3 Things You Learn In College That Have Nothing To Do With Your Degree

by Samantha Bell

College is one long, drawn-out, hectic, insane and valuable learning experience. College campuses are a microcosm of angst, culture, sexual tension and intelligence. They are epicenters for the next generation of scientific breakthroughs, literary geniuses and epic “keggers.”

But what most people fail to comprehend is just how much students gain from college that has nothing to do with their GPA, major or future career.

Sure, we're all here for a good education that will hopefully lead to a promising career path, but we are also here to get completely lost in new perspectives, skill sets and versions of ourselves. Here are three things you will learn in college that have nothing at all to do with textbooks, PowerPoints, classes or salaries.

1. How to open and expand your mind

College really enhances the “no judgment” way of life. If you don't attempt to learn something from every scatter-brained professor, pompous frat guy or enigmatic fiction writer, you're just not taking full advantage of your experience.

Every single party, class, extracurricular, failure and success is significant, and there is always something greater you can draw from it.

College teaches you not to make the mistake of living within the barriers and images you have for yourself. It forces you to be consistently uncomfortable so your mindset is forced to expand and shift at a rapid rate. It teaches you to be understanding of those who have different stories than you do. It teaches you to accept your failures and use them as fuel for the next endeavor.

2. How to respect yourself

Believe it or not, college teaches you a lot about self-respect. Despite the “one night stand” cliché, college truly sets the precedent of what you will accept in terms of your quality of life and the people in it. Through overindulgence in everything from food, alcohol, heartbreak and overall bullshit, you will learn to draw lines and use moderation.

You learn to pick yourself up from some of the most brutal instances you'll ever encounter. College pulls you away from the people you don't need and pushes you into the arms of the ones who are supposed to dry your 2 am tears.

Out of lost friendships, failed classes, embarrassing dates and alcohol-driven mistakes, comes the realization you have to respect yourself before you can ever expect the same in return. In this type of environment, you'll be pushed beyond your limits and it will foster your ability to adapt and take care of yourself.

3. How to let go

In order to truly grow, you have to be able to remove yourself from the people, habits and tendencies that inhibit growth. College is the perfect place to start over and let go of past mistakes and perspectives that hold you back.

College teaches you doing anything to an extreme is damaging. That being said, you learn in the cruelest of ways how to walk away from the things that no longer propel you forward in life. Whether it be a relationship, a friendship, a vice or even a certain outlook, your independence helps you find the strength to let go.

It's no secret college is an important step in having a successful, profitable career. But it so much more than that. It is a way to heighten your cultural acceptance, to learn how much you deserve and how to cut ties with the parts of your life that no longer challenge or better you. No matter what your degree says, there is immense value in this experience.