10 Things You Learn In College Outside The Classroom

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College is first seen as a time of studying hard and working towards a career. While this is accurate, the overall college experience gives people the opportunity to learn more than just what they read in textbooks. College students learn all these extra little things without even realizing it. Here are some of the things that they learn:

1. How to find true friends. This lesson usually doesn’t come right off the bat because when you’re starting out as a freshman, everyone is new and everyone wants to hang out. But over the years, you come to find who is truly your friend and who is not. College allows you to differentiate between a true friend and a fake friend, which is something that develops with time.

2. How to have a stable relationship. College relationships are way more serious than they are in high school. If you go through some crappy relationships during college, you are able to learn what you can do differently in future relationships in order to make them more stable. If you have secured yourself in a serious relationship in college, you learn how to maintain it, and throughout the relationship, you learn how to make it better. College is a time for maturing, and understanding how to resolve conflict with others.

3. How to have fun. Even though you have to be serious when it comes to classwork, college is a time for going out and doing fun things. You learn that it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a break once in awhile, because having fun is a crucial part of life.

4. How to take care of yourself. This refers to many different aspects of taking care of yourself, from learning how to essentially live on your own, to eating well and exercising. Usually freshman year, you don’t care much about eating healthy and getting enough sleep, but over the years you realize how important these things are.

5. How to be responsible. Responsibility is a huge part of college because not only are you responsible for getting your homework done in time, but you also have outside responsibilities that come along with your independence. As more responsibilities get thrown on you throughout the years, you learn how to be a more organized individual.

6. How to work with others. You’ve been taught at a young age how to work with others, but it really sinks in during college. This is mainly because you get stuck doing group projects and working with people who you might not get along with. Being put in situations like these allow you to become more mature, and learn how to work with people who are different from you.

7. How to try new things. College is a time where new opportunities fly at you from every angle. Being in a new place on your own allows you to branch out a bit more than you’re used to. This is a good thing because it opens you up to new interests and new things that you might have never even tried before.

8. How to ask for help. During your college years, you come to realize that it’s perfectly okay to ask for help when you’re lost or confused. This can range from getting help on schoolwork to getting help with personal problems. This is something you learn because you’re maturing and realizing that getting help isn’t a bad thing, it’s only another thing that contributes to your growth.

9. How to be involved. Colleges have so many different organizations that you’re bound to have found at least one that you belong to. This involvement gives you some experiences that you might not have had without college. It also helps you meet new people who are interested in similar things to you, and sometimes these people can become your life-long friends.

10. How to find yourself. Essentially, college is the time in your life where you find out what you want to do in your future. With that, comes finding yourself. During college, you’ll sometimes lose yourself during your journey, and you might not have even completely found yourself by the time you graduate. But this doesn’t mean that you will never find yourself. You can take everything you’ve learned in college and apply it to your life, while continuing on your journey after graduation.

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20 Kind Things You Can Do For Others

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1. Pay for someone else’s meal/drink.

Whether you’re in a Starbucks drive-thru or a sit-down restaurant, tell the staff that you want to pay for another person’s order. The term “pay it forward” can come into play here :).

2. Volunteer. 

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, or a children’s hospital, or any other organization that gives back. Not only will you make others feel better, but you’ll feel pretty great doing it!

3. Hide some money somewhere in a store. 

It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re short on money these days. Even leaving just a few dollars somewhere can bring some excitement and joy to someone’s day.

4. Attach money to a vending machine with a kind note. 

Leave enough money for someone to make a purchase and attach a short note saying something like, “Buy something sweet, on me!” Again, this small gesture can make someone’s day.

5. Pay someone with a compliment. 

If you really need to save money, you can pay someone in a different way: with a compliment! Let’s say you’re waiting in line at a store. Say something nice to the person in front of you or behind you. Even the smallest compliment can make someone feel amazing.

6. Donate to an organization. 

There are so many great organizations out there, so pick one that’s close to your heart and donate! Even just a small donation still makes a difference.

7. Help an elderly person (or anyone) carry groceries to his/her car. 

If you see someone struggling to get groceries to his/her car, offer to help them out! As long as you don’t ask in a creepy way, chances are, they’ll be grateful for your help!

8. Give coffee to a homeless person. 

Unfortunately, these days it’s sometimes hard to trust a homeless person with your money because there are some scammers out there. It’s a sad fact, but we know that it’s true. So instead, go to the nearest coffee shop and buy a coffee or hot chocolate for them. It’s an especially nice gesture for a cold winter day.

9. Write a nice note and leave it in a random book at the library. 

It could be a random book, or maybe it could be your favorite book. Come up with something wonderful to write and stick it in a random page. Chances are, you won’t get to see a person’s reaction to it, but just the thought of it will bring you joy.

10. Leave a sweet note on a random person’s car. 

Again, you might not get to see the person’s reaction to it, but it’s something incredibly kind and unexpected.

11. Make conversation with a store clerk (if it’s a slow day!). 

It doesn’t even have to be a full-length conversation, just ask them how their day is going, or how long they’ve been working there. Friendliness is easily passed around :).

12. Resolve a past conflict. 

This sounds like a large task but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. It’s not worth it going through life with enemies. Figure out a way to solve a past conflict with someone, and you’ll feel so much better. You don’t have to become friends with that person, but at least just agree to be civil. You’ll feel a whole lot of satisfaction!

13. Give out free hugs. 

This one sounds silly, but I always thought it was a cute idea. I’ve seen YouTube videos of people who wear a shirt or hold a sign that says “Free Hugs”, and they stand in the middle of their campus, or somewhere else in their town. I think it’s a great idea because let’s face it, everyone needs a hug! A hug a day keeps the negativity away!

14. Have a free lemonade and/or cookie stand (or hot chocolate in the winter). 

I know you like to make profit, but if you give out free food and drinks, it can make people have a better day! This simple task can bring a smile to at least one person’s face.

15. Offer to help tutor a classmate for free. 

Let’s face it, college kids are notoriously broke, yet they also want to do well in school. If you have time, and you would consider yourself well-rounded in that class, offer assistance to a struggling classmate. It will make them feel more confident, and hey, maybe you’ll make a new friend in the process!

16. Make a purchase at Goodwill/Salvation Army/another resale shop. 

Make sure you understand the cause before you go to the store, so that way you know what your money is going towards.

17. Go around your campus or around your town telling people genuine compliments. 

Again, I got this idea from YouTube, and it’s a bit more time-consuming than other things on this list, but the reactions you’ll get from others is priceless.

18. Donate old clothes/other items. 

Instead of just throwing out clothes that don’t fit anymore, donate them to an organization that gives them to people in need. It’s a much better option knowing that someone else will get use out of your unwanted things.

19. Gather up some friends and clean up your favorite local park (or other areas!). 

Being kind to the environment ultimately helps you be kind to others because a clean environment = healthier, happier people.

20. Bake something tasty for your neighbors. 

Whether you are best friends with your neighbors, or complete strangers, surprising them with baked goods is a great way to brighten their day! Maybe they’ll even invite you over to eat some of your treats with them!

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