Thursday, October 23, 2014

What a Liberal Arts Education Taught Me

This was something that was compiled by a friend and myself earlier this year, and it needed sharing. A lot of these seem Sewanee specific (and are), but are definitely applicable to most! Feel free to comment if there's anything you'd like to add!

- Infinity comes in many sizes.

- Question EVERYTHING. (Every class, especially Philosophy, Psychology and surprisingly, Spanish).

- Some answers don’t exist: that’s not the point. The question is what matters.

- Things fit together in strange ways; look for patterns and overarching themes.

- School has taught you wrong before, but that’s ok. Relearning is good for you.

- If you don’t do it yourself, it’ll never mean anything.

- Some textbooks are worth holding on to.

- “It’s a required course, not in my major” is NO excuse. It’s an opportunity.

- Go to Career Services.

- You might not win, but you should have learned something at the very least.

- Network!

- You did not do all this work just to be a waitress.

- Celebrate with friends and ALWAYS have a token to remember it.

- Misery is a great equalizer. Bond over it, and suddenly the bad places are full of great memories.

- Make do (especially in dorm kitchens).

- Procrastinating and taking the easy way out is fine if it works for you, but don’t be surprised when it bites you in the ass. And DO NOT complain. It’s your fault.

- The friends you make freshmen year aren't necessarily going to be your best friends forever.

- Sometimes the previous statement is (THANKFULLY) false.

- Say hi to people in the halls and on the sidewalk and in line at Clurg (our dining hall). It’s actually LESS awkward than not saying hi (especially if it’s the same person multiple times a day for 4 years straight) and it can lead to some new friends.

- Knock on doors and come in if they say so, even if you don’t know them. It might end well.

- Everyone could be your friend. Just start with the assumption that they are, and act accordingly.

- If you plan to sell back your textbooks, do it ASAP. Not 3 years later.

- SAVE EVERYTHING. Constantly. On flash drives. And in the cloud. Not just papers, either! Pictures too! And save papers for longer than the semester. You might want those poems one day. And you never know when someone will want to see what you did while in college.

-Read the University’s emails.

- Empty your inbox!

- Spend at least one break on campus. Then appreciate every chance you get to go home even more.

- Take a break with friends!

- Use your summers wisely.

- Go on the SOP trips, try community service (even if you don’t have to).

-Seemingly random events usually have delicious food (that's free) and awesome people you may never meet otherwise.

- Do Homecoming stuff. Every year.

- The book store is a rip-off. But it’s always got your back.

- Get a lightweight, durable laptop that you can fit in your bag, carry around all day, and has a long enough battery to last through 3 classes.

- Make study guides.

- Make friends with Res Life, dorm staff, custodians, repairmen, etc.

- Throw out trash on thursdays so it doesn't sit in the hall from Friday to Monday, stinking the place up!

- Write notes in your textbooks and DIRECTLY onto the handouts teachers give you.

- Not all handouts are worth holding on to.

- Always have a liner in the trashcan. Trust me.

- It’s ok if midnight (or later) is your best time for getting homework done as long as you spend the rest of the day being equally productive.

- Cool names for classes can be deceiving.

- When you rip your pants, everyone will remember. Let's hope they’re friends.

-Don't be afraid to look for friendship within yourself.

-Wine is the best.

-Hold on to family and remember that they’re important.

-Rejoice over the friends who've stayed with you for years and years; but let go of those it’s time to move on from.

-Love is hard, and difficult to let go of.

-It IS possible to have a platonic male friend!!!!

-The most challenging courses will be the most rewarding.

-Sometimes, it’s okay to get a B.

-It’s absolutely worth it to help someone smile through their tears.

-When a friend is going through a hard time, you may not know what to do, but the important thing is them knowing that you love them.

-It’s amazing knowing that something that has the potential to turn into a huge fight can turn into something that makes friends closer.

-Sometimes, you can’t be mad at those you love even if you try.

-Go to events without your friends! You’ll be surprised at what you find.

-Stirling’s (a coffeehouse on the Sewanee campus), and all that happens there, will be a constant in everyone's memories for years to come.

-Sometimes, friends go crazy and splash in puddles. THAT’S OKAY! Just make sure to help them dry off later so they don’t fall sick.

-Sometimes, friends go crazy and take it out on you. THAT’S OKAY TOO! They wouldn’t show that side to you if they didn’t love you, and it’ll give both of you a healthier appreciation of yourself.

-You CAN actually cook!

-But often, your friends can cook better.

-Sometimes, the people you weren't as close to at the beginning will become your best of friends.

-And sometimes, the people you hit it off with at the beginning will be the best of friends too!

-Sometimes, it’s okay not to be friends with someone. Relationships need to be founded on genuinity, and it’s fine not to force it.

-Being the bigger person is definitely worth it.

-Certain schools of thought believe that we imagine the world…

-Don’t be lazy...really, don’t.

-Gift giving can be SO rewarding.

-Don’t stretch yourself thin….you’ll break down at the worst times possible.

-Everyone is beautiful in their own way.

-People will be creepers from time to time. 

-Just because people are crazy as heck doesn't mean that we can't love them.

-Senior year goes by really, really fast; make sure to enjoy every moment and take LOTS of pictures!

-Make sure to explore the area outside your campus; there are probably lots of cool places you might've never known existed!

-Don't be afraid to ask your professors for help. They're there to help, and will appreciate you making an effort.

-Push yourself out of your comfort zone. It'll be scary at first, but definitely worth it!

-Internships are more important than you'd ever imagine.

-Following your dreams is the best goal there is...but you have to learn practical skills to get there.

-If you tell your professor you're sick, don't offer to babysit for them the next day.

-Get to know the people who're in years above and below you. Friendship does not need to be restricted to the people in your year alone.


-Remember; you can't skip a class when the professor is your neighbour and always goes to the dining hall.


-Liberal arts applies to one's entire existence of the world and all of the accumulated, general knowledge leading up to your time. Do not scorn any class because someone had to discover and produce the knowledge you are learning!


-Also, just because you're a "college student" doesn't mean you're not a kid, or that you should take yourself too seriously. You have to learn to let the kid in yourself out, and be young, and occasionally not make the most responsible decisions. This coming from a fairly straight-laced person: you are a college student. Make a few bad (or at least, unforeseen) choices!


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