4 Lessons I Learned as a College Senior

After a few short years, I’m suddenly at the end of my college experience. It’s crazy how quickly these years go by, but even though it all went by so fast, I learned so much along the way. Not only do you learn from the countless number of lectures, but you also learn simply by living on your own for the first time. College is a big change. You have to learn to take care of yourself and figure out your future career all at the same time. All of the lessons I’ve learned came from both adulting and managing college work. Here are four lessons I learned after my college experience.  

  1. 1. Friend Groups Change

    Kayla Bacon-Love Your Melon Group

    My friend groups from freshman year until now have definitely changed a lot. You’ll find that throughout the years, some friends drift away while others stay. But, this makes sense because as a freshman, you’re willing to make friends with anyone and everyone. And throughout that year, you’ll start to realize you’ll have more in common with some people than others, which is okay! You’re not going to be compatible friends with everyone, it’s just not possible. Four years is also a long time to maintain the same exact friend group. So that group will naturally change a little bit. This lesson definitely took me a while to understand, but as I gained more self awareness, I felt more and more content with the group of friends I have. Remember, it’s all about quality, not quantity! 

  2. 2. Make Free Time

    Anthony Tran

    You want to get the best grades that you can, but you shouldn't have to sacrifice your free time. I’ve learned that actively studying for a shorter amount of time in the day is just as useful as spending the whole day in the library. Plus, some free time can help relax your mind and feel less burnt out. Prioritizing your studies is a helpful mindset, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely shut everything else out. College goes by so fast. Make sure you don’t spend the majority of it cooped up in the library or hunched over a desk. So, whether it’s a day off, a dinner with friends, or a gym class, you definitely deserve a break! As long as you can find ways to manage your time, you should be able to prioritize some self care! 

  3. 3. Don’t Overpack Your Schedule

    Arnel Hasanovic Mnd

    In high school, everyone fills their schedule with clubs, sports, and other extracurriculars, but in college, there’s only so much time in the day. You’ll find yourself becoming so busy at times that you’re not even sure if you have the energy to cook dinner. Try to find a couple of clubs that you’re really interested in and invest time into those. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and panicked. And better yet, by spending more time in less groups, you can know the people in your clubs a lot better! Again, this is all about time management, which is way easier said than done. But you’ll find that with less on your plate, the easier time management gets. 

  4. 4. Understand the Material, Don’t Just Memorize

    woman reading a book on a couch in a library

    This tip basically means not to cram the information or pull an all nighter when you’re studying for an exam. There’s no reason to spend the whole night before an exam memorizing every sentence in the textbook. You’ll just end up making yourself sick and forgetting the information immediately after walking out of the exam room. If you’re paying attention in lecture and actively participating, taking notes, and reading, then you’ll understand and retain the information way more than you think. Exams in college are all about comprehension rather than memorization. If you find the right study tools and study in small increments over a longer period of time, then you’re more than ready to ace that final. While some classes, like gen-eds, feel like useless information, you’ll find that the classes from your major actually have some useful topics you’ll want to remember for the future.

Adulting is not easy, but along the way, you learn to adjust and manage your time. It’s a strange time when you’re an adult yet still a student. It’s crazy to think how differently my first semester of college started out compared to my last. Hopefully you can take these lessons and helpful tips to get through college or even after college as well. I definitely wish I knew all of this before college, but I’m glad I got to realize it throughout my time as a college student.