From Andrea Lirio
What to think about when considering colleges — it’s more than just classes and acceptance rate.
When considering a college, you need to consider more than just the appearance of the school and how it looks in the books. While picking a school for a great education system is important, it’s also key to find a place that fits your needs. The college experience is more than what you learn in the classroom. There are so many things you learn in college from social skills and dealing with failure to knowing your worth and growing into the best version of yourself.
Here are 7 things you learn in college outside the classroom:
1. Social skills
In college, everyone is trying to figure out what they love to do, who they are, what drives them, and how they’re going to make the most of their few years in college. Everyone has different comfort levels, social skills, interests, etc. While it’s intimidating and stressful at first, making friends comes with time. Not all friendships will last and that’s ok. It’s all about meeting new people, finding things that you have in common, and connecting at a deeper level. Learning how to interact with new people and putting yourself out there is a great skill to develop while in college!
2. Knowing your worth
Understanding your self-worth comes with time and experience. It also requires a level of confidence in oneself. In order to know your own worth, you need to fully embrace all you have to offer and understand how amazing that is. Knowing your worth comes from within and not from anyone else. Being in a community that helps you appreciate what you and others around you have to offer the world is such a beautiful thing. You’re going to do amazing things! Own it, believe it, go with it!
3. How to deal with failure
There are so many times when we struggle, fall, and feel like we’ve lost all hope. Learning how to accept the failure and get back up is the most important life skill you can learn in college and life in general. The more grit and resilience you can build, the stronger and tougher you’ll be. Life throws really tough punches to the gut, but it’s possible to get back up. Finding a place that helps you during those challenging times and supports you is so important!
4. The way you view the world can change
The amazing thing about college is it provides such a unique and diverse environment. Students, professors, and faculty come from all over the world and have so many different experiences! Hearing how others view the world and experience different sensations and challenges is so eye-opening.
This is a cliché, but it’s absolutely true. You learn to be more independent in college. There’s no one telling you what to do and when to do it. You can control your own schedule and how you complete your work. You decide when you want to do your laundry, when to go out, when to eat dinner, etc. This newfound independence can be overwhelming at first, but it’s so important to your own development as you grow into a full-fledged adult.
With more independence, you also need to learn to be more responsible. You need to learn how to balance school, work, relationships, fun time, etc. No one’s going to tell you how and when to do it, so it’s all on you to figure out. College teaches you how to prioritize and make difficult decisions. In the real world, no one’s going to be telling you what to do. You have control over your own life so make sure you make the most of it!
7. Become more appreciative
Being away from home on your own and with different people, makes you more appreciative of what you’ve experienced in life so far. There are so many things we overlook when we’re experiencing them as kids. Looking back and recalling difficult times or experiences that have helped shaped who we are today is so beautiful and makes every moment more meaningful.
All this being said, when picking a college, look for a place that will help you make the most of your growing/maturing process. Find a place that will provide you with the best environment for you!
Learn more about the community
While reading about a college online is great! It’s important to understand the culture and community of the school. Visit campus, stay overnight, get in touch with someone on campus, etc. The questions you should ask yourself during this process are: Can I see myself in this community? Are there people on campus that I aspire to be like? Will this place help me grow into who I want to be?
College provides a great space for you to test different versions of yourself from having new experiences, meeting different people, and exploring things you might not have tried otherwise. Not only will you leave college with a degree, but you’ll also leave with a greater understanding of self with a better understanding of what you enjoy, what you’re worth, what you value, and how you’ll combine those into the best version of yourself.