What I Gained From College

I know from personal experience even if you loved your college days it’s hard sometimes to see what benefited you. Sometimes all you’ll think is I got a degree that no one cares about since I lack experience, I have debt which will weigh on me for years, and four years of life eaten up.

After having a really lovely chat with a former professor, now friend and mentor this afternoon I was thinking about all the things I gained from college things that still benefit me to this day.

So here goes, some things I gained from college:

  • Confidence and poise: Despite my loquaciousness in writing, when I came to college I was so timid. I never spoke up in class, the thought of an interview would amp my stress. Just a few days ago I nailed it at a job interview. I am certain the only reason I won’t get the job is if all the others who interviewed were more qualified. I thank college for that, having opportunity to speak in class, speech class, acting class, performing in shows, preparation for senior comps, all these things prepared me for job interviews, meeting new people, and carrying myself with confidence.
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  • Mentors: I have a handful of professors who I can talk to about the realities of life, career building, are happy to give me a recommendation and are there to encourage me, build me up, and help me to pursue my best life after college.
  • Strong communication skills: I already knew how to write well (thanks homeschooling), college taught me how to communicate through email, with professors, to handle conflict (nothing brings up conflict quite like group projects!), and how to really listen to people.
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  • How to handle my mistakes: College for me like anyone was a learning process more importantly it was a space to make mistakes and learn from them. For example I was in a class and daily reading quizzes were part of the class. I knew I was doing poorly, I hadn’t quite realized I was completely failing that portion of the class. I talked with the professor and I ended up balancing out the grade to about a C, but it wasn’t easy to stomach and I learned to balance and prioritize things even when (often especially) they seemed unimportant to me.
  • That Writing is my thing: I for one don’t regret studying what I truly love to do. My intention wasn’t to earn tons of money or have a straightforward career, it was to study what I love and gain further understanding of where I want to go. I’ve gained both and that’s priceless.
  • A greater hunger, thirst, and love for Jesus: Priceless. But there is something to say that my Christian college experience made me a more authentic member of the body of Christ. I lost a lot of my rigidity and gained so much more hope and passion and ability to see how God is at work within ALL of us.
  • Deep, honest, wholehearted friendship: It’s cliche, but true my school did give me friendships that I intend to last the rest of my life. Friendships that have deeply impacted my heart. Plus a kickass husband, which is pretty much the Christian college jackpot.
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  •  The chance to explore: I’m so glad I had chances to travel, to be in a choir, to live with my best friend, to try out acting, to take theology, politics, psychology, science, and marketing courses, to be a part of ministries, to run clubs, plan retreats, raise money, tutor, and so much more over the span of four years. While many of those experiences could have been replicated over time, college is such a unique time to be able to do a little of anything and everything you’ve ever been interested in.

I have zero regrets about my days in college and I know the lessons and skills I gained from it are helping me to be successful right this moment. And I have so much more life to live so I have no doubts my gratitude will only grow.

What are some of the positives of your college/education experiences? What are the priceless things you will never regret?




2 thoughts on “What I Gained From College

  1. I’m still on the college side of this but I found it really encouraging. Sometimes I wonder if my degree and my classes are really worth the money I’m paying for them. This was a good reminder of the great things that come out of college. My college experience has been pushing me more our of my comfort zone than I thought possible. I will never regret getting involved in student-lead inner city ministry and what it has taught about leadership, God, and the beauty of giving yourself up for someone else.

    • Thanks for reading, Kate. I’m really glad you found encouragement from this piece. As much as I don’t like the debt and things at my school weren’t perfect. It was a really joyous time I don’t regret. Plus when you’re job searching it’s so easy to get cynical, but college for me was so much more than the promise of employment.

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