Things I learned in College.

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How did it go by so fast?

June 2017 is quickly approaching, and it will mark 5 years since I graduated college.

Excuse me while I cry in the corner for a minute ..

College was a lot at first. I started out at a private christian college up in Portland with my sister.

After a few short months of memories that I will always cherish, and some things that weren’t as much fun, we were off to Community College to try and get our next steps figured out. We completed two terms there and continued running when the opportunity came to attend Western Oregon University. We jumped on that train real fast.

I loved Western. I loved the people I met, the memories I made, the walks to and from the track, everything about that place helped shaped me into the person I am today.

It’s crazy thinking about the person I was when I started College and the person I am now. I went through college not being able to imagine my life without it.  I thought the real world was some fake thing that would never actually happen until I was dropped into it without a parachute.

You learn things in college.

Obviously.

But a majority of the things you don’t even realize you’ve learned until years have passed. I know quite a bit of people who are in college, or who will be attending in the next few years and I want them to have the best experiences. I want them to make mistakes, learn from them, and make some more.

You won’t learn until you make mistakes and grow.

At least that’s how I see it.

I’ve compiled a list of 14 things I learned in college. These are just 14 out of the many that I learned. I believe everyone will have their own memories, mistakes, and lessons that they go through. These are just some of mine.

  1. Hide out in the library- Seriously. There will be projects that take so much time and sanity from you that you will need an escape. You will need a space to just lay everything out and look at it. Figure it out and get it done. I ended up going to the library just to people watch and relax sometimes. We had these giant floor to ceiling windows that I loved.  I grabbed a coffee, sat in a chair and just people watched.
  2. Don’t force friendships- I tried so hard to get this one girl to like me. She had no reason to dislike me as much as she did and yet she still did. It bothered me. I wanted so bad to fix it. I hated walking around knowing that someone thought the worst of me. It wasn’t until the day she told me “I’ll put up with you here, but I’m not your friend and I’ll never be” that it finally hit me. Some people won’t like you..and it’s their problem not yours.
  3. Dance- I am an awful dancer, I have lots of people that can tell you that, but I love it. I loved being out with my friends and singing along to the music as loud as we could and just dancing. It probably wasn’t dancing, I think I just jumped up and down until I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. In those moments I forgot everything that was going on and only cared about my friends and the music.
  4. Have at least one best friend of the opposite sex- I adore this person. We hardly talk anymore and I’m not sure if he reads these things but I will always cherish his friendship. At first I thought he was the most annoying person ever and I probably told him I hated him multiple times a day. I can’t quite remember how we became close but I ended up being able to talk to him about anything and everything. It’s so good to get another perspective. If you’re having boy problems and go to all of your girlfriends they will give you a lot of the same advice. If you go to a boy, he will most likely tell you how it is. He won’t sugar anything and he will always look out for you.
  5. Take lots of pictures- This one is so incredibly important. Take as many pictures of anything and everything that you can.
  6.  Register for a class that you normally wouldn’t- My favorite classes at Western were all ones that I didn’t plan on registering for; Theatre Arts, Coaching Youth Sports, and Creative Writing. Creative Writing was probably my favorite. I didn’t know anyone, I was terrified, and I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to quit once I found out that we had to write a short story and read it to the entire class. We had to let them critique it out loud. Meanwhile you had to sit at your desk and just take it without defending yourself. It got me to get outside of my comfort zone, to try new things, and to be open to criticism. My story ended up being the one piece of work I was the most proud of in College.
  7. Be present- This one seems obvious but sometimes we need a reminder to pay attention. People need to be present in their lives and make memories. Never miss a good opportunity to laugh so hard you cry, or those late night conversations about life and love because you’re glued to your phone.
  8. Don’t be afraid to take a risk- This can be anything. Taking a risk in the classroom, joining a new club, introducing yourself to someone new, anything. You will always regret those opportunities you didn’t take.
  9. Procrastinate- This might be weird. I’m not saying to avoid all of your school work and put everything off until you’re going crazy because you have a 12 page essay due the next day and you haven’t even picked a topic. Don’t do that, but some things I remember the most involve being up till 2 in the morning drinking my body weight in coffee. Everyone should experience those late nights, endless amounts of caffeine and laughing because you’re so stressed out. It’s part of the experience.
  10. Don’t give your trust out- Be cautious of who you trust. Some people will seem like they have the best intentions when all they care about is themselves. Don’t be skeptical of everyone you meet, just be careful of who you put your trust in.
  11. Find your true friends- I had five true friends by the time I graduated. I had lots of friends, but only a few people I would do anything for. These people are your support team. They will be there when you’re alone and scared, when you have a hilarious story to tell, or when you need advice. They will love you unconditionally and be there for you the second you need them. They are your lifelines.
  12. Don’t waste your time trying to be what others want you to be- This one’s tough. It might take you 4 years to learn. You might not even realize that you’re too busy trying to impress everyone that you’ve lost yourself. If everyone’s at a party and you only want to go because you’re afraid of what they’ll say if you don’t go, stay at home. Don’t focus so much on trying to get other people to like you, it’s draining and will never work.
  13. Spend some alone time- It can be in your dorm room, on a park bench, or at a table outside of the coffee shop, but be comfortable being alone. There’s beauty in being able to appreciate your own company. I would always spend the hour of downtime I had between my two morning classes my senior year, outside of the coffee shop on campus. I would sit on a table and work on homework, or drink coffee and people watch, but I loved it so much.
  14. Focus on you- At the end of the day you matter the most. You’re the one earning the degree, you’re the one paying for school, and you’re the one that’s going to have all of these memories. Do whatever you want to do. Study the degree that you want to study, spend time with whoever you want to spend time with, and don’t hold back. These are your four years and your time to grow and prepare for life.

College goes by so fast. So incredibly fast. Make the best out of it and cherish everything. Remember the walk to and from your classes, the smell of the morning, and the way campus looks in the fall. Remember it all and cherish it.

Thanks for letting me flash back to college.

❀

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