Why share the humbling realizations I’ve come to during college? Because I thought I had it figured out from the beginning. My Freshman year of college, for the most part, was as much a breeze as any of my years of High School. But everything after that has been increasingly challenging and… humbling. So, here are some of the humbling realizations I’ve come to during college.
Bur first… If you also want to feel like you’ve got everything under control as a Freshman, you could start by doing these things.
First Humbling Realization: I have no idea what I’m doing here…
This is probably the most common of the humbling realizations I’ve come to during college. Meaning that I’m sure almost every college student comes to this realization at least once in their college career. But still, let me explain how mine went.
It was in my 2nd year of college that I came to this humbling realization. I’m not sure if it was the difficulty of my Business Statistics class or the absurdity of my Global Public Education Systems class (Required!) that was more off-putting. Either way, I’m fortunate to be in business school trying to learn how I can be able to succeed after graduation. I was thankful…
But at the same time, I couldn’t help noticing the 17-year-old Fortnite streamers becoming millionaires without ever cracking-open a used, coffee-stained college textbook. I had to ask myself– Are my chances of success SO much better with a college degree that I should rule-out the possibility of getting heavily-paid to have fun? I guess I’ll never know since I didn’t drop-out to try it.
2. My priorities are entirely backwards.
Hopefully I’m not the only college student to come to this humbling realization. It was hard to admit (even just to myself) that my priorities needed to be reordered, but by 2nd semester of my 2nd year it was becoming evident.
My grades weren’t suffering horribly. But I noticed that my daily routine was inverse of what it should have been. For example, when any of my friends were up late, it’s because they were on Xbox or doing something otherwise leisurely. In contrast, I was up late almost every night finishing the things that I had to do for the next day. That routine eventually got exhausting and I had to start doing the working before the relaxing.
Even this semester, I still don’t like finishing 4 hours of back-to-back classes just to continue doing homework for a few hours after. However, I’ve learned that the relaxing things are more relaxing when I’m not thinking about impending homework.
3. This costs more money that I’ve ever seen.
I had come to this humbling realization before I even started going to college, but after I started I didn’t think about it often (at first). But just a few semesters of Economics courses later, the cost of college was on my mind frequently.
As college students, a lot of us take out loans for amounts of money that we’ve never even seen. Even if you have a great scholarship and your whole time in college only requires you to go $20,000 into student debt– chances are, you’ve never generated $20,000 in your life. Isn’t that scary? Forking-out money in amounts that you have no-way of knowing you’ll be able to make back? Isn’t that humbling?
And imagine if you can’t pay it back. With other loans you could file for bankruptcy. With a student loan, you DIE with that you can’t pay for. But still, a majority of high school graduates go to college– and a lot of them without giving a second thought to the idea that their student debt could follow them all the way to the grave.
If I’ve sparked your interest about the student debt crisis… maybe you want to read more about it here
4. I STILL couldn’t go manage a business right now.
Being a senior, I don’t have a lot of schooling left to look forward to. Of course, maybe I’m in for more than I think this year, but probably not. It just seems like someone wouldn’t get a degree in Business without being able to run one. So I’ve recently come to this humbling realization during college…
I STILL haven’t learned everything that I anticipated I would learn in college. There’s still a load of real-world experience to be had, but I expected I would know more than I do. The business program at my school is great, so I don’t fault the schooling itself for my uncertainty, but again I hope I’m not the only one.
Surely, majors in other areas think the same thing. Does someone with an engineering degree feel like they can design a suspension bridge once they graduate? Can a newly-graduated chemist formulate a useful product?
5. This time next year, I’ll either be happily employed, or I won’t be.
This is the most recent of the humbling realizations I’ve come to during college. In fact, this one gave me the idea for this whole topic. The nearer I get to the end of my college experience, the more I become worried about what the actual results will be. College is an investment… was it a good one? Will I feel like I’m better-off because of it?
I was sitting in my dorm thinking about the future as I often do, and then I realized the “future” that I have spent a long time thinking about is so close that I can hardly call it the future anymore. This time next year I’ll either be happily employed, or I won’t be.
Maybe I’ll be employed but won’t like the circumstances. Maybe I’ll be underemployed. Maybe I’ll be doing something that I love and getting paid well for it. But the humbling part is that whatever the outcome is– it’s uncertain. Everything I’ve done for the last 3 years will (hopefully) translate into some kind of personal success, but it may not– that’s definitely a humbling realization.