by Jordan Haney
College. A word which brings feelings of nostalgia for alumni and anticipation of new beginnings for high school seniors. For me, the more I think about it, the harder it is to believe that in just a few months, I will be finishing college and walking across the stage to receive my diploma. Although we have different feelings about college, we all know that college is about learning. Interestingly learning is not just on an academic level, rather, learning is found in almost every college experience.
Below are nine things that I have learned through my college experience that may bring memories for some and helpful tips for others.
- The friends you make at college will truly be your friends for life.
Chances are, you will probably live (or are living) with some of them in the good ole’ community dorms. Whether you are eating every single meal together or having late night adventures, your friends make college-life so much more enjoyable. And when you’re down, they are there to pick you back up or make you smile. Even after graduation, these fellow dorm mates will make lifelong friends.
- Laundry is life.
I remember thinking, “I’ll take my laundry home and do it over the weekend.” Nope, I was only kidding myself. I found out you can only wear the same sweatpants and socks so many times before you have a little cloud around you like Pigpen from Peanuts. Rather than letting laundry pile up, make time during the week to throw in a load of clothes. If you do it often enough, you won’t run out of clean clothes!
- Studying is a must.
Whether you’re a student who can glance at a textbook and magically have all the information transferred to your brain, or you study for hours, everyone needs to study. I learned this early on; yes, college life is loads of fun, and procrastination seems to come naturally; but make time to study and do homework. You will find that a good grade on an exam is far more rewarding than a late-night run for chicken nuggets and milkshakes (despite how rewarding those are at the time).
- Professors are your friends.
I have never met a professor who fails students for fun. Rather, professors are great resources for students. From tutoring sessions or conversations over lunch, I learned that professors really are able to become a friend. And believe it or not, you can learn valuable life lessons from them.
- Time management will make stress levels drop.
When you are trying to balance classes, homework, study time, eating, sleeping and entertainment, you may find yourself sliding on important things, like assignments that can be done later. No, just no. There is a way to do it, believe it or not. For me, to-do lists and calendars (and lots of coffee) can be life savers when you just can’t figure out when or how you’re going to get everything done. Learning time management skills saved me from experiencing the awful dread that comes when realizing an assignment that you forgot is due tomorrow. You’ll figure out how to study efficiently and still have free time for friends and naps.
- Your parents are your friends.
Though the months leading up to my leaving for college involved a lot of bickering and many tense moments with my parents, having the chance to be an adult at college made me realize all that my parents had done for me growing up.
- Learn to enjoy every day at college because it goes by SO fast.
A semester at college seems like such a long time; after all, it is four whole months. However, after each semester, I always find myself thinking, “Wow! That went by so quickly!” I always have a list of things I want to accomplish at the beginning of a semester like working out, hiking, or studying my Bible, but alas, I blink my eyes and it’s gone. As I have learned to do, try to savor every new experience and every seemingly boring class period. It will be over before you know it.
- Don’t just go through the motions, get involved!
Don’t spend all your time hiding in your room studying and watching Netflix by yourself. College campuses are full of things for students to do. Regardless of your likes and interests, (for me, it was Bible studies), get involved and enjoy the comradery with your peers.
- Be yourself.
Perhaps the most valuable thing I have learned in college is to simply be myself. As Dr. Seuss once stated, “Today, you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” I learned to not be ashamed of who I am. I learned that it is ok to dress in sweatpants all the time or wear something nice and spiffy all the time. I learned that “you do you” is an invaluable statement to remember.
College is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and while it may be scary, the lessons you learn outside of the classroom will undoubtedly be some of the most important ones that you learn in your whole life.
Jordan Haney is a senior Business Administration major and Intern for the Communications Department at TMU.Return to Blog Archive