As current college students, we all know that picking a major and scheduling classes is just a tiny pixel in the whole picture of post-secondary schooling.
We learn just as much from our experiences of firsts in college: the importance of compromise when living with roommates, the value of hard-earned money through our part-time job and the responsibility that comes with having your own place.
Being in a campus as diverse as Cal Poly Pomona (CPP), I found that a lot of my most important life lessons as a newly minted adult came from the different friends and acquaintances I’ve made along the way.
Here are the five kinds of people I’ve met in college and the lessons I learned from them.
1. The One Who Likes To Have Fun
This person is the friend who knows about all the local parties and kickbacks. They are the first person to hit you up when happy hour starts. They’re also the one who plans all the adventurous trips to major cities and sightings. This friend makes you realize that while having a good time with friends is fun, missing out is totally okay because part of growing up and being an adult requires you to put your responsibilities first sometimes.
2. The One Who Hits the Books Too Often
This friend is the opposite of friend #1. When you invite them to hang out, they take a rain check because they’re stressing about an upcoming midterm or paper. You know that one day, they will become the CEO of a big-name company. (They also most likely live in the library on campus.) We all wouldn’t mind a 4.0 and we all have aspirations for the future and it’s important not to lose sight of them, but it’s just as important to take a break from the hard work and enjoy life too. (As long as it’s not every day!)
3. The One Who Isn’t Local
In college we always meet people who aren’t from the state or even the country. This friend is the one who gets confused by a lot of your American sayings like “See you later” when you won’t see each other until the next day. As frustrating as it is to have to explain everything you say or do, this is probably one of your most rewarding friendships in college. This person tends to put your life in perspective, makes you see things differently and most importantly, makes you aware that there is so much more to see than the sandy beaches of California.
4. The One Who Always Looks Good
Whether it’s with their outfit, their makeup, or their six-pack abs, this person always looks put together, polished and poised. He/She is the only one you know who would look good in a burlap sack. They’re also the only one you know who can resist an In-n-Out burger and hits the gym regularly. As the saying goes, “You do you.” I think this holds most true when it comes to pampering and taking care of ourselves. We all feel good when others take notice of our physical appearance, but there is something so satisfying about looking and feeling good for ourselves, rather than for someone, or to keep up with anyone else.
5. The One Who Likes All the Attention
We all have that friend, the one who seems to know everyone on campus, the one all the guys/girls like and is always out on a date. They’re the ones who entertain all the attention they get. It’s a good reminder that while accepting every invite might seem overwhelming, it’s healthy to want and receive attention every now and then because it shows we know how awesome we are and our worth as a person.
It took me almost four years of college and 21 years of life to realize that as hard as we all try, people will always come and go. Often they’re only around long enough to teach us a lesson.
This is the lesson I learned from these five people: College and life is all about becoming as well-rounded as a person as you can be. Being well-rounded means you are a little bit of the one who likes to have a good time, the one who is goal-oriented, the one who is well-traveled, the one who takes care of his or herself, and the one who is aware of his or her worth, all wrapped up in one awesome human being.