Top 10: College lessons that you won’t find in a textbook

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Nadia Fale

In order to get the full college experience, sometimes you've got to put down the books and learn the lessons of life.

College years are the prime time for exploration. Whether it is the discovery that ramen noodles are one of man’s greatest creations or that consuming alcohol on an empty stomach never ends well or even that the little girl who left Mommy and Daddy at home has grown into a completely independent woman, there is much to be discovered while pursuing higher education. After four years, students can proudly march across a stage to retrieve their diploma. However, it is the lessons learned informally that are inarguably more valuable than that college degree ever could be.

Open Your Mind

College will introduce you to people, places, and ideas that never crossed your mind before. Embrace each of these novelties as an opportunity to better understand the world around you.  So when that quiet girl covered in tattoos invites you to her art show, do yourself a favor and show up.

There’s No Time Like the Now

You’ve always wanted to learn guitar, go skydiving, jump off a waterfall. College is a unique time between childhood and full adulthood and prime time for adventure.So wake up and carpe that diem.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

While friends are a great part of the overall college experience, choose wisely who you keep in your company. A group is only as strong as its weakest link. Surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you and vice versa.

Ask and You Shall Receive

More often than not, university faculty and staff want you to succeed. If you are struggling, whether it is in the classroom or out, have the sense to ask for help. Between office hours, workshops, counseling, and tutoring, resources are available to those willing to seize them.

It’s OK to Stand Alone

Getting to know others is great, but the best person that you’ll get to know through your college years is yourself. Explore new corners of your mind and soul and learn to love yourself. After all, at the end of the day you’re all you’ve really got.

The Only Constant is Change

Surely there is comfort in predictability. Parents send their children to college to ensure financial stability. But until you accept that change is often the key ingredient to success, you won’t get very far. Understand that it is ok to change your hair color, your fashion sense, your major, or your personal beliefs.

It’s All About Balance

There is no success in either excess or deficit. Avoid over studying or under studying, over partying or under partying, over sleeping or under sleeping. Find your balance.

Lack of Passion is Fatal

This life is too short for mediocrity. Use your college years to find your passion and start living it. Make a decision to do everything with passion or not do it at all.

Get Lost

If all doesn’t go according to plan, remain calm and enjoy the scenery. Often times it is while we are “lost” that we learn and gain the most.

Life Goes On

There will be good days, bad days, and downright ugly days. On the darkest of days, take comfort in the words of Batman’s Harvey Dent, “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.”