Column: Things I didn’t know I would learn in college

IMG_0005Dominique R. McGhee

When I was preparing to graduate from high school and enter college, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like. By the end of the first month, I realized I had been incredibly mistaken.

I have learned a lot, and I still find myself learning things outside of class that I never thought I would have to learn. I would like to share some of my experiences. It’s only right to spread the wealth.

  1. Nobody cares about you or your sad story.

I learned this my first semester actually. I overwhelmed myself by taking on a 17-hour course load. I reached out to my adviser at the time for help. No such luck. I was immediately told to quit my major.

That was it. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just quit. I was completely taken aback and insulted. He didn’t have the time to explain to me why he thought that or to set up a time for us to have a discussion about my options. To be clear, I never wanted anyone to hold my hand, but the slightest compassion, understanding or patience is not too much to ask, is it? No, because nobody cares.

  1. People suck.

After switching to journalism, I found out how unreliable people can be. I recall many a time that I have been on the brink of tears and pulling my hair out because people I made contact and arrangements with just left me hanging.

I don’t know why I hadn’t realized that people do not care about my time, but it was a great wake up call. People suck because they are human, and the only thing you can do is try to be a less sucky person. I do small things like compulsively checking my emails and making phone calls in the corners of rooms, because I have been on the other side, and it’s pretty lonely over there.

  1. I mean it, people really suck.

Guys in particular suck, and I have had my fair share, but I have to take responsibility for some of the situations I got myself into as well. Like the sneaky, shady guy from freshman year who I had expressed to my mom via text messages that I felt he was sneaky and a liar.

I never have anything to hide, so I don’t take my cell phone with me when I leave a room. Of course the little rat looks through my phone and obviously got his feelings hurt. He then decided to proceed to call me out and catch me in a lie. No. If you want me to hurt your feelings, I gladly will and put you in your place.

On a separate occasion, while I was sad about my less than stellar grades during my first semester and needed comfort, I was told by him that I was just looking for attention. Needless to say, we don’t speak anymore.

  1. There is hope even in the worst of times.

I could not write an entire story based on the negative experiences that I have had. That would be unfair, even though – honestly – there have been more bad than good, but the good was pretty great.

I am in a major that feels natural to me now, and I am excited about a future that isn’t solely based on my potential salary. Last semester, the once barely B GPA I had was closer to a 4.0, and the my scholarships were reinstated, which meant more spending money from my dad. #winning

Some of the people I have been able to interview and come in contact with allow me to have engaging conversations that make me think more. It is even better that now I feel confident that I am able to hold my own in these conversations.

And lastly, while I don’t have the colorful group of friends I imagined I would have, I have found a couple of people that can handle me and all that comes with me.

These lessons and the many others that I have learned during my time here make me feel more confident that I will make better decisions when I prepare to choose a university for graduate school. Hopefully, I have grown out of my naivety and will be more realistic with the experiences I have had.

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