I Didn’t Just Learn Academics in College

Just a day ago, my second-to-last semester of college began. I was dreading its arrival because I’m taking on 18 credits, but, since classes have started, I’m confident I will complete the semester successfully like I always do. They say that “your college years are the best years of your life” and I can see the truth in that, but I’m still more than excited to graduate and start the next chapter in my life.

I’ve learned a lot in college, academically and otherwise. So in honor of my last year in college, here’s a short list of some of those things:

  1. The trade-off for complete autonomy is full responsibility. Accountability, it’s a real thing. But so is the freedom to stay out until 2 AM on a weekday. I’d say it’s a fair-trade off, while at the same time, one of the saddest realizations about adult life.
  2. Go by yourself if no one will go with you. No one is available to go clothes shopping with me today? That’s fine, I’ll go by myself. None of my friends want to try that new vegan restaurant with me? That’s fine, I’ll go by myself. Perhaps, while I’m out there taking part in something I enjoy, I’ll meet someone new who also enjoys said activity.
  3. It’s perfectly okay to go out on a Wednesday night when you have work then school the next morning.ย Moderation is key. See #1 for additional information.
  4. Study abroad. I recently studied in Thailand and my only regret is that I waited three years to make this dream come true. Beforehand, I thought only rich kids studied abroad, which is a misconception. There’s something called a scholarship, take advantage. It’s easier to grab than you think.
  5. Critical thinking is a life skill. That literary analysis you wrote? Probably not going to be useful to your career. However, the critical thinking you used to writeย that analysis is completely transferable to the real world. Life throws a lot of curve balls and as an adult, you have to deal with every curve yourself, so it’s useful to have a problem-solving perspective in life.
  6. Open a savings account. In college, a savings account is more like a safety net than anything. Spend too much money on your credit card this billing cycle? It’s okay, you have extra in your savings account. Spontaneous trip to California with your friends this weekend? It’s okay, you have extra in your savings account.
  7. Appreciation for your parents’ professions. This might not apply to everyone, depending on what your parents do for a living. Mine are registered nurses and, until I look BIO 181, I never considered how hard my parents had to study in college to obtain their licenses. Hats off to you, mom and dad.
  8. Procrastination does nothing good.ย All it does is create stress. And with that being said, I probably should get back to my homework now.

* 262 days until graduation *

graduate-md

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