’s writing or volunteering or baking, doing the things you love will ultimately help you grow in ways that school cannot.

Friendship is the Most Important Thing

This might sound cheesy, but it’s very true. Find friends who build you up, who are there for you in the good and the bad, and cultivate those friendships. Because, when things go bad and you don’t want to get out of bed or you just need some support, those are the people who are going to stand by you no matter what.

Don’t Compromise Who You Are for Who You Think You Should Be

College is a time to figure out who you are on your own, apart from high school, your family, your home, etc. Don’t let anyone else’s expectations dictate what you do and how you think because, at the end of the day, you’ll be happiest when you stay true to yourself.

It’s Okay to Not Have the Next 30 Years of Your Life Planned Out

There are people who have plans, and there are people who don’t. If you’re someone who knows exactly what you want to do and how you want to do it, that’s great! But, if you’re like me and aren’t quite sure what your life is going to look like after graduation, that’s okay too. Success doesn’t require a crystal ball.

And Lastly, Never Go to the Grocery Store on a Weekend

It’s just too damn crowded.

Elena is a friendly senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish. When she's not in class or napping, you can catch Elena working out at the gym, binge-watching medical dramas, or indulging her caffeine addiction at a local coffee shop.
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