Thanks, College

Thanks, College.

Common real-world skills we learned at college, in or out of the classroom.


  1. Parallel parking: If you’re from the city this might not apply to you, or if you don’t have a car. For those of us from the suburbs or country with a car on campus, we learned to parallel park soon after arriving to college.  This skill comes in handy often when travelling home, to the city, or on vacation.  It also widens your parking possibilities in any situation.
  2. Tolerance for extreme temperatures: As the weather gets colder, we adapt to walking across campus in the cold, with the wind blowing through our layers of jackets and long-johns. We learn in our first semesters to bundle up and forget about being cute.
  3. Independence: Whether you were looking forward to this or not, you become more independent in college. You have to if you go to college more than about an hour away from home.  You (hopefully) learn how to do your laundry, budget your money, clean your room without being prompted, and study and do homework on your own free will.
  4. Time management: Sometimes, it takes people their whole college careers to get this down, but everyone learns throughout their college life how important time management is. Some people know the importance of it and still choose to manage their time badly.  You have to balance classes, studying, work, friends, sleep, eating, and mental health.  Usually this “balance” involves giving up one or more of these things, which one depends on your priorities.
  5. Multi-tasking: You may have been good at this before college, but you’ll be a master by the time you graduate. Multitasking can look like many things: eating while you work, study, or walk to class, taking homework to work, or considering meeting with a study group to be hanging out with friends.

We learn a lot in college that may have nothing to do with our degrees, but these skills or pieces of knowledge are just as important as the information we learn in class.  What are some skills you’ve learned in college that have become useful in real life?  What are you most thankful for?

Keeping Up With Life Outside of College

For some students, moving several hours away from home to attend college is necessary to pursue a quality education. Going to a new place and meeting new people is wonderful, but what about all the family and friends you left behind? Their life still continues while you’re away. At some point during your college career, you will be faced with the choice of either going to class or going to some kind of special event such as a wedding or baby shower. Here are some tips for how to balance your life at school with your life away from school.

Weekend Gatherings

Plan Gatherings on Weekends

If possible, try to schedule (or ask others to schedule) special events or gatherings on weekends. Heading home on a day when you don’t have class is much easier than during the week. This is also when most people have time off work, so it should fit better with non-student family and friends as well.

Setting Expectations

Set Realistic Expectations

You are not going to make it to every single one of your cousin’s basketball games. Don’t promise family and friends you will show up to all their events when it is not possible. Be realistic when deciding what events you are going to try to make it home for. Also, make sure your relatives understand you are busy. They may not like the fact you are missing family events, but ultimately they should understand your education is important and must take priority at times.


Plan in Advance

If you know about an event at the beginning of the semester, go ahead and start planning for it. Professors are more understanding and flexible when they receive notice far in advance. If you wait until a week before a big test to tell your professor about your sister’s upcoming weeding, it is unlikely he will grant your leave of absence. Communicating your schedule to others in a timely manner helps everyone plan for the future.

Recognizing Importance

Recognize Whats Important

A close friend of mine recently found herself in a tough situation. A funeral service for her family member was scheduled on the same day as a final presentation worth 20% of her final grade. The funeral was in a different state and the presentation could not be rescheduled. It was not possible for her to attend both events. What should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

You need to recognize what is important. My friend made the extremely tough decision to give her presentation rather than go to the funeral. Were some family members and friends upset about her decision? Yes. Was missing the funeral emotionally difficult for her? Yes. However, you have to make these difficult sacrifices. You must decide what is more important to you and your overall life. Missing a special occasion is hard, but it is a necessary part of earning an education.

Balancing school and home life can be difficult when you are in college, but with a little planning you can graduate and still be a part of the family! Have any other tips for balancing life in college? Leave them in the comment section below!


Advice on Life, Love, and Athletics

Next time your day is down in the dumps with nowhere to look but up, check out this blog post. I will share the advice I give myself and advice I have picked up over time from others in hopes of brightening your gloomiest days. Nothing is more exciting than a fresh outlook on things be it life in general, love, or athletics.

Let us begin with life. Life is a very broad topic to cover so I’m going to focus on the basics that relate to most college students. The biggest part of a college student’s life is generally their friends. My advice for friendship is to be non-judgmental. I have had to work on this especially since I have been in college. It’s hard to not judge what your friends are doing when it doesn’t agree with the way you are. When people come to college, it’s often the first time people are free from authority. This freedom leads many college students into new atmospheres and they may begin to seem as if they’re changing as people. Try to remember that deep down they are the same friends you’ve always known, and try not to judge them just because their decisions don’t mesh with yours. My second piece of life advice is to be a friend. You can’t expect to make friends if you aren’t being a friend. Say hi to people you pass on the street, be encouraging, and always be trustworthy. People like people they can trust with their deepest secrets. Finally, have a happy outlook. Wake up to everyday like it’s a new day. Dwelling on yesterday only sets you back from moving forward.

Next let’s talk love. Love isn’t only for relationships. I always try to remind myself to be a loving person. Being this type of person requires patience, listening more than speaking, and the strength to bite your tongue once in a while. If you are a loving person, then you can respect yourself and find love in other people. Love for family is very important in college. Keeping contacts with your family members while you’re away will give you the boost you need and it will make them feel special because you remembered to call when they know you’re a very busy college student. Now for those special relationships, my advice first and foremost is communication. College can be hectic for relationships because you are both making new friends, possibly at different schools, and it’s hard to keep tabs on everything that’s going on in each other’s lives. Talking to each other about what you’re doing and who you’re going to be with helps the other person to gain trust and remain stress free while you’re out having fun. In order to make your college relationship last you have to trust the other person and remain loyal yourself.

Lastly, my biggest advice for athletics is hard work. By the time you’re competing in college, everyone has worked hard to get there. You can’t skate by as an athlete anymore. The college athletes that are their best are the ones that work the hardest. Run the extra stride, put the extra weight on the bar, and drink the extra glass of water, anything you need to be at the top of your game. Secondly, never underestimate the competition. You might smoke a team one game, and then the next get crushed because you went into it thinking you had the win in the bag. Play every game, run every race, swim every stroke, like it’s the championship. Play like you’re playing the best competition in the league. Never let up and you’ll never lose out. My final athletic advice is to take care of yourself.  If you feel pain, talk you your trainer. The slightest injuries can become major if they aren’t taken care of. Always remember to Ice, stretch, and rest.

I hope my advice will make your life a little easier and your days a little sunnier.

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Think American Government