Graduating from college is a really weird feeling. In a way, it's surreal and exhilarating. It's also that turning point in your life where you feel like you have to be someone and go somewhere.
You need to be someone with a title, a status and an immense amount of knowledge. However, there are so many little details I learned along the way that no school or higher education could have ever taught me:
1. It's not what you know, but who you know.
You will learn so much information throughout school, and you will wonder how that microeconomics or calculus class might ever apply to your real-world life. What people forget to mention is college is not only a great place to learn, but it's also a great place to earn (friends, that is).
Take the opportunity to make friends. Get to know people, network and build relationships. After college, these are the same people whom you may one day turn to when you're looking for a career change or other advice.
Surround yourself with individuals who bring positivity and challenge the way you think. These are the same individuals you will thank later on.
2. Leave your comfort zone and explore.
When you first start college, you tend to never leave your comfort zone. It cradles you and nurtures you.
But, your comfort zone will never help you grow. If you want to grow, you need to challenge yourself and do the things that might not be so easy.
Take a class you think you'll fail, or major in something you never saw yourself pursuing. When I first started college, I so desperately wanted to major in marketing.
However, I was forced to take a speech class, and it petrified the living daylight out of me. I barely made it out alive.
My face would turn red, I would have stomach problems and my hands would shake. But the feeling was, in a way, exhilarating. Each time I gave a speech, I got better and better. Four years later, I graduated with a degree in corporate communications.
Thanks to that class, I can better communicate with people. Leave your comfort zone and grow.
3. Have a strong sense of self-worth.
No one ever teaches you about self-worth, which sucks. It's important to keep in mind that your grades aren't the true measure of your worth as a person.
Don't ever let numbers or letters get in the way of how great you really are. Often, too many people associate failing a class with failing as a person.
It's not the same thing. Find other areas you're good at. Don't ever let your numbers or grades get the best of you.
At the end of the day, they're just that: numbers and letters. Don't ever dwell on the fact that you got a B.
Join a club. Become a leader, a mentor or a tutor. These are way bigger and better brownie points in your post-grad life than your GPA.
It is important to keep in mind that college isn't a walk in the park; it's an experience. At the end of the day, you will pave your own experience.
But, you can't do that unless you change your mindset and have a different approach to certain things. Stop dwelling on the little things, and look at the bigger picture.
There is so much more to college than textbooks, all-nighters and exams. It is an experience you'll yearn for long after it's over.