I graduated on Saturday. When I first started this blog, graduation seemed like a million years away. But the day inevitably came, and now I could write an entire book on the things I learned in my four years of college (maybe someday I will!), most of which weren’t even taught to me in the classroom. I managed to narrow it down to only five.
Here are five of the most important lessons that I feel that I got in my time at Cal Poly… without opening an overly priced textbook.
1) You will need to work your booty off: College is HARD. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone complain about how they “never studied in high school and got straight A’s” then came to Cal Poly and had to actually study to get a passing grade on a test or essay, I could’ve used it to pay my entire college tuition, So, work hard (and play hard), and don’t give up just because you’re facing a new challenge. For example, I studied a lot for my botany class but I do not remember any of the information from it when we’re hiking and my mom asks “What plant is that, Molly?!”
2) But don’t work too hard: because you only get to enjoy college once. Finding a balance between getting the kind of grades that satisfy you, and having the best overall college experience (yes, pint night $3 beers on Tuesday nights downtown is an extremely important experience) is by far the most important thing that I learned in my time at University. You’re going to remember the nights out with your friends making legendary memories together more than you’ll remember what you got on a grade in Calc 2 second quarter your first year. Hopefully.
3) Because there’s NOTHING glorifying about sacrificing your mental or physical health for a grade: Eat food and get adequate sleep. Seriously, there’s nothing that annoys me more than someone who is attempting to *brag* about how they haven’t eaten since yesterday or only slept for 2 hours last night. In the long run it’s habits like these that are only going to hurt you. Yes you will inevitably have some late nights studying or make some decisions which may impact your health in a negative way (college kids CAN get hangovers contrary to popular belief), but no one wants to make a negative impact on their health for the entire rest of their life by permanently damaging their body/mind by repeatedly making poor decisions while they’re still in college, right? Yes you’re young, but get some rest, fuel yourself properly, and you’ll thank yourself later.
4) Don’t be afraid to fail: Okay so don’t go failing your classes and say “Molly said don’t be afraid to fail” because what I mean by that is you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new out of the fear of failing. Failure is how we learn. Learning is how we grow. Failure is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. So go ahead and try the intramural soccer team even though you haven’t played since you were seven. Put yourself out there to do something out of your comfort zone. And don’t take anything too personally if it doesn’t work out.
5) Friendships may come and go, but you’ll always have your own independent self to rely on: I’ve enjoyed making friendships with a lot of amazing people in my time at Cal Poly. Some of these friendships have faded or been outgrown, but some of them I know will last for the rest of my life. I’m so grateful to be surrounded by these amazing people. But one of the most important lessons I have learned in college is that you need to learn how to take care of and count on yourself. There are going to be times that you will have to learn how to be alone. And being alone doesn’t mean “lonely,” it’s an opportunity for growth and self discovery.
Peace out Cal Poly! I’ll be back to visit, soon ❤