6 Key Lessons You Learn In College That'll Stick With You Way Past Graduation

by Tessa Harvey

Before heading off to freshman year, your parents might have told you that college will be the best four years of your life. Those of us who are incredibly close to graduation, or have already graduated, know that college is truly an unforgettable experience. It may not have been the best four years of your life, but there's no denying that it taught you so many things inside and outside of the lecture halls. Truth be told, some of the lessons you learn in college will stick with you long after you receive your diploma.

I'm graduating college this year, and as I try and make sense of how these four years went by so quickly, I'm left with one emotion above all others: surprise. I'm surprised at all of the important life lessons I've learned, and surprised at the person I've become in such a short amount of time. My overall college experience was over, in really, a blink of the eye.

Although my time in college may be coming to a close, I'm content in knowing that there are countless memories and lessons I'll take with me. After shedding some sad and happy tears at graduation and hugging your college besties so tight, I'm pretty sure you'll also see the many things you learned in college that'll be applicable throughout your life.

How To Say "Yes" To New Experiences

Trust me, this one can be a lot harder than it sounds. When I started college, new experiences really freaked me out. You're constantly meeting new people, adjusting to your surroundings, living away from home, and studying so many new subjects. For a period of time, I found myself overwhelmed with all of the options, so the easiest thing to do was to stop saying "yes."

Now I know that trying as many new things as possible isn't a bad thing. It has the potential to open you up to a ton of new opportunities and friendships. Keep in mind that it's also OK to say "no" once in awhile, too, if you're just really not about a particular plan.

The Importance Of Penciling In "Me Time"

After a stressful day that's jam-packed with classes and club activities, you really deserve some "me time." Even on the weekends, it's totally OK to have a chill night in spent with your fur baby.

This also applies to once you're out in the "real world" adulting. After a work week that totally dragged, it's so important to pencil in some "me time" so you can truly relax and unwind. You'll be so happy once you come up with a routine that works best for you. If there's a yoga class you took once and have been dying to go back, sign up for a few to focus the body and mind. Hit the pause button on reality for a bit and truly soak up this free time you have to yourself.

Procrastination Is The Actual WORST

I'll be really honest here: I still deal with this struggle on the daily. Somewhere along the road that is college, I realized that my late-night catch-ups on pages of essays and textbooks were hurting me more than helping me. The time I spent doing other things and pushing off my work was really not worth it. TBH, who knows if this is a habit any of us can fully kick to the curb straight out of college, but we can try to get better.

You Have To Follow Through With Commitments

Uh yeah. Going to college means actually going to college. Seems like a no-brainer, right? For some reason, a lot of us start college thinking it's OK to skip a class or two. It took me one shaky semester to realize that you really need to give each class and extracurricular activity your all.

You Do You

In college, you learn to focus on you, and forget everyone else's opinions. Sure, it's important to accept constructive criticism, but when someone you thought was your friend is being mean just to be mean, well, you quickly realize you don't need those toxic vibes in your life.

Growing up means supporting yourself like the boss chick you are, and surrounding yourself with people who genuinely want you to be the best version of yourself. You've go to focus on what makes you happy and fulfilled.

How To Creatively Improvise

If there's one universal lesson learned during your college years, it's how to improvise when things don't go according to plan. For example, when it comes to making a home-cooked meal and you realize you're out of something, sometimes that means working with whatever you may have in your refrigerator and cabinets. Hey, it makes for a solid roommate bonding experience, right?

Life will inevitably throw some curveballs your way, but you learn how to get back up and deal with them the best way you know how.