Editorial
01 July 2020

Important Lessons You'll Learn in College

You’ve heard that college years make for the best and most memorable years of your life. Beyond the brains and books, it’s a time to explore life and create memories. Whether they consist of stressful moments, outrageous incidents, or fun times, these are a collective experience that makes your college life irreplaceable and one day become those nostalgic stories you reflect on many years down the road.

But most of all, these experiences mean that you’ll learn many invaluable lessons you will carry with you even after graduation. Keep reading to find out!

 

1. Meaning of friendship

 

One thing for sure as you step into college is that you’ll be meeting lots of people from even the other side of the world. It’s natural to feel great as you grow your network and meet more people. In fact, you may even feel excited about being popular for once!

But be careful to not mistake acquaintances for genuine friendship.

As you mingle and bond with your classmates in the class and group assignments, you’ll soon learn the many facets of college students and sometimes, through the hard way. You’ll differentiate which of your friends are the reliable mates who would pull an all-nighter to stitch a project together with you from the culprits who have no qualms abandoning a group presentation at the last moment. The ‘fun’ part? You can never tell these two groups apart until you start drilling in the hard work. 

And though it may seem like a chore, once you discover the gold in the midst of a coal mine, you recognise friends who wouldn’t mind sticking with you through thick and thin and they’re likely to stand the test of time till graduation (and possibly longer). And of course, these are the peeps you should treasure for life!

2. Being self-driven

 

As of now, you probably can’t wait to access your freedom post-high school. You think about the cool places you’ll roam with your friends and the freedom to do all other things that no longer require the jurisdiction of your parents.

Sounds like the dream, ain’t it? 

But hold your horses! Freedom and responsibility come hand in hand. 

Gone are the days where your mum makes the decisions for you and it’s more than the basic eat, drink, and what to wear. You’re now in charge of your entire life where you’ll be tested on your ability to be independent and self-driven in everything that you do.

It’s the freedom to decide whether you should work on your 1,500-word essay now or procrastinate? Are you going to class or skip it? Is it a good idea to stay out till late on a weekday night? You’ll face plenty of situations that challenge your willpower and discipline. You know that if you delay your work, you’ll end up stressed at the eleventh hour. If you skip a class, you could get a warning and if you stayed out late, you’ll sacrifice sleep and concentration the next morning. What do you do?

Part and parcel of growing up is being able to take necessary actions by and for yourself and weighing the good and bad on your own. And knowing that each of your actions comes with consequences YOU have to deal with.

So, are you still up to grab your freedom?

 

3. Spending wisely

 

Now that you’re being left alone to fend for yourself (though you’d probably receive an allowance every month), managing your expenses can be a little tricky and especially harder for those who study away from home.

And in order to survive, you’ll have to make do with what you’re given.

Being a college student with limited resources, you’ll soon learn to stinge and thrift here and there, whenever possible. 

(Does it even feel right to simply spend on your pocket money?) 

You may even resort to working part-time for that extra cash. In time, once you get the ball rolling, you’ll eventually get the hang of it, if you make the effort to budget your allowances monthly, track your expenses, and still have money saved up in the bank! Your future self will thank you for practising good money habits starting now.

We know that at the peak of your youthful days, it’s easy to fall into the trap of materialism. You want to look your best and keep up with the latest trends because… #FOMO. You’ll be tempted to own luxury because ‘all your friends have it’ and it simply looks coool. But playing catch up isn’t always a feasible game. Simply spending your money to keep up with a certain appearance can be exhausting (especially for your pockets).

At the end of the day, it’s being able to see the bigger picture and understand what matters most to you. 

PS: It’s okay to splurge on something you enjoy once in a blue moon as long as you have the means to and understand your limits.

4. Staying true to yourself

 

It’s natural for us to want our friends to like us and sometimes, we do it at the cost of our principles and comfort zone.

Since social interaction is unavoidable (online or not), peer pressure is pretty common among friends.

You’ve probably succumbed to peer pressure without realising.

Whether it’s something as simple as accepting a lunch invite to somewhere you dislike or having a different opinion about a social cause, we don’t like to disagree with our friends simply because we risk being alienated. After all, humans survived generations by following the crowd. But since we no longer live in the treacherous stone age, sometimes we have to put our foot down when the time calls for it. 

Being a college student will expose you to many other circumstances that will put your integrity to test. This means you’ll have to learn to say no when you want to and stand up for what you think is right even if this means standing alone or ending up being frustrated with yourself. Hence, it’s good to know that you can’t please everybody and in the end, it only matters whether or not you are happy and at peace with yourself.

Are you all set to take the next step towards learning in college? You may want to know more about how going to college will change your perspective in life. And here’s what you should consider before signing up for college!

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Josephine Serena
Editor
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STUDENT LIFE
COLLEGE TIPS
LIFE LEARNING

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