I Want My College to Teach Me to Grow


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Silhouettes of Diverse International Students Celebrating Graduation

It’s no surprise that soon-to-be-college-graduates have added graduation countdowns to their calendars, pouted about their senioritis, and dreamed of commencement. But before abandoning your textbooks and professors, take a moment to remember what you’re parting with, and what you’ve learned.

It’s not the Red Bull-stained calculus textbook that taught you so well, and it’s not your ability to memorize Quizlets that got you through it all. Believe it or not, you learned on your own when you were outside of the college classroom, sampling adulthood.

You learned plenty of captivating information during your college courses (some, you remember, some you added to your brain’s recycling bin), but more importantly, you understood how to make time for the assignment that followed. Outside of the classroom, you took the time to visit the library or sit at your desk, to complete your to-do list.

You stopped relying on your mother to do your laundry and make you dinner every night. You learned to visit the grocery store every so often, and on your own, you made yourself dinner while your clothes were in the washer.

You stayed home a few weekends a month because you learned the value of a dollar. You sat at home sober to get your work done, while your friends were out drinking, still learning what you already understood.

You went out of your way to establish relationships with professors. You worked hard for your grades and were interested in the comments left on your papers. You proofread a hundred times and made your roommate do so, too.

You moved out of your parent’s house, and into a room with someone you’ve never lived with. You slept through the nights of missing your family and wishing you could be in your own bed. You pulled through because you grew up.

Your parents can’t force you to become organized, studious, interested, or responsible. Through parting ways with the nest and becoming a college student, you realized that it was time to grow up, and become a part of what they call “the real world.”

Your professors can’t teach you the skills that living in the real world require. But without realizing it, you became resourceful, independent, accountable, and organized, all on your own. You understand time management, the meaning of a deadline, and the consequences of your actions.

Because college taught you to grow. In the next two months, I want my college to teach me how to continue to grow outside of a classroom, off into the real world.