The Underlying Skills Learned In College

By Nikki Hipolito on March 19, 2013

To me, college serves a greater purpose than learning from overly priced textbooks and huge lecture halls in which only less than half of the students seem to still be awake. What some people don’t realize is that we learn so much more than we think from our social interactions and everyday encounters. Of course, living in the dorms may not be the best living situation you’ve ever lived in, and eating the same food may make you want to vomit after the fourth time that week, but there are tons of positive outcomes that come from it.

How to live with other people. If you have that roommate from Hell, I applaud you for putting up with it. If you love your roommate to death, as if you just found your soulmate, congratulations on finding your best friend for life. But even if you don’t fall into either of these extremes, living with a roommate teaches you how to live with other people, even if you two don’t exactly get along. It teaches you how to deal with interpersonal problems and how to solve them in a mature way without resorting to Mean Girls tactics. Plus, it teaches you how to start living on your own without the safe haven of having your parents around for everything all the time, and it’s a great way to interact with other people and meet new friends.

How to live on a budget. For some of us (like me), this was one of the hardest things  to do since coming to college. Instead of having your parents always there with their wallets wide open, we have to live on a certain budget to last us through the month, or a couple of months for some people. Living on a budget teaches you how to manage your money wisely and helps you distinguish what it is that you need instead of what it is that you want. Once you start realizing how much you really spend on groceries and necessities, you also realize how much everything adds up. Money is scarce for a college student, and I didn’t realize that when I had to buy groceries instead of buying Carrie Underwood concert tickets. But I really wouldn’t mind a visit from the parentals right about now for some nice free food and groceries.

How to use public transportation. I never took a public bus until I came to college, and in some weird, disgusting way I’m really happy that I took advantage of that here. Sure, I may have been a little ignorant when it came to any sort of public transportation, but without my own car on campus, I have no other choice when it’s too far to walk. Using the public transportation on and off campus teaches you to utilize your resources when they’re available to you. Plus, you know the ins and outs of how the public transportation system works, which could be useful in any city or state.

How to have a flexible schedule. Making class schedules at Ohio State may be one of the most stressful things a student goes through here, especially when you don’t get your dream schedule. But even though you may want to throw your computer across the room, you can’t forget that you don’t always get what you want. Class schedules help you adjust your time to do the things you need or want to do. So even if you usually work out at 11 am but now have a time conflict three days of the week, you could always work out earlier or later depending on your free time. Life is all about adjustments and changes, and it’s never always going to be the same.

So even though you may not learn these things first hand in a classroom by some highly achieved professor, you’re learning a lot more than you think from just being in college. Your life is always going to be full of new learning experiences, but sometimes it takes a little searching to realize that they’re there. I guess our tuition pays for so much more than we think.

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