College life is something that teaches us many things. It tells us how irritating and annoying can people be in the beginning; yet at the end these people are the ones whom we call our best buddies. The most amazing part is that the college life allows us to define our selves. We choose our ideologies and perceptions about life. We experience first time freedom to develop and define our own unique existence.
The endless teasings, the first crush, the first group of best buddies, the first hangover, the first night out, the best enemies, the bunks, the professor’s questions, and much more: college life teaches us many things.
With so many memories and lessons learned, it could be surprising that there are a few things that were missed. Here are 11 life lessons that you won’t learn from years at the university.
1. There is no map to life.
There is no map in life that will lead you to a perfect, or a specific ideal “destination.” Life is a journey… it’s a series of small decisions and choices you make that will lead you on your own unique journey. Don’t keep worrying about where you will turn up, or wondering if you made the right decisions. This added anxiety only takes you further from uncovering your true self.
Trust yourself, and have faith that whichever direction you take will bring you to the place you need to be. Don’t be afraid to go off the map of the life you planned for yourself – life often has a spectacular way of taking us to exactly where we need to be at the times in which we least expect it.
2. The courses and classes can’t be used much.
The guy who sits next to you in the office may not have taken the same course that you did. The two of you may belong to different academic backgrounds, still you both earn the same respect and money. No one asks you what you learned in college, but you have to learn things on your own and finish the task which your boss “assumes” that you learned in college. College is over and now life is beyond the lectures and textbooks.
3. In life, skills matter.
The person who supervises you might just be younger than you. However, you will call him “sir”. In college a junior, who may be elder to you, respected you because you were senior. That was college, where respect was given. In real life, respect is earned.
4. Trust your instincts.
Listen to your gut feelings and your heart wrenching desires. Listen to the little voice that tells you that something is wrong for you. Listen to the biological signs that something is not right. Most likely, if it feels wrong, it is wrong. We often underestimate the intelligence of our feelings and emotions, when these are quite vital in learning what is best for us.
Follow your instincts and intuition, because quite often these come from your heart, and are in more tune than even logic in what will bring you happiness and peace. Quite often, your heart may be a step ahead of your brain in figuring out what’s best for you.
5. Don’t manipulate yourself to fit into an ideal ‘framework.’
Please, above all, do not change or manipulate yourself to fit into a mold formed by societal standards, or the views of others. No matter what your spouse, boss, sister, or best friend says, you are the only person who knows what is best for you. You are the only person who knows what excites your heart and invigorates your mind. You fit into the world exactly as you are – there is only one of you, so be that exact person without regret or second thought.
6. How to judge people correctly.
In college a person is your friend or foe, but in life you just can’t guess what relationship you share. A “somebody” at office may proof to be a “nobody” at the time of need. A good friend at the office may cut off your chance of promotion because he has to make his own way. So you have to learn how to identify the traits of people around you. Actions may contradict the words.
7. You check yourself: what you say, how you say and to whom you say.
In college you could abuse and fight with your batch mates on one day and the other day you found yourself busy with the same people because you had to complete an assignment together. But in life it is a different story. In college your friends and the others knew what you mean by your words, but in life people will perceive you as per their perceptions, not as per your words.
8. Saving money isn’t easy.
The quest to explore life, the thrill of being 100 feet in the sky, the joy of savoring the red wine in a vineyard, the scuba diving experience with the corals and sea creatures. For any of these adventures, you need some savings, which isn’t easy. Your paycheck will always have somewhere else to go–buying food, clothes, paying the bills, visiting your parents. And you’ll notice there won’t always be a lot left over after this.
9. Live in the now.
If you are always racing to the finish line of everything you do, you will lose all of the little miracles and tiny blessings that happen along the way. The moment is all we are aware of – the past has happened, and the future is still in the distance. Waiting for happiness in the future only leaves you unhappy and discouraged, as you will be missing all that is happening right in front of you.
And what is happening right now is life. The future is uncertain and the past is over, but the now is here. So stop dwelling on the past, or thinking about what’s to come, and be right here. Right now.
10. Making mistake is fine but it must be a new one each time.
Each mistake allows you to learn something. It leaves you with a lesson. But to succeed you must make a new mistake each time, so that you always get a new lesson. In college it was okay to ask the same silly question to the same professor again and again, but in life if you ask the same questions or make the same mistake again and again you will labeled as “dumb.”
11. Everyone is really busy, so you need to take care of yourself.
Everyone around you is fighting his/her own fight. Even a five-year-old has his own challenges and tasks to do. Everyone is busy thinking about himself, so take care. Yes, you need to love and care for the person whom you see in the mirror because college is over and your friends aren’t there.