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These Things I Have Learned

 

I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of my senior year! I know it’s all cliché and stuff, but the time really has gone so fast. Endings always make me nostalgic, so I set to thinking about what it is that I’ve actually learned these past four years. There have been so many amazing experiences, fantastic teachers and, yes, a mishap or two along the way, and to distill it down into a neat list is almost impossible. Yet there are a few things I think are most important that I’d like to share.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to say “I don’t know,” that that phrase does NOT mean “I’m stupid,” but rather “I’m aware that there is more to learn.”

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s really important to say “What the hell” and do something crazy. Some of my best experiences (like the AMAZING Florence + the Machine concert in England) have come from this.

I’ve learned that it’s also important to know when to say no, buckle down, and get your homework done.

I’ve learned that probably the smartest thing you can do in college is find a group of friends who will support you no matter what, because life is really going to suck sometimes, and knowing there are doors you can knock on and go have a good cry makes it so much easier. And when you have something to celebrate, having people to be happy with you makes it that much more awesome.

I’ve learned that Mom is pretty much always right. She has always been always right, actually, but now I’m not afraid to admit it. Dad’s incredible in a crisis, too—I never realized how great my parents are.

And I’ve learned that my little sister is essentially the coolest person ever. I’m not sure if she became so after I left or I never noticed, but she’s become my best friend, which I’d not expected.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to do things your own way. There are so many ways to have success, spend a Friday night, or even manage your homework.

I’ve learned how amazing having a good relationship with your professors can be. Not only to get the good grades, but far more importantly, to find a mentor figure who can help you as you try to figure out what you’re going to DO for the rest of your life.

I’ve learned to always ask questions and try to learn more.

I’ve learned that I am so much more capable than I had ever thought I was. Academically and practically, I’ve figured out that I can handle 20-page papers, money problems, booking flights across Europe, and being sick much better than I would have thought before.

I’ve learned to remain calm when something goes wrong, because I know that I (and my amazing friends and family) will help me figure it out.

And I’ve learned lots of facts, certainly, analytical skills, methods of reading. These are really important, and what I love doing, and will be vital in my grad school adventures. But I’m not so sure they’re nearly as important as everything else I’ve listed. You learn a lot in your four years at college, but most important are those things that you learn about yourself and your relationships with other people. I’m sad to leave, but I know now that I will be able to handle whatever my future throws at me.

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