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  • Javier Coronel

5 Lessons I learned in college

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Now that my time in college has come to an end I have been reflecting on the lessons learned during that time. Some of these lessons were expected while others were completely unexpected. Before I start I just want to note that these lessons come from my personal experience and you may have a different perspective due to your personal experiences.

1. The most important lessons happen outside of the classroom.

While I learned some valuable lessons in my classes at UT, the ones I remember the most all happened outside of the classroom. The classes gave me topics to focus on, but it was the study sessions, teams, etc that taught me the most. For example, in one of my classes I was the team lead and just to save you some time all I'll say is that we went down faster than the Hindenburg. It made me reevaluate myself as a leader and after talking individually to every single person on my team I realized there was something going on in all of our lives. The project was not our priority and rightfully so. This story does not have a happy ending as we kept our grade in the project even after talking to our professor but what I did learn was to be empathetic of other people. You never know what someone is going through so treat everyone to the best of your ability. That, my friends, is one example of the many lessons I learned.

2. The amount you pay to attend college is based on the people, not the actual academics.

I honestly don't really think I need to explain this one too much but essentially the value of your degree is based on the university's name. If you disagree, think about it. The only reason a branded item is worth "more" than the generic version is because of the name. A simple case study is by examining the medical aisle in your local grocery store. Companies copy the contents of their branded counterparts in every single regard. Yet when you see them side by side one is cheaper than the other. Why? The name. Where you get your money's worth is when it comes to the people you will meet at your university. Harvard attracts "better" talent than the University of Texas. The University of Texas at Austin attracts "better" talent than the University of Houston and so forth. I think you get the idea.

3. The most valuable things in this world are your time and energy.

Money comes and goes. Knowledge will always be available Time and energy, however, can never be regained. Therefore, it is extremely important to use those two things wisely. Are you spending time on things that benefit you? Are you around people who lift you up or weigh you down? It may look great on the outside to look busy and to be known vaguely by everyone but a few years down the line it probably won't matter and you'll wish you had spent your time and energy more wisely.

4. The richest people are the ones with the biggest smiles, not the thickest wallets.

Growing up in a significantly disadvantage area made me come from humble beginnings and it wasn't until I arrived at college that I realized it. What I quickly noticed was that the most miserable weren't the ones who came from places like me, but the ones who have had everything at their disposal the entire time. They never got to appreciate the lessons brought on by scarcity. With everything available they still drank, puffed, and did the best to ignore the miniscule problems in their lives. Meanwhile time and time again I saw people who had multiple jobs, led organizations, used public transportation, etc all while looking happy as can be. Money solves a lot of life's problems but not all of them. That's what duck tape is for.

5. You will agree and disagree with everyone that comes in your life. Understand you will not always be right, they will not always be right, and that that's when growth happens.

A consistent trend I see in today's world is the inability to talk with people who have a different perspective on a topic. This is especially common in my generation and I blame this due to our growth alongside social media, which has algorithms that perfectly cater to their users. What this means is that people like the ones in my generation hardly ever see content from people with different perspectives so when it does happen we're outraged. It's something I'm trying to counter by actively seeking out people who view the world differently and I think it's something we should all do our best to accomplish even if it means being in awkward situations on occasion.

So those are five lessons I learned throughout college. Let me know what you think and what lessons you learned in college that I didn't mention!

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