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13 things they wish they’d learned in college — that somehow I did

I saw this post on Lifehacker that referred to a post at NextPath: “13 Things I Wish I Learned In College.” I was intrigued. As a recent college grad, obviously I’m encountering things in the “real world” I never knew or thought to ask about before… But not many.

(OK, number 12 and 13 on the list weren’t covered in my classes or in my work at the paper. But I did cultivate a strong enough relationship with my professors that I know I could call them up and they’d give me their honest advice.)

I have always felt I was prepared for life after graduation. Although I took my “studies” seriously and performed well in the classroom, performing on cue skills like writing a 15-page term paper the night before it was due, B.S.ing an essay question and cramming for a 150 question multiple-choice test the morning of, I also learned the practical skills that you actually need beyond the hallowed halls of higher education.

I realize that my major was in many ways far more practical-based than most. For one thing, from day one of college I was interviewing and writing stories. Day one. That was a trend that only continued as the classes became more intense, and I learned to juggle my life as a student with my life as a reporter and editor at the student newspaper. (Personally, it wasn’t so much juggling as acquiescing that as much as I’d rather focus on being a better reporter, I was in fact at college to get a degree, and to get that degree sitting through Microeconomics and Cultural Anthropology was a necessity.)

My DKS peers and I often joked when we saw kids just hanging out in the student center or sledding on Blanket Hill that we wondered what it was like to “be a normal college student.” But, I guess, if not feeling overwhelmed and unprepared for my chosen profession, as many of the commentors on those posts say they were, was a trade off, I’m glad it’s one I chose to take. Granted I come across things that I may not have done before (especially as I’m beginning a new job), but I definitely have the skills and background to figure them out and the backbone to ask for help when I need it.

I guess it goes back to what I said all along, college is what you make of it.

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