College is the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and while it may be scary, the lessons you learn outside classroom will undoubtedly be the most important ones. So keep in mind that college isn’t all about book smarts. It’s actually the college experience which offers plenty of invaluable life lessons handy on a life-long basis. These lessons are actually not taught in courses, but learned throughout the experiences in college, social life and other activities. Here are some valuable life lessons you’ll learn in college by default.
Discipline & motivation
The biggest lesson college teaches is being responsible. The first realisation is that individual success is almost entirely dependent on the self. No one at college is going to force you go to class or make sure you turn in your assignments on time. That’s all up to you—and this means discipline. Nor is there any one to motivate you to study smart. Through such experiences, you learn that in life, there are unfortunately a lot of things you’re going to do, even though you don’t want to. Boring meetings, paying bills, going to work – these are all tasks in life that nobody wants to do but have to do. Even employers love seeing motivated employees who can keep themselves on task without requiring constant supervision.
Taking charge of self-learning & independence
One of the life lessons is learning new skills are self assets. If you don’t worry about yourself in college, nobody else is going to do it for you. Sure, your family and friends check in on you, but you’re the sole person responsible for you – 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. College places you in situations where you get plenty of opportunities to take your learning into your own hands and find a way to acquire the skills you need to turn your dreams into reality. If that doesn’t teach you to be independent, nothing will.
College won’t always be easy. From difficult courses to stress from balancing work, school and family, there will likely be times you feel like giving up. It’s just you who has to be responsible and persevere with hard work.
Time management & prioritizing
During college you will have to balance classes, homework, study time, eating, sleeping and entertainment. You may find yourself sliding on important things, like assignments. It’s up to you to balance time for fun or study. This needs prioritizing when you just can’t figure out when or how you’re going to get everything done. Use to-do lists and calendars which are life savers Learning time management skills saves one from experiencing stress that comes when you realize a forgotten assignment is due tomorrow. Its only you who can figure out how to study efficiently and still have free time for friends and naps by scheduling your time based on importance or priority.
Budgeting time & money
During college you learn to budget both time and money, this comes in handy with resourcefulness as well. If you’re forced to be on a budget –you’ll learn how to scrimp and save. That way, when later you’ll make smart financial decisions. Similarly with time juggling college life isn’t easy. It is a crash course in efficient time management. It takes hard work to earn your degree, but you can get through college with less stress if you stay organized, keep a schedule and remember to make time for family and the activities you enjoy.
Similar to prioritizing your tasks, you’ve learned to switch gears at the drop of a hat. You need to – with so much to do; you don’t really have a choice. Often times you have to do more than one thing at a time. But that’s OK, you’ve got this down pact to an art form. Welcome to the work-life balance, where you’ll be “business you” one minute and “social you” the next. Not to mention, perhaps one day, becoming someone’s “mom” or “dad.”
You may think note-taking ends once you’ve graduated. It doesn’t. There are meetings, conferences and seminars all waiting for you to attend and take notes on. Your job will often depend on the accuracy of these notes, so it’s a good thing you’ll master the art.
Working with Others
College is filled with interactions with others, such as professors, teammates on a group project or a supervisor at an internship. You want your communication with others to be pleasant, but disagreements or tricky situations will probably arise a few times during your college career. Learning to manage uncomfortable conversations for a better result without stressing oneself out is a skill learnt during college. Learning to rely on others is not a sign of weakness. It means you know how to find the support you need without burning yourself out—a skill that will come in handy throughout your professional career.
Enjoy every day at college
A semester at college seems like such a long time; after all, it is four whole months. However, each semester passes so quickly. As a result one learns to savour every new experience and even seemingly boring class period, as it over before you know it.
Perhaps the most valuable thing one learns in college is to simply be yourself. Learn not to be ashamed of who are. It’s ok to dress in sweatpants all the time or wear something nice and spiffy all the time. What you do ultimately is the only thing which matters and if you are at peace with your own self.