It’s been four weeks since I graduate college. four weeks. whoa, that was fast.
I remember when I used to think it was never going to end, I wanted to be done and finally get a job and have a “stable” life. Thank me later for these 10 Things You Will learn in College That Have Nothing to Do With Your Major.
Because what nobody told me is that college doesn’t really prepare you for a job, it prepares for life. Yes, I learned how to write press releases and how to write in broadcast style. Maybe even how to make a decent news package, but what I learned the most was how to actually get through college.
Because let’s face it, college is hard. Regardless of your major, or your schedule, college is hard to handle. Especially when you have to balance a full time schedule of classes, a job, an internship and maybe even kids (my case).
So here are some of the things that college will teach you as you go through it. Whether you realize it or not, by the time you hold that diploma in you hands you will have mastered all of these qualities.
#1 SURVING ON A BUDGET.
“Oh how awesome were those days in college when I had extra cash to eat whatever I wanted,” said no one ever.
College in one word : Expensive. Tuition, Parking, books, gas (assuming you drive), rent, food etc. If you really learn something in college this will be it. To live on a budget, and manage your money well enough so you are not eating cup and noodles half of the semester. Kids in college usually have part time jobs that don’t pay them enough to not be on a budget. If you are not in college yet, get ready, save some cash and be smart about your money.
When you are in college you have to get this skill down, regardless of the schedule you have, you will soon learn what needs to be done when and how important it is to do it. Especially if we are talking about classes, most college professors set a due date and will not take late work. You get it done on time or get ready to see your grade suffer, so knowing what is a priority and actually doing it will be one of the best life lessons that you can add to your resume.
#3 BEING INDEPENDENT.
Because in college you are now an “adult” and you will have no one chasing after you reminding you of things you need to do. This is one of the hardest parts of being a college student in my opinion. You really need to be your own motivation and cheerleader. If you decide you don’t want to get up for that 8:00 am class, it’s all good but in the end it all comes down on how much you want to succeed in college. You are independent and no one will push, if you don’t do it for yourself no one will. Another valuable lesson that can be used in a lifetime right?
#4 WORKING IN GROUPS.
I’m sure we’ve all had to be in a group that we didn’t like at some point. It’s usually one person always doing the work after lots and lots of unanswered emails or text messages, sounds familiar? well as my group communication class taught me, sometimes you have to put up with and put in the work to pull the job through. Sadly this is how it is our there in the real world and learning to deal with people like that will be a major plus when you are out in the workforce. Sure it may not be fair and you may even be able to report that one person who is not helping out, but again, at the end of the day you need to learn the skills that come with working with different types of people.
#5. DOING 100 THINGS AT THE SAME TIME, AKA MULTI-TASKING.
As college student sometimes you really don’t have the time to do all these things. You have to master this one down and learn to respond to emails while typing that essay while cooking. It’s just the way it is, but look at it this way, if you can multi-task you can do anything .
#6. NETWORKING, MAKING FRIENDS OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT.
Some people say you make your “real” friends in college. Yes maybe, but not all the time, sometimes you are too busy with classes, work, kids, internships that there is really no time to make friends. Yes you meet people, you see them in classes and maybe go out for a beer once or twice, but sometimes it ends there. That’s what happens when you are an adult, everyone has a life, and it may be hard to match schedules, however networking is crucial. The difference? well you want to make connections, “keep in touch” and not lose contact with people who are in your field of work/major etc. for professional reasons of course. Don’t get me wrong about friends in college, it’s nice to have people around to get you through but staying friends after isn’t always the case as people take different paths.
#7 REACH OUT TO PEOPLE
College was a major wake up call for me to understand that reaching out to people for help is a need. No one will come to you and say “let me help you”. Sure professor are there to help you but they won’t come to you if you struggling, they have office hours and you have to reach out to them. When I was getting ready to graduate and realized how much experience I did not have on reporting (which is what I wanted to do at the time), I freaked out. I grabbed my camera and mic and decided to go show up at events I could report on. I met so many great people at these events and started networking, that I feel like my path changed. I got so much more experience, than what I would have if I hadn’t decided that day to step out of my comfort zone. Lesson learned? go look for opportunities, or create them yourself.
#8 YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRINK TO HAVE FUN IN COLLEGE
For so many reasons, I can maybe blame the media and movies and stuff for making college kids think that college is about getting wasted and passing out on a sorority/fraternity house floor. But actually, who want’s to wake up with a hangover to three essays you haven’t yet finished and an eight-hour shift at work? yup no one. Instead, colleges have so many activities where you can genuinely have fun. Movie nights, dancing nights, arts and crafts, we even had a skating rank once on my campus. Seriously drinking is not the only way, and you will learn that.
#9 TEMPTATION IS A REAL THING.
When you are stuck in a 3 hour lecture class, and your professor allows you to use your laptop, oh God. You will be so tempted to catch up on email, watch Grey’s Anatomy or be on Facebook. Anything but to listen to the lecture. It happens to all of us trust me. Learning how to put temptation aside will make you more productive and you will automatically be a better human, trust me.
#10 WHAT EVERYONE KIND OF KNOWS ALREADY.
You know what everyone kind of knows, like how you don’t really need that $200 dollar book your professor is asking you to buy. Most of the time you won’t even open it. Googling everything will literally save you more than half the time. Registering for classes will be a nightmare and you will be glad once you are done with college and never have to do it again. Coffee shops on campus are also a nightmare between 9:00 am and 9:30 am, it’s the way college works.