The Most Valuable Lessons I Learned From College

My story about College is nothing spectacular and if anything highly relate-able at best. However, I felt the need to share with you this experience! I spent some five years between two highly favorable Universities. The promises were high; tons of friends, parties, education, job security, success and life lessons. Me being an over-achiever and quite the people-pleaser at the time, it only made sense that I would fill out my loan papers and reap these benefits!

Somewhere between signing my bank account away to the next twenty-five years and failing every math class I was required to take I really started to question my own desires. Perhaps for the first time in my life I was unsure about my minds own ability to produce action steps based on my internal desires. That was shocking to me considering I was always what I thought to be a “leader” and “innovator”. Semi-unconscious I remained for the next few years as I rationalized my decision and tried to simply make the most of this choice. However, behind the scenes something magical was happening. Though I took home few; if any, of the promised benefits from college, a slow awakening was occurring in me. By the end of my College experience I had learned two very valuable life lessons I will never forget. I would love to share with you those who are in College today, considering College or perhaps graduated already pondering about your own experience. I want you to know, behind the scenes of all your choices lies an incredible lesson.

What College Taught Me About Life

1. You Do Not Have to Be Nearly as Prepared as You Think You Do- College teaches us a simple lesson; If you want something you first have to spend 4 years of your life sacrificing and preparing before you can believe you are good enough. Okay, a bit extreme but for all of the readers who can resonate please continue to read. I always had a feeling that life was too precious to be spending ALL of my time preparing and less than 10% doing. I came to realize that if you have a desire, just try it. Metaphorically speaking; if you have a target, shoot at it. If you miss the bulls-eye by two inches, readjust your aim and shoot again. In other words, If you fail miserably, you’ve learned 1 way NOT to do it, go back to the drawing board, and take a new approach. DO NOT sit around for 5 years though day dreaming about doing it WHEN you’re good enough. You’ll get 100% better with more experience, less studying for it.

2. Not All Situations Carry-Over- Aside from universal truths, typically most methods are not one-sized-fits all. In College we are offered unlimited amounts of information, yet the theme of College seems to be that though there are hundreds of degrees, your way to get them is exactly the same. Take these different career paths for example; becoming a surgeon, doctor, air piolit, etc) these all require very indepth practices and safety precausions; considering they concern more the lives of others. However, becoming a business owner, an artist, or author do not require nearly as much preparation as they do active experience.  Yet, in College we are told to go about becoming whatever it is we want to become in a very precise and one-sized-fits all manner. What works in one scenario doesn’t work in another. In love, for example, we have adopted this method that is “I can give love and receive love when…” What follows the when seems to be something very surface level; when you have enough money, when you are smart enough, when you are pretty enough, skinny enough, popular enough, etc. This can create quite the love epidemic. True love asks for nothing, true love in essence is surrender and acceptance. So we can see with one example (and a very important part of life) that our methodologies we learn in one area of life does not bring us success in all other areas.

Now I am not writing to impact your choice on whether to attend College or not. I am not even trying to judge College as good or bad. Quite surprisingly, my College experience turned out to be something so much more than I judged it to be. From these two life lessons, I learned one major lesson; remove the burden of judgement and expectation from your life. As I removed my expectation of what I was promised from my experience only then did I learn anything valuable. As I continue to apply these two lessons of: acting in the now and adapting to situations, to all areas of my life I have experienced so much more from life than I could have ever imagined. I hope these personal insights might shine a light on your personal experience.

See if today you can TRY a little more and prepare a little less and notice where you might be able to adapt to your circumstances a little more and resist a little less.

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In love,
Nick

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