College: What I Know Now

18 Nov

Now that I have been out of college for 7 months (!), I feel that there are a few things I should share with those  in college and considering/entering college.

Over these seven months, I have had time to recollect and consider my college experience – what I did well, what I wish I had done, what I would do differently now, etc.

This blog post is a list (in no particular order) of things that I believe one should do to get the most of their college experience.

Here we go…

  • Spend money wisely and learn to save & budget.

I’m pretty sure that college freshmen have more money that first year of college than they will ever have at any point in time in their entire lives.  I know I did.  And I also know I spent all of it on ridiculous things (for the most part).  Now that I don’t have that kind of money, I wish I had learned to spend it better (or not at all) way back then.

  • Spend time with friends while you have them all right there with you.

Now that I don’t live in a dorm and am surrounded by neighbors I don’t even know, I’m finding that I miss the community that dorm life offers.  In college, I could walk a couple of feet away from my door and reach a friend.  Not anymore.  I have to make a more pointed effort to be able to spend time with friends now.  So get off Facebook, and go hang out with a friend in real life while you still can.

  • Take advantage of the library and the books it has to offer.

This one is a good one, as simple as it seems.  Lately, I have wanted to read something related to my field, but I don’t have access to the kinds of material I had access to in the ETBU library.  Now I have to buy most of the (nonfictional) books that I would like to read – which might not be so bad if I had learned point number one earlier on (see above).

  • Talk to your professors, especially the ones in your department.

Professors.  The ones who forced me to write research papers and read a plethora of books, most of which were not-so-interesting.  Only now am I realizing how much I wish I still had them around.  Not because I want them to give me assignments and lectures, but because they have so much knowledge and information to offer from their brilliant, scholarly minds.  I wish I still had the luxury of taking a seat in the offices of the religion professors to ask questions about philosophy, ethics, Greek, and, yes, even biblical interpretation.  And most of them are eager to discuss other non-scholastic things as well (like movies and practical jokes).  So cash in on your professors while you can.

  • Learn.  Learn.  Learn.

In college, it’s incredibly easy to get wrapped up in making the grade and even easier to neglect actual learning.  How I wish I had given more attention to Greek translations.  Prophetic literature.  Mentoring.  Adolescent Psychology.  I can’t tell you how surprised I have been to actually be using a big majority of this stuff in my life post-ETBU, either at work or in regular day-to-day life.  In fact, just the other day I had to pull out my textbook for my Adolescent Psychology class for a work project.  So yeah, I got my degree, but I wish I had taken more from my academic experience.

There it is.  Nothing completely profound, but yet so hard to learn and often too late.  And there are many others that I’m sure will be revealed to me even later on in life.

Here’s to you, East Texas Baptist University.

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One Response to “College: What I Know Now”

  1. Debbie Rogers November 18, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    Kendall,
    You are so wise. I loved your post…I actually loved it so much I sent it to Mrs. Bonnie Jones and Dr,Oliver, our new President. I want them to use it to spread the word that we are making a difference at ETBU…I know that I loved the time we spent together and will always cherish your love and smiles that you brought into my life each day as you worked with me in the Advising office. I am so excited about you being out the world, making a difference!! I know with your love for Jesus and talents you are having an impact on others… All my love,
    Mrs. Debbie

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