Lessons Learned

Time really flies when you’re up to your neck in the end of the year flurry of papers and projects. But, in those rare periods of peace in your day, it’s hard not to realize just how fast everything has really gone. The only thing I can really say is, well, wow! Don’t blink next year, your year will disappear before your eyes. With this year closing out, I decided to be as nostalgic as possible and compile my semi-comprehensive list of “lessons learned”. These are just things that I’ve noticed in the past 9 months, your own results may vary. 

1). There’s so much to do

Like, really, there’s so much to do out there. Declare a second major. Join a million clubs. Rise in the ranks and become a leader in them all. Go study in Washington for a semester. Or maybe in China. Or, maybe you like Cannoli so Italy is more your scene. Go to a symposium and learn about the effects of drought on the rice haul in Malawi, Africa. Seek leadership opportunities. Go  explore the city or the environment around you. It’s easy to sit in the bubble of your school, but it’s a lot more fun when you break out of it!

2). There’s going to be time when you’re told ‘no’, and times when you have to say ‘no’.

You’re going to apply for positions and jobs, and from time to time you’re going to be turned down. It’s going to happen, and you’re going to face disappointment. Rejection is a part of college, and it’s extremely important to find a way to get around that and move on as early as you can. That being said, there’s also times you’ll need to limit yourself. Maybe don’t join that 10th club. Maybe stay in this weekend and work on that project that’s due Monday. Maybe 3:00 a.m. on a Tuesday isn’t the best time to order a pizza. It’s important to limit yourself, and know where your limits are. Find the balance. 

3).  Friends will change, but you’ll always be social. 

It’s funny how you make friends in college. Your first week you essentially make all of your friends by the “who lives closest to you” game. You’ll spend the majority of your time those first few months with those people. Over time, though, these groups may break up a little as you start expanding your friends to other groups across campus. It’s going to happen, and it’s completely okay if and when it does. Regardless of what happens, you’ll never be bored.

4). Doing stuff by yourself isn’t weird. 

Wanna go get coffee by yourself? Wanna spend a weekend with yourself and Netflix? How about going and seeing a guest speaker solo? It’s not weird, and no one is going to judge you. College is about doing what is best for yourself, so don’t worry! 

5). School is hard, but you’ll make it by. 

No one said it would be easy. Things will pile up. But, in the end, you’ll get by. You’ll learn time management skills in a snap. 

6). From time to time, you’ll miss home.

Time away from home will push you one of two ways: you’ll either come to miss home and appreciate it more, or you’ll embrace your newfound independence. Depending how far you live from Dayton, you’ll never regret a weekend spent back at home. 

7). You get what you put in.

I’ll end this longer post with this idea: You’ll get out of college exactly what you put into it. If you sit in your room all day every day for a semester, you’ll come to regret it. This is a time in your life where you should embrace change, and maybe even change a little yourself. You’ll be confronted with new ideas and new cultures and ideas that will be new to you. You’ll learn how to interact with new people. Change is inevitable. Accept that change. Run with it. You’ll love what happens. Be as engaged as you can. Meet new people, and make life long friendships. If you seek to become an active member of the community here at the University of Dayton, it’ll change your life forever. 

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