It’s been a couple of weeks since I graduated from Hamilton College and things have been feeling a little odd. I certainly don’t miss writing numerous research papers due within days of one another and studying until the early hours of the morning, but I do miss having ice cream available to me on a daily basis and having my friends, at most, a ten minute walk away.
In essence, it’s safe to say that I’ve been pretty nostalgic about the last four years and what impacted me the most while on campus. With that being said, here is a list of just four (out of many!) of the most important things I’ve learned from interacting with others in college.
Funny how time flies. Am I right?
1. Life isn’t fair, but having a bad attitude doesn’t help either.
Whether it be based on fate, societal structures at large or pure luck, most people do not have the same starting place in the world. Even with this being the case, giving up and doing nothing to improve a current situation gets no one anywhere. There have been times when I didn’t want to finish because something was too hard or I felt I had no shot, but doing nothing is the worst thing to do in that case. A dear friend once told me that by remaining negative/flustered/upset/etc., I become my own worst enemy and “they don’t have no award for that.” Trophies! (Trophies.)
2. If someone insists, chances are he or she genuinely wants to help.
Asking for help is hard. Accepting help is even harder. But what I’ve come to realize over time is that when people volunteer to help someone out, it’s usually because they really want to. Of course, you shouldn’t take advantage of someone’s hospitality and goodwill, but just know that there is nothing wrong with needing and asking for help. Just think of it this way: Once you’re in a position to help, you’ll be the one offering to assist someone else in need. #payitforward
3. Always do more.
Four years goes by fast and one surefire way to be productive with that time is to do more. Now I’m not saying to burn yourself out trying to do everything, but if your Saturday afternoons are spent watching Lifetime movies, why not volunteer and make better use of your day? A few hours for a few weeks can make a big difference, especially on a resume!
4. Keep worthwhile relationships alive.
College is a time when you’ll meet and interact with people that you probably wouldn’t under any other circumstances. As a result, some of these relationships will end after crossing that stage. But don’t let a set date be the day that ends wonderful relationships. Keep in contact with influential professors, counselors, plus faculty and staff members through email, LinkedIn or Facebook. If they were important to you during your time on campus, try to keep them involved in your life once off campus. In terms of friends, we all know how hard (and tiring) it is to find good ones.
Here I am with some friends I met, um, before college, but you get the idea!
These four things have made my time in college so memorable and shaped how I will engage with others for the rest of my life. But believe me, this is nowhere near the end.
This is just the beginning.