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Obviously, we go to college to get an education, to expand our knowledge in many subjects and specialize in one in particular, so that we can then use our knowledge in our future for a career, etc. But we also know that college is an experience that is so much more than text books and professors and lectures. It’s about life lessons that we must learn in order to survive and thrive in the real world.

1. Time Management

When you arrive at college, you have so much free time and not a lot of authority, so you feel like you can sit back, relax and fly through school, but then you waste time. This is a time to balance your schedule from homework to class to social life to relaxing–you learn to make it all work.

2. You don’t have to settle

You get to choose your friends, your classes, your major, your relationships. Don’t settle for people who bring you down and don’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Don’t settle for a major you hate. This is your opportunity to make decisions that will make you happy and bring out the best in you.

3. Do it for yourself

You are at college for yourself, not for your parents or anyone else. Get everything out of it that you can, if you don’t get all A’s, you will survive. Don’t be selfish, but make the choices with your best judgement that will allow you to get the most out of your experience and be successful.

4. Handle difficult situations wisely

Take the opportunities you are presented in certain situations to be the bigger person, to use your best judgement, and not to lash out. If someone starts a rumor about you, ignore it and stay true to yourself. If someone treats you badly, such as a friend or someone you are in a relationship with, don’t keep them around.

5. Be the best person you can be

Always be nice to others, compliment them, smile when you walk by people, make an effort to be the bigger person. People will see this and reciprocate. Don’t force it, let it come naturally.

6. Take care of yourself

Thinking of doing a Netflix binge? Maybe go to the gym instead! This is your body’s prime time so take good care of it. Eat well (with some occasional breaks) and take a break from drinking or get moving when you’ve been lazy for a while.

7. Live in the moment

We know this sounds cheesy, but it needs to be said! Don’t tell yourself, “there’s always tomorrow” or constantly live thinking about the future. Today is the most important day right now. Especially in college. It goes by so quickly, you don’t want to miss it.

8. Make good connections

Get to know people in your classes, join clubs and reach out to others.This will be helpful for networking as well as getting to know so many different people that will teach you things about the world, about yourself and expand your horizons.

9. Be nice to people

Because, why not?

10. Get involved in your community

You will get satisfaction from helping others. Join clubs that help you get involved in your campus community, but also volunteer at local programs that help those less fortunate.

11. If you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut

If you are ever in a situation that makes you feel uneasy, your feelings are probably right so if you can get out of the situation, leave.

12. Take risks

That being said, get out of your comfort zone and expose yourself to things you wouldn’t usually do. Don’t be stupid, but explore the world and the great opportunities in life and around you.

13. Start conversation

Since you are constantly meeting new people in college, you become an expert at small talk. Perfect those skills so that you can be a great conversationalist. This will help you in future jobs, in interviews and even just in everyday life. Be a great conversationalist!

14. Put in the extra effort

When it is your friend’s birthday, or someone is having a bad day or you haven’t spoken to your parents in a while, put in the extra effort to show you care and to show them that someone is thinking of them or trying to make their day extra special.

15. Make your own choices

Don’t let your friends make them for you. If you don’t feel like going out one night, don’t go out! If you have a huge test to study for, but your friends what you to put off studying, use your best judgement. Go with your gut and make the decisions that stay true to your values.

What life lessons have you learned in college?

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