Of course, there are many lessons in life that are learned outside of the classroom (in fact, some may argue that most are). However, there is no environment that teaches us more in a shorter amount of time than college life. Sure, our collegiate years teach us things like how to seduce the guy down the hall, how to drink terrible beer, and how to sleep through our morning classes without failing.
But there are also many valuable and essential life lessons that we take away from the years we spend living in that alternate universe that is college. Along with all the skills and knowledge we gain in the classroom, finding our career paths, discovering our passions, and weighing out our options for the future, we learn vital life skills that follow with us into our adult and professional lives.
How to Maneuver the Cloud
This may sound nuts, but all that time you wasted on Facebook to avoid that term paper and all those Tweets you sent out about your impending doom on that Calculus exam were little prep courses for the profession of the future. Social media and mobile technology are unquestionably where the future of technology is quickly headed.
With personal experience maintaining social networks and handling mobile devices, recent college grads can find prosperous jobs in the new public relations. Social media and online content management positions are popping up everywhere these days. Employees are looking for young and energetic candidates that can easily handle and learn new technologies and media. So, those time-wasting practices we put to use regularly in college when we had important assignments to complete were underhandedly training us for the future.
The College Work Ethic and Discipline
While television shows and movies often depict college as a constant buzz of drinking, partying, and road trips, most of us know that college isn’t really anything like this. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly college students who party all the time, but they are also keeping up their grades, leading student groups, doing community service, and many other things.
The most challenging aspect of college is learning to maintain a regular schedule and manage your time on your own. You are thrown into a tempting environment with multitudes of obligations and expected to immediately float (rather than sink). It’s difficult. But, by learning to manage your time wisely, push through all the work, and put your heart and soul into your major, you train yourself in hard work and discipline.
How to be Productive in the Worst Conditions
The college atmosphere is one that is very unique while at the same time being the same old stuff. You are thrust into an environment where everyone has the same ultimate goals (to graduate and succeed in life) and everyone has the same distractions (parties, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends). Interestingly (or maybe cruelly), the college atmosphere is one of the most difficult ones to maintain focus in.
There is no end to the amount of distraction available when you live with thousands of students your same age and are living on your own for basically the first time. But, while playing certainly happens, you always find a way to get your work done in that environment.
College helps us discover what environment and atmosphere we can be most successful in and how to create that environment ourselves. Dorm life can be difficult, but it also forces us to discover our ideal working situation. This is an important thing to know about yourself once you enter the professional world outside of school.
Jemima Lopez is a freelance blogger and writer who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and online degrees.