College. It is something a lot of us go through at some point in our life, whether it be straight out of high school or down the road a little bit, whether it is to earn a degree or just to further our knowledge with a few courses.
Straight out of high school, at the age of 18, I attended Kent State University to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Zoology. After that, I worked towards a Master's degree in Biology from Miami University in conjunction with Cleveland Zoo. Needless to say, I understand college. However, through my seven years of schooling, I was learning a lot about life that I didn't realize I was learning until after I had already graduated. And a lot of it did not have to do with numbers and languages.
Here are just five of those things that I learned from going to college.
- Life is a roller coaster. College is filled with ups and downs just like life will be. IT WILL NOT BE EASY. I had numerous projects that tested my patience and my sanity. There were many, many, many times that I wanted to give up and quit college. I was fed up with the work and feeling like I was not learning anything. But I kept going, just like you will have to do throughout your life.
- It is rewarding to accomplish something. At the end of a project and especially at graduation, you will feel a sense of accomplishment. This will feel so good! You will be on top of the world when you complete a task. This will carry on through life. When you are faced with a tough task or situation, you will remember how good it felt to finish college. You will keep going in order to feel that happiness and sense of completion again!
- Time management. There is nothing harder than working a full-time job, going to school full-time, and juggling a social life of friends and family. When you start college, you will quickly learn how to manage your time effectively so that you have time for absolutely everything. You will learn when you need to put the studying down to focus on a relationship and when you can say no to an extra shift at work. And let me tell you, when you get out of college, you will be blown away at how much easier it becomes to manage your time. You will be thankful for the work you put in all those years.
- Pressure. You will learn how to say no. We all know there is a stigma with college that it can be one big "party." You will have peer pressure. You will learn to say no. This has helped me even after I graduated. I know how to say no when I need to. Plain and simple.
- Social skills. I absolutely HATED when I had to give a presentation or interact with people outside of my comfort zone in college. My Master's degree dealt a lot with public speaking and interacting. Even though I was scared of it at the time, it has helped me so much after I graduated. If I have to speak in front of a crowd for work, I look back on those days in college and realize that I survived and actually did very well. So I realize that I will be fine.
In other words, if you are attending college or are planning on attending college, please slow down and understand the true benefits of what you are doing. It is way more than just a piece of paper. I might not be using my degree to get a career, but I am using the life lessons it taught me. It might not always be glamorous or be what you expected, but enjoy the journey you are on. You'll appreciate it later.