17 Important Things I Learned In College (But Not In A Classroom)


Childhood is being told that something is bad for you, but refuting the claim that it is bad for you and doing that thing.

Adulthood is being experienced. Adulthood is knowing that a thing is bad for you because it has proved itself to be so in the past but you being too bothered to heed caution and proceeding to do the thing anyway.

So here’s a brief culmination of the caveats that could help you:

1. Study something you’re interested in, not something ‘practical’.

2. “Never give up” is stupid advice. You can’t be expected to continue doing something that makes you feel miserable every second of your doing it. Giving up is fun.

3. Learn how to be a people person. Or not. You needn’t be social 24/7. Just be. Be nice to people. Be kind, and learn to forgive. Not everything will matter.

4. Be nice to dogs. Cats are just animals living off of you. Dogs teach you how to live. How to live in the moment. To appreciate the smells and fresh air. And how you’re never too old to drop your balls.

5. Try to stay on track — about 60 percent of the time. Fooling around is fun, but learning is better. Extracurriculars enhance your insights, and they do get the blood rushing so your textual readings actually seem direly confounding.

6. Erudition can be achieved in more ways than one. Scatter your energy and abscond from making bad decisions.

7. You can be a bibliophile, but life is too short to consume words and never act upon it. You need to be alive and kicking.

8. Always do good. Learn from the bitter, say thank you, and grow.

9. College is the time when you’ll have the best days of your life and the worst slumps, too, but not losing your head is something you might also consider working on.

10. Try not to lose your temper. Respect people. An absence of judgement helps to appreciate reality.

11. You’re not a watercolor, you don’t wash off. You’re pastel and pretty and you stick and you matter. Living on the sidelines can be comforting, so long as it doesn’t line your brain in frenzied psyche.

12. You need to learn how to expostulate and anchor out your perspective. Beginnings may be bad, but it’s not the devil’s punchbowl. College is where you can speak.

13. Life is too short to drink coffee that tastes like trash and cry over things that have let you down. Life is too short — to indulge in toxicity of any kind, to cater to a consumerist society, to wander off and live remotely. Life is too short to fizzle out without a bang.

14. It is not your obligation to deal with conundrums head on. Learn how to pick your battles, and the days and times during which they need to be aggravated.

15. Stop listening to the world as it tells you who you’re supposed to be, you are too strong.

16. Be obscure. Run from the past and emulate the future. 

17. Start thinking. Start doing. Start something. Projects have deadlines. Life has black holes. Don’t get sucked in.

featured image – Kan Wu