Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I Really Learned In College

After 5.5 years, I have finally completed my last college final! I couldn't be any more excited. After two schools and multiple field of study changes I now hold four degrees. Yes, I said four. Four well earned degrees.

Associate of ScienceAssociate of Science Oregon Transfer - BusinessBachelor of Science - Advertising ManagementBachelor of Science - Marketing

I have no doubt that for the most part what I learned in the classroom will be useful; being a business major you actually learn some valuable skills. But there are some things valuable things I learned about college that weren't in a textbook...

1. A bachelor degree is not a four year degree. 

4 year degree? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Mine took me 5 and a half. This will be the case for most people who pay their own tuition or work outside of school.

2. Community college is real college. 

And it’s actually a much smarter route to take than paying for university starting freshman year. I had a boyfriend who never missed the opportunity to talk poorly about community college when given the chance. It’s easy to look down on community college when someone else pays for your tuition at university. Yes, almost everyone is accepted to community college. Yes, there are no dorms and the basketball games don’t get aired on ESPN. But in all honesty, my experience there seemed a lot more real than some of my friends who went to big name schools. I had more freedom to explore classes to find out what major was right for me. I didn’t live in a dorm, so my world consisted of more than just campus activities. Earning an associate degree before my bachelors gave me bragging rights to say I had a degree; it also opened up a whole new world job opportunities. Added bonus - many of my classes were taught by the same teachers my friends had at university... who got the better bang for their buck there? 

3. Your seat belongs to you and no one else is allowed to sit in it. Ever. 

It may take you two or three classes to find a seat to claim as your own but when you do you are basically married to it. You bond with it. You know it is waiting for you. And you feel like you’re cheating on it when you walk into the room on the day of the final and that one guy who only shows up for the first and last day of class is sitting in it... cluelessly throwing off the entire balance of the classroom. You will be forced to sit in someone else’s seat, making them hate you just as much as you hate your own intruder. Worst part is - all you will be able to think about during the final is how someone else is in YOUR spot. 

4. Netflix is the heart of procrastination. 

“Oh you have a 20 page paper due in a week? Now would be the perfect time to get addicted to a 7 season TV show on Netflix.” Thanks brain! 

5. You will make more temporary friends than you can count. It's OK.

Chances are you’ll find at least one person in every class that you always sit next to, complain about the professor with, and run at super speed with during your 5 minute break to get coffee all the way across campus. This person will be your best friend in class for the entire term and then when the term is over you will never hang out with them again. It’s OK. Cherish those long three months you shared together. As always, you’ll meet someone new in your next class. 

6. Signing for a student loan is like signing your life away. 

End of story.

7. Group work:

8. Not everyone will have the same experience.
Life isn't fair. That should be the first thing they tell you in college. Not everyone will have the same opportunities and it sucks when someone gets a better one than you. It will happen your entire life so you might as well get used to it. But there's no need to be bitter; just remember that there will always be someone who has less than you and is probably thinking you're the lucky one.

9. Those non-gift exchanging holidays will become just as cherished as Christmas.
Memorial Day is now just as big of a deal as Christmas because you get a three day weekend and one less day of school. Take time to actually honor the meaning of those holidays, you owe it to them.

10. The real world does not care about your college experiences.
In which case this entire post means absolutely nothing. But really, when you finish college it doesn't matter what clubs you were in or who had the best party. You enter an entire new world when you graduate. You are no longer surrounded by people who generally have the same lifestyle as you. Post-college is the most pivotal time to become a new person. Become your own person. Explore the world and find a meaning in life that is worth living.

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