Most Important Thing I’ve Learned In College So Far

Going to college is about getting an education. Everybody knows that, but what many who have never attended a university do not know is what getting an education means. What you take away from college is far more than what you learn in the classroom. While what I have learned in classrooms are of vital important and will serve me well, the most important thing I’ve learned in college so far is the value of being prepared to do what is commonly known as “jumping through hoops.”

Jumping through hoops is not the most positive way to put things, but whatever words you use to describe the process it all comes down to the same thing: learning how to navigate the infrastructure of life. All of society has an infrastructure beneath it that must be navigated, but college is really the best way to learn how to use that infrastructure that is the foundation for success. Being a genius is no guarantee of success. Being dependable is no guarantee. Of course, there is no real guarantee for success, but one thing you can count on is that success will be very, very difficult if you do not learn how to handle the bureaucratic nature of being a grown-up. College is a terrific way to learn time management. Classes start at a specific time and assignments must be handed in at the right time. All the while, your own success in the classroom is dependent upon managing how to conduct research, attended lessons, set aside time for actually doing the assignment. If you also have a job, that must be worked into the situation. Then there is the social life and those everyday emergencies. I do not seriously believe you can learn the art of time management outside of college in quite the same comprehensive way you can inside. Time is an element of the infrastructure of the working world that leads to success and not learning how to manage it can be death for dreams of success.

Part of the infrastructure of success is dealing with personalities. If you can’t deal with all sorts of people you cannot succeed. College is a place to meet all types. From friends to teachers to other employees…college is filled with personalities of all types that have an impact on your success. Your success in the world outside is even more dependent upon successfully dealing with loners, crazies, talkers and everyone in between. I have learned how to deal with those who are on the verge of a breakdown and those who seem to have trouble putting their thoughts into words. That is a valuable lesson for finding success.

Finally, what I have learned in college that is valuable as far as helping with the infrastructure of society is finding what you do best and focusing on that. Too much of educational system is about standardizing everyone to be at the same level in everything. College has taught me to spend more time and effort on doing what I am very good at rather than vaily trying to become an expert at what doesn’t come naturally. I know that may not translate into success in some avenue of the working word, but my heroes are those who are incredibly good at what they love.

The single most important thing I have learned in college so far is that value of applying what I have learned outside the classroom—indeed, outside the entire academic experience—toward achieving success in the working world. Just as the most finely tuned automobile in the world cannot travel even one mile if there isn’t a road or a bridge that crosses a river or a tunnel that plies through a mountain, the greatest education in the world is meaningless without an infrastructure for getting from college to the first job to the promotion and then beyond that to achieving your dreams of success.