10 Things I've Learned from College...

Before leaving for Indiana University, everything was so bittersweet. I was excited for what was ahead but so afraid about moving from home to the dorms. As the semester comes to a close, I may not be here to share that I got a perfect 4.0 GPA. However, I've found so much out about life and myself; I'm genuinely becoming an adult. Here's a list of just 10 of the things that I've discovered:

1. 99% of high school students don't know anything about politics.

Before graduating, I thought I had it all figured out but that was so far from the truth. Thanks to taking courses that shared both perspectives on the subject, I now have a better grasp and defense on where I stand.

2. Never, ever, EVER under any circumstances put something into the microwave without checking it out first!

It will inevitably go up in flames, literally... In example, Chick-fil-A's bags that they put the chicken sandwiches in.

3. We all have to grow up and leave the house at some point.

Coming to college, I didn't want to accept the fact that it was necessary to mature and leave childhood. However, it's important and it will better every individual in his or her own way. Thanks to that push, I am now more responsible and know how to fend for myself.

4. Just because we have to leave the nest, that doesn't mean we have to forget where we come from.

After spending a semester on a campus full of people from every corner of the globe, I now see what was so amazing and wonderful about my hometown and my family. I was raised to be hospitable and to hold strong values but without being thrown into a new environment, I may have never realized that. I no longer look at where I was raised in a poor light and I cherish every minute that I get to be there with my family.

5. Don't take for granted how easily accessbile things are at home.

I never realized how fortunate I was to have a car with a full tank of gas and a mom that would willingly pick stuff up for me at the store. That was until I was in college and had to ride my bike for miles uphill in 85-degree weather to get what I needed from a pharmacy. (Also, you don't know what a hill is until you come to Bloomington, Indiana!)

6. Be kind to every single person you meet.

Something you may not expect to happen will and what you used to think was unimportant will be important. I found this to be so true the very second I started laughing with my dorm's janitors and chatting about life with the convenience store's cashiers. You never know how a smile and positive attitude can change their day and yours.

7. Find a system that works for you.

This goes for anything and everything! If you don't, you'll spend way too much money on overdue fees at the library. Or worse, you'll end up racing against the clock eight minutes before a huge competition, trying to find a place to print off your team's presentation outline!

8. The busiest and most ambitious individual will always be the most successful.

Sure, I've always been a hard worker but this really resonated with me in college. I have to balance a heavy course load and a job each week but so does nearly everyone else I meet. Once I figured out how to do that, I decided to take on more than the bare minimum requirement... an extra scholars program, a seat on a Director's Board, the jumping in and out of wild caves on the weekends. Start looking around and realizing that the standouts are always doing more than required.

9. Grades do not mean everything. Grades do not mean everything. Grades do not mean everything.

I repeat, grades do not mean everything. For every worried high schooler that got that C+ in pre-calculus and thinks that they're destined for failure, you're wrong. I can personally testify that I've been there and haven't had any trouble because of it. Of course, we all need to strive for the highest GPA possible and study our behinds off if we want to be competitive for that great internship and job offer. But at the end of the day, there are other important things to worry about too. Did you put everything you had into a course? Did you go the easy way out when choosing classes? Did you actually learn and understand the material? Did you benefit your life in another way this semester outside of the classroom? Did you make a good impression with the professor?

And finally,

10. Explore!

Coming from a hometown in northern Indiana, there wasn't much room for that. Sure, I drove hours in my car away from home to take pictures of abandoned farms here and there but I never had the chance to really broaden my horizons. I've been able to find new interests here, like outdoor recreational activities. I've tried new foods, met new kinds of people. Thanks to being open-minded about this experience, I've come to a much better understanding of who I am and what I want out of this life.

Thank you, college, for benefitting me in more ways than I could have ever imagined in such a short time. I can't wait to spend even more time here growing into the mature adult that I am. I'm proud to be a Hoosier!


About The Author
Holli DobayStudent at Indiana University

My name's Holli Dobay and I'm currently a student at Indiana University. There's so much to offer here, things that I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do--like attending college basketball games, going wild caving, and even becoming a blogger for WeAreIU.

I'm a Cox Scholar and Wealth Creation Scholar through the university. I'm also double majoring in economic consulting and policy analysis through the Kelley School of Business.

If any of this pertains to you or if you have questions about anything, always feel free to ask!