Monday, February 6, 2012

College Rules!

        One of the biggest deceptive misconceptions about college is that having a degree or doing well gets  you to a job, as a liberal arts educated student my observational skills have shown me this. The second is, overused cliche, "The most valuable lesson I learned in college is how to deal with people".  Both of these are half-truths in a roundabout way; yes going to college CAN help you get a job but so can your personality. Of course you learn how to deal with people in college but what does that mean. I mean haven't you been dealing with people all your life, I thought I had. What else do you call the individuals who loved you, hated you, beat you up, took up for you and even broke your heart?  There are 7 lessons I learned in college; they're not exclusive to or necessary to learn in school but I feel that most if not all college students will inevitably learn,  whether you realize it in moment during college or in hind-sight while you're in the "real world", which by the way is another cliche term that I love to hate.

Critical thinking/Resolve  As a college student, especially one who engages in campus life, you learn to challenge EVERY pre-concieved notion about people and situations which is so easy to do in the comfort of a controlled environment.  Even in the class room professors commonly ask you to compare and contrast. The
drawback is that if you're not careful you can become addicted to knowledge itself, which eventually just makes you an annoying know it all who talks down to people. Again, I can speak to this notion first-hand as a graduate of liberal arts university.

The "YouKnow/Who Kknow Rule"  This is simple cliche "it's not what you know but who you know".  People neglect to more importantly add the words, and who knows you, to the end of this phrase.  Full mastery of this lesson consists of deciphering the right people to know and giving them a reason to know you, and think of know as need, while molding a healthy perception of yourself.

Survival  Resourcefulness might be less dramatic here.  Whether you're trying to figure how to pay for those books so you can actually hit them hard or trying to figure out how to stretch $30 to successfully turn your dorm party into an epic story, you very quickly learn about opportunity costs and how to objectively achieve your goal avoiding obstacles along the way.  Not spending your own money is often a valuable lesson that one learns in college, especially when partying, that many who dont attend college have a hard time grasping.

Objectivity vs Subjectivity This is lesson where you simply learn reasons vs excuses. You honestly learn what truly excuses certain behavior and what does not; especially if you ever have to give a reason for poor performance, presumably to a boss, you can also speak toward correcting the issue. Validity vs Emotion is another variation of this scenario which often presents itself in the college setting and mastery of lesson is crucial to even the slacker, especially the slacker. 

Responsible Partying  From a controlled environment I had a chance to learned to properly balance partying with responsibility. You learn which combinations of alcohol get you talking and which get your stomach talking. Missed classes, awkward morning afters, pregnancy, and much more harm is ever present. It's great to hear the stories about the guy who still had unprotected sex with sloppy drunk chick who sleeps with every guy she leaves the party (unprotected) because you realize who real the clap is without catching it. 

Socialization A lesson that people often confuse with "how to deal with people". You learn how to converse and etiquette of socializing inevitably in college.  There are some people who are socially awkward after going to college but even these types generally find a way to play to their strengths. That's what socializing is about, fitting into the right role and being able to blend.

The thin line between procrastination and laziness At some point all college students must master procrastination.  One focus always comes at the expense of something else, and usually to juggle it all you have to learn how to "pull it all together in the clutch". It's impossible to not put something off in college, people even put off enjoying campus life in college.  Whether it's class work or life itself, at some point procrastination becomes not trying. I had a friend who had a 0.0 GPA after his first semester.

-C.Mitchell for VM

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1 comment:

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