I was flying to Dallas to put on an event for my new job and I pulled out my Moleskine mid-flight. While I felt cliché writing the words, I forced myself to write the words “What I learned in 4 years of college:” on one of the pages. As I stared out the window as we soared above the clouds, I tried to look back over four years of college and boil down the most important lessons I learned so I could share with others who were about to enter college, are in my same shoes, or need to be reminded. I jotted down a list of 13 on the flight. In no way is the even close to an exhaustive list, but, as I look over them, they define some of the most important moments of my college experience. While it is all to easy to write endless posts about each statement, I do not want to get lost in the meticulous explanations of rationale that led me to think why I do. I want to offer just enough structure and guidance for you to find yourself in my experiences, in hopes that something I have learned may resonate with you and offer a new perspective to view this season of life. Enjoy.
- People will walk in and out of your life. [Read]
- Know who to hold onto and who to keep open-handed. [Read]
- Get involved in a local church. [Read]
- Live with people who will challenge you. [Read]
- You never know who will become a close friend. [Read]
- Take classes you enjoy, not just GPA boosters. [Read]
Make new friends, but do not forget old ones.
As I have written more than once, college is full of meeting new people.While this can be exciting and exhilarating, you cannot forget the friends who were instrumental in getting you to the point you are at, the ones who have been with you through the good times and the bad. Of course it sounds cliché, but it is true: you cannot forget your friends. Because, there will be some nights in your dorm or apartment that your roommates or collegiate friends just cannot understand the situation. It is not that they do not care; it is that they do not have the life experience with you to truly understand how and why you are feeling or reacting to the situation the way you are in that moment. That is why you have to make a point to continually invest in your friends from church, high school, sports teams, or wherever you connected with people. It is those people that when you are in those dark, lonely moments freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior year that can not only get down in the pit with you but help you climb out. Because, chances are you have been there before… and so have they. This is something I tried to do a good job at. I was kind of forced to because I was actually the only male from my high school who went to the University of Georgia. All of my close friends were scattered across the Southeast. One went to Virginia, one to Tennessee, one to middle Georgia, and one to south Georgia. My friends could not just show up and hang out when I wanted them to. I had to make efforts to visit them, connect during holidays, and call them when they were on my mind. It was not easy, and sometimes I wished they were all in Athens with me. But after four years, I can confidently say I am better and closer friends with them because of our years apart. Time and space may separate you for a season, but old friends will never fade away.
So this post is dedicated to you: Steven, Jonathan, Alex, and Ryan. Thank you for always being a friend no matter what and no matter where. You will always hold a special place in my heart, and I cherish all the memories we share. Thank you.