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GriffinGrad2014

Top Lessons I Learned in College (And Not from a Textbook)

1.)  You don’t need to transfer schools or move across the country to somewhere more beautiful or exciting in order to be happy. Happiness is right where you are, and finding it is all a matter of changing your perspective on where you’re at.

2.)  You also don’t need to be perfect to be happy or accepted. Your real friends will love you even if you wear five shirts in the winter, prefer running clothes over “normal people” clothes, go to bed without showering after practice (and show up that way the next morning to practice. Yeah…we do this…), and if you talk to yourself while you do your homework. This is true friendship, kids, and it’s a beautiful thing. So don’t even try making your life perfect all the time—it’s a waste of energy (much like showering can be when you’re really, really sleepy.).

3.)  It’s okay to get a C in a hard class that you worked your butt off in. It’s also okay to get a couple of 40% on tests in really hard classes as well. As my dad likes to point out, even when I do this badly, the sun still shines the next day, and my friends still like me (see above) and the teachers of those classes still offer to write me letters of recommendation for grad school anyway. I would rather get a C and learn the material than get an A by memorizing and regurgitating the information. Whether or not you’re able to apply your knowledge is key!

4.)  While you don’t need to be perfect, don’t totally let yourself go. Take care of yourself…whatever that means to you.

5.)  Go with your gut, even if it means going down a path you’re not sure about. Even if it means changing majors late in the game. Even if it means trying something new. Trust me…you won’t regret it!

6.)  Having alone time is vital, yes, but don’t spend your whole life alone in your room with a book. This blog post is proof that the best lessons we learn aren’t the ones in the massive, overpriced books we rent each semester. And also, who makes memories with their textbooks? When was the last time a calculus book made you laugh so hard you said, “Please stop or I’m going to throw up!”? Make it a point to spend as much time as possible with the people you love.  Again, you won’t regret it (unless one of your friends finally does make you laugh so hard you get sick. Then you might a little.)

7.)  Along the lines of regrets: remember that the things we regret most are the things we don’t do. So if you want something…make it happen!

8.)  And finally: you are so much stronger, bolder, tougher, smarter, capable, and awesome than you think you are. Don’t ever doubt it. And if you find yourself with people who make you doubt it…well…they’re probably not worth it.

In true Carly fashion, I will close this last, final blog with a quote, the same one that’s been posted on my door since I got here in August for arguably the most memorable school year of my life:

“But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

-Jack Kerouac

Thanks for reading.

-Carly

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One of the things I like best about Fontbonne, and I’m sure I’ve said this many times before, is how easy it is to get involved in things.  And not just get involved, but dominate.  Perhaps this sounds negative, but I’ve always felt that Fontbonne provides a perfect “big fish in a little pond” atmosphere, and that’s been really helpful to my personal success here.
Let me explain a little further. Looking at me now, you’d never doubt that I love being the center of attention.  I love seeing emails about being in Fontbonne photoshoots, I have no problem giving presentations or making videos to share about Environmental Club, and of course I jumped at the chance to write a blog for Fontbonne as well.  I know a lot of people here, and I’m no stranger to them, either. That’s how I like things; I like to be friends with everyone.
Of course, some people scoff at the “big fish” analogy.  They doubt that it’s a true reflection of life, and that things will just be harder when I’m out in the real world. Well, I disagree.  How would I know how to be a big fish at all if I haven’t had any practice? Fontbonne has definitely taught me some important things about how the world works.  I’ve learned a lot about communication, compromise, and character during my time here, and those are all things I can apply to my future, no matter how big or small it is.  Because if I’m going to be in a big pond, I’d rather be a big fish than a little one.
Ah, flashback to freshman year. Loved blogging for ya, Fontbonne! It was an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure.

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.