1. You are on your own.
College is your first step to independency. Here you learn how to live on your own, shop for your own clothes, cook your own food, make your own coffee, run errands alone, etc. You start to do the simplest things by yourself and make life-changing decisions like what subjects to take, what career to pursue, and what to prioritize. Your family and friends will still guide you along the way, but your future depends on you.
2. Sleep is your worst enemy
The amount of school works on your slate is appalling, especially if you’re a senior. All the research works you have to conduct doesn’t give you enough time to even breathe. Besides academic life, you also have extra curricular activities you have to pay attention to and you can’t balance everything along with 8-hours of sleep. You struggle to keep your eyes open; you’re like a soldier dodging all the bullets fired at you during war just to stay alive. But after putting a check mark on the things in your to-do list, you’ll get to sleep and relax like a baby and it will feel so rewarding.
3. Master the art of time management
As I mentioned earlier, sleep will be your worst enemy. But college teaches you how to juggle everything in your hands. Besides school-related activities, you have to go out and have fun once in a while. In order to have a successful social life and still do well in school, you must manage your time wisely. List the things you have to do for the week and make sure you finish it just in time so you could go on a date with your family and friends or that special someone. College will not be fun if you glue your eyes to your books all the time, you have to go out and make exciting memories with your loved ones.
4. Doing bad things doesn’t always make you a bad person
College will open your eyes to the real world. Our generation is addicted to parties, blind dates, drugs, alcohol and crazy, spontaneous adventures. Indulging in such activities doesn’t make you a bad person. You’re just simply putting yourself out there and figuring out how the real world works. Experiences don’t teach us lessons, we teach ourselves a lesson. Your mistakes will mold you into becoming a rational and responsible person. Don’t be afraid of people’s judgments, having fun was never and will never be a crime as long as you don’t hurt anyone intentionally.
5. Love was never a fairytale
During our early years, we believed that love always ends with a happy ever after. But in college, you’ll learn that love is not about the flowers, chocolates, romantic proposals and sweet promises. Love is simply being there through the good and the bad and is not just about making promises, but actually fulfilling them. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that one true love somewhere around the campus. But if you don’t, you still have your friends and your family who will make you feel loved everyday.
6. Real friends will always stay
You will meet a lot of people in college. You’ll have a lot of sets of friends and you’ll be happy. But later on you’ll realize that it doesn’t matter whether you’re friends with everyone in campus, having few real ones is what’s important. Those who are true to you will never leave, even when you become irrational. They will never be afraid to speak the truth, even if they know it will hurt you. They will hug you when you cry, listen to your endless dilemmas, slap you when you’re being too stubborn and most especially, accept you for who you are. They will always be there for you and not just watch you do stupid things, but do those stupid things with you. You will share your best and worst times with them until and after you graduate college.
7. Always save money
There will be a lot of bills to pay, especially if you’re living alone. You should start saving cash and stop asking for too much from your parents. It’s important to budget the money they gave you or those you’ve earned from part-time jobs. Don’t waste too much money on your personal wants, but do save some for those. After allotting money for all your academic stuff and other essentials, you can reward yourself with that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for months, but still save some cash for emergency purposes.
8. Love and accept yourself first
When you start to embrace your flaws and admit your mistakes and be responsible for them, self-love and acceptance kick in. Who cares if you like dating the same sex? Who cares if you’re not as flawless or as white as others? Who cares if you prefer action figures and books over parties or vice versa? The only person who should care about your choices is you. Don’t let others use your imperfections against you, but rather, use those tiny glitches as a motivation to do and be better than the rest.
9. Numbers will never define you as a person
So you don’t get straight A’s like your friend does. You weigh over a hundred pounds unlike that hot 90-pound cheerleader or that 170-pound hunk. You don’t have a big amount of money like some of your schoolmates. These numbers are just plain old numbers that society made to make us forget about values. At the end of the day, it’s always hard work that wins. The numbers that belittled you are now nothing compared to the values that have helped you become successful in life.
10. You were born to be someone great
All the sleepless nights, complicated lessons, research and field works and the fun activities in between every trial will finally pay off because you’ve already found out who you want to become. College prepared you for the real world. It helped you in fathoming what dream you should pursue and how you would pursue it. It strengthened you through the failures it made you undergo. It made you wiser through the tough choices it laid in front of you. College taught you to dream and work for that dream. You entered college with nothing but hope to get past the 4 or 5-year course you took, but you left college with more than just a diploma. You now have created the best version of you.