What the Last Four Years Have Taught Me
- Who my true friends are.
The past four years have been stressful, busy, and very trying. But through the tough times I found the people who have my best interests at heart and who are there for me when I need them most. I learned that your best friends are not always the friends you have known the longest. Sometimes the friend that you met one month ago could be the friend who truly has your back and will be someone that stays in your life forever.
- Time management.
This is probably the biggest and most important lesson that I have learned over the last four years of college. Having to balance work, school work, student organizations, classes, and personal life can be incredibly daunting and if you don’t learn how to properly schedule and time manage, then you will be miserable.
- How expensive living on your own can really be.
Living on my own was the probably the most exciting and liberating thing ever, but also brought with it a whole lot of stress. Until I lived on my own I didn’t realize how much everything really cost. While being a full-time student and having to support myself was challenging, I am so thankful for it. Having to pay my own bills, cook my own meals, and take care of my space, taught me how to be responsible, budget my time, and the art of a quick meal.
- How to properly handle my finances…and how not to.
Having to live on my own has meant more expenses and having to live on a budget. But I am also a college student and sometimes I just want to go out with my friends, buy things I don’t need, and spend money on over-priced lattes. There were some months where I overspent and found myself in some sticky financial situations that involved eating nothing but PB&Js and dry cereal all week, but I survived and did not get evicted from my apartment. Overall, I learned how to properly budget while still being able to spend some money on myself sometimes—a skill that I could not have learned in a classroom.
- That stressing over every little assignment and exam isn’t healthy or necessary.
Speaking of the classroom….college is stressful. While grades are of course incredibly important, in the grand scheme of things in life, one test or one assignment is the not the be all and end all. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and take a step back sometimes. One bad grade on one thing will not kill you, but copious amounts of stress and no sleep might.
- That mistakes are okay and they will inevitably happen…and probably more than you will like.
You will mess up. You will make the wrong decision. That’s ok! No one is perfect and it’s naïve to believe that they are. Even the most together person makes mistakes…college is the time to make mistakes and then learn from them. Don’t beat yourself up over the little things.
- That I don’t have to get a job in my major after graduation if I don’t want to.
Everyone thinks that choosing a major and graduating with a specific degree locks you in for life, but guess what….it doesn’t! You should choose to study what makes you happy. But if along the way you find something else that interests you as well and find that you could make a career out of it, you don’t have to completely start over. You can always go back to school or find a way to do it after you graduate.
- That graduation is the beginning not the end.
Graduation is exciting, but it can also be a little sad. You are closing a very important chapter of your life and saying goodbye to the place and the people that have been your home away from home for the last four years and it and sucks a little. But you are still so young and have the rest of your life ahead of you. This is only the beginning!
- That life is scary.
Graduating and going out into the real world is terrifying…you may think you will know exactly what you will be doing after you graduate, but you most likely won’t. I know that I don’t. I have been in school since I was 5 and life will be totally different after graduation, because I have no idea what life without school is like. Everyone graduating college feels the same way…a little lost.
I have learned a lot and grown a lot over the last four years. I am not the same person who came to Wayne State four years ago. No one is. College has been stressful but amazing. The idea of it all coming to an end is scary and sad, but most of all, exciting. I have no idea what my next step is, but I’m just happy to have the chance to figure it out. So here is to all of my fellow seniors graduating this Spring and all of the opportunities that lie ahead!