10 Lessons You’ll Learn The Hard Way In College


1. There is no such thing as hoarding too many quarters.

Living in the city during college means dealing with shitty basement laundry units. AKA anytime you want clean clothing you’ll need $6.00 in quarters readily available to pay for it. And no, wearing that blouse for the eighth time is not a good alternative.

2. Skipping class will absolutely bite you in the ass.

Yes, maybe those extra two hours of sleep were heavenly. But odds are, the day you decide to skip class is also the day your lovely professor decides to give out extra credit. Flash forward to the day before the exam and jumping through pre-recorded lectures probably isn’t going to cut it – things slip through the cracks.

3. You will outgrow people and that’s okay.

Freshman year, everybody is scrambling to find their group of people. And if you’re anything like me, you might’ve ended up with “friends” you didn’t fully vibe with. Honestly, it’s not until you find those people you truly click with that you realize who your people weren’t.

4. Sometimes you need to say yes to that crazy impractical thing.

Whether it’s saying yes to the West Point ball invite or a last-minute Memorial Day Weekend trip to Miami, sometimes you just got to go for it. Yes, you might spend a little bit too much of your paycheck, and yes you might lose a couple nights of sleep (or your wallet). But the memories are there to stay. It’s worth it.

5. You won’t be able to down alcohol the way you used to.

Maybe your freshman year you were able to down eight shots of bottom-shelf vodka and rally all night. But sweetie, those days are looong gone. It’s time to upgrade to a nice Pinot.

6. Taking an Uber everywhere adds up.

Ever since Uber exploded a few years ago, it’s as if the concept of public transportation has been deleted from the brain of most millennials. And when an Uber Pool only costs a couple bucks, it’s really easy to hit “request.” Unfortunately, summoning an Uber every time you have somewhere to go isn’t a sustainable solution. It does add up (just like everything else). This is a lesson best learned while scrolling through your bank statement.

7. Don’t confuse sex with intimacy.

This one speaks for itself. During college, you may meet a hot guy (or two) that you share amazing sexual chemistry with. There might even be movie watching and cuddling involved. But you shouldn’t always confuse sexual intimacy with emotional intimacy. Whether or not a guy wants a meaningful relationship with you has little to do with the amount of late-night hours you spend with them. Of course, the same applies for us ladies.

8. Say no.

And I don’t just mean when Chad is being a little too aggressive on the dance floor. Don’t be afraid to say no to parties, dates, people….the list goes on. It’s your life and your time, you get to choose how to spend it. If you friend is begging you to go to the bar but you need a night to curl up in your covers, go for it.

9. People will hurt you, but the important thing is that you learn from it.

During college, you’re exposed to a lot of different people. And whether it’s the guy with nice brown eyes and a cute smile or that girl you swore was your best friend, people will hurt you. It’s almost unavoidable. What’s important, though, is how you handle it. One commonly-used method of coping is walking memory lane 800 times until you drive yourself crazy, don’t. It’s much healthier to learn your lesson, internalize it, let it go, and move on to people worth your while.

10. Work experience is really f*cking important.

There’s an exponential difference between the ease of getting your first internship and your third one. By round three, employers are practically begging you to join their company. Hell, you might even get some random companies sliding into your LinkedIn DMs asking to interview you. Bottom line: work experience matters (arguably more than that pretty GPA).