15 Things I Learned in College that Wasn't in a Classroom

Well, here it is, senior year of college! Time really does fly by. During my time at Winthrop University, I feel as though I have a lifetime worth of experience. I have lost and found myself all at the same time. I have learned from new experiences, taken leaps of faith, laughed until I couldn't breathe, taken trips to new and exciting places and enjoyed the simplest days.  

I have had the highest highs and the lowest lows here at Winthrop. In all honesty, I wouldn't trade a single moment of it. Why? One might ask, well, I think I will be leaving this school with a better understanding of myself. I learned when to stand up, when to sit down and when to simply walk away. I think that I have grown to love the skin that I am in and embrace all the bumps in the road along the way. Here are a few of the things that my time at Winthrop has taught me and might be something that could be helpful for all the new and or existing Eagles.

1. WHO I AM :

Now, I’m not an expert and still have a whole lot to figure out about who I am as an individual and where I belong. We never stop learning about ourselves and who we are.

We are always building and creating better versions of ourselves throughout our lives. It’s okay to not have this one ideal moment of knowing exactly who you are. It is rather a day by day process. Keep building and rebuilding yourself each and every day.

 

2. WHO I AM NOT:

As you grow you get to try and experience new things. I have come to learn that it is a waste to be something that you are not.

By trying to “fit in” and appease other people you lower your inner unique strengths and gifts.

Stepping away and doing your own thing will make you happier in the long run and will attract the right kind of energy into your life.  

3.  WHEN TO BUILD BRIDGES & WHEN TO BURN THEM IF NEED BE

Not going to lie I personally had a really rough go with this one. I tend to dive head first and give my all to people that I feel are good and will always be in my life. Unfortunately, not everyone has your best interest in mind and people change and grow apart. We all grow and change and it’s perfectly normal. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

It’s important to know when enough is enough. It's okay to put yourself first and not let people weigh you down. Know when someone is toxic and get as far away as possible. Take a step back and reevaluate how you feel and how the other person is contributing to your well being. Your best friendships and relationships could be right around the corner and you don’t want to miss out on the amazing people just waiting to add more value to your life!  

4. WHEN TO SAY YES:  

Life is completely unpredictable and you never truly know what will happen next in your life so take the risk. Now, I don’t mean to jump off a bridge and say yes to crazy outlandish ideas.

However, saying yes to something that might make my heart race a little or make you uncomfortable because you're stepping out of your comfort zone. That is something to say yes to, the reward for doing that is much greater than the fear. I learned that taking certain risks helps to shape you into a more confident and vibrant individual. So take more chances and say yes more often!

 

5. WHEN TO SAY NO:

Mental health is highly important with school, jobs, friends, relationships and family. Needless to say, life can test your mental health to new extremes especially in college.

You're making huge life choices and dealing with new environments and obstacles in life. It is never okay to let your mental health fall to the waste side. I found myself falling into a deep depression during my junior year and refused to accept it. I put on a brave face and tried to hide the pain that plagued me day in and day out.

It wasn’t until things got to a critical point and I could no longer ignore this darkness that surrounded me. Saying "no more" and getting help and keeping your mental state in check is extremely important to stay healthy and should be important in your daily life.

6.COFFEE IS A WAY OF LIFE:

Ah yes, the all-nighters or unfortunate 8 a.m. scheduling. Coffee can help heal the tiredness that can come with the unfortunate early mornings or late nights and can help bring a slight smile to your face rather than the zombie look you originally had. This was just something that became a habit for me in college and I don’t know how I’d act as a human without my morning coffee. I'm not positive if it was the most healthy habit I picked up but hey, it helps.

 

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7.THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING INVOLVED:

I used to look down on certain organizations on campus and now that I'm a senior looking back. I wish I had joined even more organizations while I had the chance. I’m thankful for the few that I got to experience but, I wish I really dug deep and joined all of the awesome organizations that are a part of Winthrop University’s campus.  There are amazing people that are in all different kinds of organizations of your college. Getting to know them and making those connections will only help you out later in life. Join anything and everything that sparks your interest, this is a sure way to meet some of the amazing people on campus.

 

8. HOW TO (SORTA- KINDA) COOK:

Having to fend for yourself is a difficult task. Once you've had that millionth PB&J you realize enough is enough. It's time to learn how to cook. For me, this was not an easy task either. It took a few burnt noodles and sad meals to finally learn how to make a few yummy things that I now actually don't mind making for other people. It’s kind of rewarding to know that you can live off of actual food rather than just cereal.

 

9.OTHER PEOPLE'S OPINIONS DON’T MATTER:

This is a no brainer, but I truly didn’t learn this lesson until the end of my college career. No matter what you do in life others are going to look down on you and think their ideas are waaaaay better than yours.Guess what? Their opinions do not matter. Your life is in your hands not in the hands of others. Do what you feel is best for you and screw the rest! Always remember those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter.

 

10. TO APPRECIATE MY PARENTS:

Yes, I miss the home cooked meals and being spoiled by having my mom do my laundry. The older I got though the more I realized my parents are real people and actually are kind of amazing people at that. They are funny and kind and have put in a lot of effort and sacrifice to put me through school here and I couldn't be more appreciative of that. They deserve the entire world for all that they do for my brother and me. Not sure how I got so lucky but, I’m very blessed to have the parents that I do.

 

 

11.BEING PRESENT:

It’s easy to get caught up in the ideas of tomorrow and what the future holds. However, waiting for those tomorrow’s and hoping that they hold your happiness may never happen. Living every single second you are granted, THAT is happiness. Put down your phones and live in the moment you won't get this time back once it's gone.

 

12. BEING CONFIDENT:

I was raised by a strong woman who raised me to be confident in my own skin. I have always tried to think of myself in a positive way because of her. Yet, seeing pictures on social media of someone else that is way more “beautiful” than me can get in my head throughout college. I wanted to change the way I looked to look like someone else. How crazy is that? I feel that confidence comes from within and I’m leaving this campus with the most confidence I've ever possessed. We are all extraordinarily beautiful in our own unique ways, make sure you're a person that celebrates the beauty of everyone you encounter, including yourself.

 

14. WORK ETHIC IS EVERYTHING

Give it all you got. If you are only coasting through life then, what do you have to show for it? Pushing myself for the best and to be better for myself has shown me the rewards of hard work is more than worth it. In college, you are the only person standing in your way. I have been fortunate with amazing opportunities as a result of hard work. Make sure you give it your all because once it's all said and done I promise you it's worth it.

 

15. HOW TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES

Life is full of curveballs and you never know what you are about to deal with next. Making sure that you don’t limit yourself with an expectation of what is suppose to happen and simply roll with the punches that life throws at you. This is one of the best ways to live life, I promise you. One of the biggest life lessons I have learned in college is life isn't about what happens to you it’s how you react to it.

As I get ready to say goodbye to Winthrop in May I’m fully ready to take on the punches of life, dust myself off and tackle any problem (lesson) that I will face in the future. I can only hope this for everyone else as we all roll with the punches that life throws at us.

 

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