You may think that college is all about studying and socializing. While this is true to a certain extent, you can learn a lot more from your time at college.
Here are some of the most valuable life lessons to take away with you when you graduate.
Time management and prioritization
There’s a popular misconception that students have loads of free time. In reality, most students have to juggle classes, independent study, and extracurricular activities. If you’ve been at seminars and or in the library all day, it can be tough to find the time to socialize with friends or fit in hockey practice. College can teach you how to manage your time and prioritize.
If you have a lot on, it’s always useful to write lists or use an app on your phone. Write down important events in your diary and work through your to-do list on a daily basis. Target the toughest challenges first, especially if they’re making you feel anxious.
When you leave college, you may have a hectic work schedule or you may need to fit work in around raising children or caring for a relative. Your experience can help you to achieve a healthy work-life balance in the future.
Teamwork is one of the most important lessons you’ll ever learn. Even if you’re not part of a sports team, the chances are that you work with others in some capacity. Maybe you’re part of a sorority, or you’re a member of a volunteer group. College quickly teaches you that you’re often better off working with others, than trying to go it alone. Teamwork helps you to learn how to help others and encourages you to be cooperative, patient and caring. You also learn how to accept defeat graciously and work towards shared goals and ambitions. These skills will stand you in good stead once you start working, especially in environments such as offices.
Going to college can be daunting, not least because you probably don’t know many people. When you leave home, you find yourself in an unfamiliar setting and making friends is part and parcel of everyday life. You’ll learn how to strike up conversation rapidly and to get on with people who may not necessarily be like friends you’ve had in the past. Socializing can open you up to new experiences and enable you to develop your confidence in social situations.
Coping with stress and working to deadlines
College life can be fun, but it can also be stressful. If you’ve got assignments or exams, you may feel under pressure. The grades you get at college can have a major bearing on your future, especially if you have ambitious career expectations. At college, you’ll learn to work to deadlines and cope with the pressure of exams. Some people thrive under pressure while others fold. Going through your first exam period can make or break you, but you’ll learn from the experience whatever the outcome. If you do fail, pick yourself back up and move forward. You can always resit exams or change to a different course, which suits you better. If stress gets the best of you and you can’t submit a piece of work on time, it may be worth considering other options. You could ask for help, apply for an extension or research the best place to buy a term paper.
College is likely to be a completely different experience to high school or home life. From day one, you’ll come across people you’ve never met before, and you’ll adopt a new routine. Embrace the opportunities you are afforded at college and don’t be afraid to try new things. Join a sports team or sign up for some societies. Challenge yourself and set yourself goals. Be open-minded when you meet others and step out of your comfort zone. Work hard, but take advantage of other things that are going on. Learn to sail or row. Take up boxing or yoga. Start language classes, or sign up for volunteering programs. Travel the world or master some new cooking skills.
Financial planning and budgeting
Life as a student can be tough when it comes to balancing the books. At college, it’s wise to learn to live within your means and stick to a budget. Budgeting is something, which is beneficial for people of all ages. If you can manage to stay in the black at college, this indicates that you have a good grasp of your finances. This will set you up for life after graduation when you have to balance your income with household bills and a mortgage.
College is a unique experience. This is perhaps the time you’ll undergo the most dramatic development in terms of your personality and individuality. You’ll learn new things every day and encounter a broad spectrum of people from all kinds of walks of life. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself and the kind of person you are. You may come out of your shell at college. You may decide what kind of career you want. You might meet your soulmate or friends you’ll keep for life. You may discover new passions or a zest for life you never had before. Enjoy every day and take every opportunity that comes your way.
Although it may seem daunting at first, leaving home can be refreshing. When you leave the comfort and shelter of home, you can explore a whole new world and gain more independence. Yes, it’s lovely to go home and enjoy some TLC from your family, but it’s also important to create your own path and learn to make decisions.
You may think that going to college is all about working hard and having fun, but there’s so much more to learn. You probably won’t realize until you’ve left, but college can be a hugely rewarding experience, which sets you up for life. You’ll learn all kinds of important practical skills and values. Enjoy your time at college and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities it will offer you. When you get older, you’ll look back fondly and realize just how important those years were.