The 10 Most Important Things I Learned In College

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1.) Not all friendships are meant to last forever

Some friendships last forever, and some friendships exist only in a very specific time and place. People change, grow apart, have falling outs, and move on, and while that can be scary and frustrating it’s natural. Don’t waste emotional energy on beating yourself up for letting people slip away, or hate someone for moving on. A relationship doesn’t have to last forever to be worthwhile.

2.) Success is subjective

People will make more money than you, and people will judge you based on what you do and how far along you are, and you’ll most likely be bitter at one point or another over how you deserve something more than another person. You’ll never be happy if you compare your success with someone else’s, or if you try to live up to some grand scheme of what it means to be successful. 

3.) Self-discovery is scary

Sometimes we do things that are out of character, and that can be scary. It’s scary to lose sight of who you are, and it’s scary to question your identity, ethics, or place in the world. College is when you learn who you are, and often times you have to completely lose sight of yourself in order to discover who you are. It can be scary to not know who you are, or what you want, but it’s better to struggle with those questions than it is to settle.

4.) It is easy to become a slave to money

Newsflash: Money is the worst! Some people devote all their time to making it, others barely earn enough to get by, and relationships are ruined because of it. Don’t prioritize money over your own happiness, and don’t let it control your life. If you do you’ll miss out on a lot of great things.

5.) Your needs should come first

Always make the decisions that are best for YOU.  Don’t date someone who drains you emotionally, or pass up on a dream job because you’re afraid of leaving family and friends behind. At the end of the day, you’re the only person you’ve got, so take care of yourself.

6.) Age is relative

It’s easy to panic over whether or not you’re where you should be at your current age. It’s easy to question whether or not you’re too old to start over, or if you’re running out of time and should just settle for the security. The reality is that age is just a number and we choose how to deal with getting older. You don’t need to be married by 30, and you don’t need to be a VP by 40. You get to choose when you do things.

7.) Comfort can be deadly

Sometimes the easy way is the best way, but often times we settle for what we know because we are scared of what we don’t. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, or try something new. Do things because you want to do them-not because they’re safe.

8.) Learning never ends

Just because you graduate from college doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Remain politically aware, and push your boundaries and comfort zones. Learn about the world beyond textbooks, or pick up a new hobby, or just sit down and have mentally stimulating conversations about things that matter. Don’t settle into a mundane existence  and forget there’s a whole world of learning out there.

9.) You decide how people treat you

If you give people permission to mistreat you then they will do it. They may not mistreat you intentionally, but they will do it.  Stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Communicate in a way that is honest and open, and don’t let anyone make you feel inferior, or feel like you’re undeserving of happiness and respect.

10.) Happiness is something you can embrace

Life can be miserable sometimes, and it can be tempting to want to give up, or give into despair. Don’t let your situation beat you down. Find the people, the hobbies, the foods, or experiences that make things worthwhile, and embrace them. Have at least one thing to look forward to every day, so that you pull yourself out of bed and live the life you’re entitled to.

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