September 30, 2021

Professional Development

Five Things College Has Taught Me

By: Sydney Fowler

It’s that time of year again. School is back in full swing for students across the country. For some it couldn’t have come soon enough. For others it’s not a very exciting time. I fall somewhere in between those two sentiments. As a college student I am glad to be back at school and see all my friends while reclaiming some of the independence lost over the summer. On the other hand, I am currently in my final semester and that means that what I’ve considered to be potentially the best time in my life is quickly coming to a close. Reflecting back on the last three years has helped me to realize all that I have learned.


The first thing college taught me was responsibility. This one may seem obvious since college is meant to help ease your transition  from teenager  to  adult. But it’s true. I definitely think I am a much more responsible person getting ready to leave college than I was coming in. I was never a reckless or crazy person who made decisions on a whim,  but learning how to essentially be an adult has not been an easy process. 

The first experience of college provides an almost dangerous level of freedom. It’s the first time you are fully on your own with no adult supervision and the temptation to do whatever you want can be too good to resist. It can be easy to stay out late and eat nothing but McDonald’s. But as classes begin and the schedule starts to become increasingly more full, the lure of freedom begins to look less and less appealing. I quickly realized that actually making it through the year requires making adult decisions and prioritizing healthy routines. Focusing on maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and getting enough sleep proved  difficult. Honestly it’s not something I have mastered until this semester. . But hey, better late than never right? 


The second thing that college has taught me is intentionality. With all of the responsibilities that I have had over the last three years I quickly learned how to prioritize. The greatest challenge I faced was actually balancing my responsibilities with having fun. And that was a tough adjustment my freshmen year. I spent most of my time holed up in my room or in the library endlessly working. With everything I had to do I wasn’t sure how I would be able to make time for anything else and still get everything done with adequate time to sleep. Not to mention I wasn’t doing the best job at bonding with new people to foster friendships. 

As freshman year rolled on into sophomore year I realized that I needed to make the most of my time in college. This was going to be a one time experience that I wouldn’t have again and I didn’t want to look back with regrets. So I started making time to be with my friends, even if it was just to get a meal together and talk for an hour. I admit, I haven’t been perfect at this part of college either, but it’s taught me the importance of being intentional with the relationships that I do have. As I prepare to enter the workforce it’s going to be just as important to make time for friends as it was in college and I’m glad I’ve had this time to learn how to make time for others. 

The Importance of Building Connections

The third thing that I’ve learned during my college years has been how to build connections. Throughout college I have been focused on preparing myself to be the best that I can be in the workforce. . I know the connections that I have fostered at school with my professors, other faculty and staff members, and even students will help me accomplish this goal. In fact it already is. For instance, my internship this past summer was the direct result of my professor referring me to the organization and then recommending me for the job. That experience alone taught me so much that will help me immensely on my professional journey That would not have been possible if I had not been connecting with my professor. 

Coffee is Your Friend

The fourth thing college has taught me is that coffee is your best friend. This was the most unexpected one for me. Before freshman year rarely did I indulge in coffee. In fact I basically hated it. Three years later I can’t get enough of it. While this isn’t necessarily the most healthy of habits, it has helped get me through three years of incredibly busy weeks, late nights, and extreme stress. For that, I am grateful. 


The final thing that I have learned from college is the value of conservatism.College has taught me how to be a conservative not through the work of my professors or my classes, but through my own intellectual curiosity. I came to college with a conservative viewpoint fully aware that the majority of students leave after four years with a leftist one due to left-leaning faculty members. I was determined to not let this happen to me. This “fear” drove me to spend the last three years learning as much about my beliefs as I possibly can and becoming involved with various conservative organizations. Now as I prepare to leave college, I can do so knowing that I did not fall victim to the same fate as many of my peers.  

While I am sad that I am getting ready to leave college, I also realize that it’s time. Reflecting on the past has reminded me just how much I have learned and also shown me how prepared I am to move forward.