(Note: This installment has also been moved over from my old blog posts. Enjoy!)
It has been exactly 365 days since I posted last year’s installment of “Things I Actually Learned”, and here we are at the end of my second year at SPU. Some of these things are more serious than others, and still more are things that will stay with me forever. So, without further ado, here are some things I learned this year as a second year college student.
Commuting costs much more than just gas.
Not only have I paid for roughly 1.5 tanks of gas a week for the last 30 weeks or so, but I have also spent hundreds of hours in between home and campus. Because I go to class and work on campus, I typically drive about an hour to and from campus each day, which only gets worse when you add in Seattle’s notoriously bad traffic and constant construction projects. I also have learned how to get things done in very short periods of time due to so much of my time being taken up by travel.
Living at home is not always the best solution.
It may be cheaper than paying for a dorm, but some substantial freedom is lost as well. Enter curfews, babysitting, and other obligations that honestly just make life as a student hard sometimes.
Be kind to everyone. No matter what.
Sometimes, it’s not obvious to see what people are going through. You may think that a situation is easy to solve or that they should just “suck it up” or whatever. The truth is, sometimes you just need to be kind, especially when it is most difficult. People will surprise you with their responses if they know that you care. All that said, this also means that you won’t let people walk all over you. There’s something to be said for standing your ground.
Your best is always enough.
I like knowing that I have done well in whatever endeavor may be at hand. However, I have had times where I am simply struggling to keep up, and in those times, I’ve been reminded many times by many people who I am close to, that as long as I am doing my best, I am doing enough. Sometimes, there are some situations where you may still struggle, but if you’re giving your all, there is nothing more you can do. That may seem disappointing to some people, but I rest in the fact that I can honestly say I worked hard and gave my best effort, even if it ended up unsuccessful.
Saving money is hard.
I am by no means a shopaholic. But when your pay is already small and hours keep getting cut, it keeps shrinking and shrinking, and all of a sudden you find yourself with a car payment and future apartment bills…it can be difficult to let yourself spend money on things that you momentarily need. Learning how to budget is a good way to combat this, but I’ll be honest…I’m still learning.
Always drink water whilst pulling an all-nighter involving energy drinks.
Your body will be at least slightly less angry with you in the morning.
There are certain bathrooms on campus that should be avoided at all costs.
Since I’m not privileged enough to have a dorm bathroom to go back to, I have had to make use of the public restrooms. Definitely avoid the one in upper Otto Miller, the one in Gwinn, and the one on the first floor in Weter. If you go to SPU, you know what I’m talking about.
Never stop looking for better opportunities.
Even if you love your part time job on campus, there are always better things you could be doing to further your career. Don’t be afraid to try and do new things.
Whether it is in applying for a job, planning your class schedule or even just in your relationships with people, be intentional. Make time for people because you want to, not because you feel like you have to. Make choices based on what is good for you or your career and not always what seems like will be the most fun. Fun is important too, but life is not always an inter-tube ride down a mountain in Hawaii (yes, I ‘ve done it).
I always forget to take pictures when I do things with people. I get so caught up in whatever we are doing that I forget to document it. I suppose it’s not a bad thing to live in the moment, but as I get further and further into my 20s and thinking about potentially getting married one day, I can’t honestly say that I know what pictures will be in my wedding presentation. That thought bothers me. So I suppose I am still learning to remember to take pictures. But hopefully I will be better at this next year.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little window into my life. If you would like to read the 2014-15 installment, click here.