I’ve spent the last four years of my life as a student of the University of Texas. So now that I’m graduating, what have I actually learned? Well the truth is, I could easily have condensed my ‘textbook education’ of facts and figures from the last 8 semesters into the span of 6 months. But the purpose of college is so much greater than what I was taught in the classroom.
In my eyes, the overall purpose of college was not about understanding business principles and memorizing marketing terminology, it was about learning how to learn. It was about learning time management and learning how and what to prioritize. It was about learning who I was and what I stand for; about learning how to be in a relationship and not assuming I’ll get it right the first time around. It was about writing the first real chapter of my life, and it was about learning how to make it as interesting and meaningful as possible. It was a beautiful time of discovery and a time that I won’t get to repeat.
With all of that said, I do have advice for anyone willing to listen.
- The most important piece of advice that I have is not to leave your choice of friends up to fate. Choose wisely and carefully the people that you surround yourself with, and try to befriend someone from every grade.
- Don’t ever ever let yourself be bored. The things you’ll regret after college are the things you didn’t do, so make time for new experiences. Seek out cool stories and memories!
- Whatever you do, do not allow grades or salary to determine your value or worth. If you do find yourself tied up with grades or career development, know that prayer, not drugs and alcohol, is always the best way to relieve stress.
- Every man wants to talk about what matters, but no one wants to start the conversation. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation.
- Don’t take shortcuts. Learn the smartcuts instead.
- Don’t shy away from non-fiction books just because you hate your textbook. Reading is the quickest way to accumulate several lifetime’s worth of knowledge in your short time here on earth.
- Don’t ever say no to a road-trip.
- Always go into public dressed like you are about to meet the love of your life.
- Find something to be passionate about early on, and stick with it. It’s important to always have a personal project that you can work on outside of school.
- Join an organized community that matters to you.
- Be young and fun while you can. Cultivate a youthful spirit: one that never ceases to question, wonder, laugh, love, or get up on the table and sing.
- The best way to balance your social life, university grades, spiritual life, and physical health is to combine them. Study with friends, listen to sermons while at the gym, join a missional community at church and cram for tests while going on a walk.
- Step out of your comfort zone and improve yourself in some way every week. Daily goal-setting is the best way to stay accountable.
- I cannot stress enough the importance of writing things down and documenting. Pictures don’t capture everything.