July 12, 2019

Random Friday: Unexpected Lessons from College

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1. Your advisor might not always be on your team.
Your academic advisor is supposed to be there to help you graduate on time, to give you advice (obviously), and to support your career goals. But sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they're convinced their plan and their experiences are the only way to do things, and sometimes they'll even keep you from doing something supposedly guaranteed for all seniors of your major. Sometimes you have to turn to the other professors in your department for support instead. 

2. College friendships can be weird.
If you go to a small enough school like I did, your friendships form based on who lives in your dorm, who you have the same classes with, who you're assigned to sit next to in chapel, etc. But then you often forget to go out of your way to see those people at other times, or you easily fall out of each other's lives after college ends.

3. You may not achieve anything memorable.
I tried for three years to get a short story, a poem, a creative non-fiction piece, even my photography, published in our arts and literary magazine (the magazine that I was even on staff of for three semesters), and I never did. It always hurt when my freshman friends would have pieces accepted instead; of course their writing was good, but I felt mine was just as good. As far as I know, I was the only person in my year to never get anything published in the Review, and it still stings.
I didn't do anything else that got me an accolade or a superlative. But hopefully my time will come.

4. You don't have to be roommates with your best friend.
Honestly, the whole college housing system sucks. Being assigned to live with a random person is hard. I'm so impressed by everyone who makes it work, because I'd rather live with someone I've chosen and who I know I can get along with. But even then it's hard because you share the same tiny living space and it's so hard to get alone time. If you're an introvert, sometimes you just want a bedroom to yourself so you can breathe and not feel the pressure of other people and their habits.

5. It's okay not to date.
Everyone says it's okay not to date in high school, but it's also okay if you aren't ready for that in college either. Or maybe the selection of people is just...really sucky. (The subsection of good single guys at Asbury was...really low, and it kept dwindling as I got older.) Even if everyone else around you is coupling up, and God forbid, getting married WAY too young, you don't have to.

6. You should make sure your intended major's department will be able to help you with internships.
I can't help but wonder if I'd still be working in publishing if the professors in my department had had better connections so I could've had a publishing internship during college.

7. You're not always going to know where you belong.

Yeah, home is home, but most of the time you might only live there for two to four months a year. But also a college dorm never quite feels like home because you can't paint the walls, choose your own furniture, or even fit all your belongings.

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