Today: Jun 25, 2024

Lessons learned, from one grad to another


The mind of a graduating college student can be a very dangerous place. There is so much to think about: the last semester of school, arrangements, jobs, life without homework.

Some things that keep crossing my mind particularly are the lessons that have been taught or not taught throughout the past four or five years in college most of us have been through.

With the upcoming event of graduation I personally have been thinking about the past five years I have spent in school non-stop. I’ve been remembering things like my high school graduation, or the first time I stepped on campus, my first class, and the first papers I got back.

But it is more than that stepping into college the first time, when everything is new and different. Most of the time all or most of your friends have gone away to different schools or chose to stay home, or not to go to school. You are in a completely new place that is going to lead you headfirst non-stop into the future.

I have taken tons of classes for my major (journalism), English, math, history, media studies, public health, and so on. But as valuable as the lessons are that we learn in the classroom, they don’t have anything to do with how we act in our personal lives.

College has taught me as much inside of the classroom as it has outside of the classroom. I think every student goes through a period where they want to give up, they don’t know what they want to do, and there is so much going on that it is just easy to say you will never make it. This isn’t true; anything is possible. The hard part is trying to get there.

For me personally I don’t know what I would do without the people that surround me in my life, now especially. A few lessons I have learned to hold to are:

1. Always be yourself, no matter what. Sometimes being in a situation where there are a lot of people can be intimidating, and it is hard to stand up for who you are because others may not understand it. The truth is to never doubt yourself. There are always going to be people out there that love and respect you; you just have to find them, even if they aren’t the person you thought was closest to you.

2. Don’t let anything stop you from your dreams or goals. Personally, I was way too shy when I started college. I wanted to be a journalism major with a focus in radio, but I was too scared to write for the paper or go up to the radio station and ask for a radio show. Eventually I got over these fears and went for it, but it took a little longer than it should have.

3. Don’t let one failure drag you down. Everyone has something that gives them trouble, whether it is a class, an internship or a relationship. I always liked the quote: “If you fall down, get back up and try again.”

4. Listen to the people who care about you the most. For me, my boyfriend always tells me things because he knows me so well, and he ends up being right. He may say not to stress or not to think a certain way. It is easy to think negatively and harder to think positive. I am one to talk about that, but this is about what I have learned in college and I feel like I should pass down. Someone has to.

5. “If you want big rewards, you have to take big risks.” My favorite most overused quote is super appropriate here. If you want something bad enough you will work hard to achieve that goal. Going from someone who is OK to amazing doesn’t happen overnight. But it can happen, and people notice.

This is only some of what is going through the mind of this senior.

What I have taken on a personal level from college isn’t going to be the same as other people. Everyone has their own experiences, but there are a lot of lessons to learn. It is funny as I think of friends I have made and friends I have lost; opportunities that haven’t worked out to opening the door for something that worked out better than I could have ever imagined.

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