Me to me: You are about to be at the 4-year mark of your college career.
What have you learned?
College - an educational institution or establishment, in particular one providing higher education or specialized professional or vocational training (dictionary.com). We were taught that we need college so that we can specialize in whatever field it is we seek to enter in on the job market. This is now obsolete. When our parents and grandparents were in their youth, a college degree was a rare commodity only the most fortunate had. Many people felt as though they did not need them, and in some ways, they did not. I don’t mean to play devil’s advocate here, but kids; we now need a college degree because everyone has one. If everyone applying in the job pool has one and you don’t, your resume will not make it past the secretary. How can you compete without one in a world where college is the cool thing to do? Where pep talks to choose college are completely unnecessary? Where it is not even a choice anymore but rather an assumption? Now, how would you feel if I told you that a degree wasn’t even the real purpose of your steep sacrifice to attend college?
Wait! Don’t exit just yet. Oblige me first by answering this question: “What have you learned?”. No really, what have you learned? Sure, you learned some stuff about your major, sure you were taught how to properly format a resume, sure you know how to write a paper. But if you were thrusted onto the job and expected to execute today or tomorrow, could you do it? I told you earlier that a degree was not your real purpose of attending college and it is not. While you’re here; your job is to live and experience. What has life taught you since you left home to acclimate to a totally foreign environment? What has life taught you since you were expected to start paying some or maybe even all of your own bills? When I ask you what you have learned, this is what I meant. While in college, you are your own person. It’s an opportunity to figure out who you want to be as an individual and capitalize on it. There is no better place in the world to network with people with differing personalities, from differing places; each with the same number of opportunities as you. You get a chance to learn and meet new people before they become who they are meant to be in life. You witness the growth, you see the potential shining through, and it motivates you to be better and do better. Sometimes you experiment, both good and bad things depending on your definition. You learn somethings are just not for you. I am glad I decided to attend college because I have grown and matured around complete strangers a great deal in the past 3 years. The best part about it is the fact that I can only get better, and that I know that I have a whole lot more growing and maturing to do.
I’ll tell you what I’ve learnt since being here and you’re welcome to disagree. Not everyone is going to like you, people believe in a vast amount of things and it’s not your job to judge them for it, people are different because they did not grow up the same as you, Sometimes you get disappointed, happiness is a choice, not everyone you are loyal to will be loyal to you, people will not pay you the same respect as you do them, and question everything; everything. I learned to pace myself and to breathe. I learned to be a little more adventurous, and a little less fearful. Mostly most (this is deliberate) of all, I learned that even though I THINK I’ve experienced a lot of things, I KNOW that this time next year I will look back and say “Girl, you thought that was all, just keep living”.