Massive congratulations if you’ve just graduated from college! You fought through some of the best years of your life. College is a time for new experiences, people, and lifestyles- something most people shouldn’t forego if given the opportunity. All college alumni understand when we say that there’s nothing more missed than living in cramped dorm rooms with strangers.

Some of the best lessons I learned in college were to test my boundaries, always start the conversation, and allow room for a little recklessness in life. College was pretty eye-opening for me, from impromptu jam sessions with hallmates to random adventures through the neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

I joined a sorority during my sophomore year of college. We were small in numbers (around 8-10 people at our school), so each person had a lot of responsibility. I dove into unknown territory and ran for President immediately. I wanted to set new standards for the organization, and leadership seemed like the only way to do that. College provides students the opportunity to put themselves in difficult situations so they can develop skills that will be useful once they enter the workforce. My experience as a member of Greek Life taught me how to handle conflict, be considerate of others’ needs, and sacrifice my interests for the greater good – qualities I still use regularly.

I believe that life is too short to remain silent all the time. I learned a powerful lesson from a friend during my senior year of college — always initiate the conversation. He would get stares and chuckles every once in a while, but his ability to go up to anyone and start talking was admirable. Even to this day, I greet quiet and awkward moments as an opportunity to speak up and say hi. You never know where one “hello” might take you in life, either personally or professionally.

You’re in college – it’s time to be reckless! Don’t be afraid to make spontaneous choices and change your major if you feel more passionate about another subject. Skip class sometimes to explore new experiences with new people. There are endless possibilities for adventure while you’re in college, so go out and find them! You should always be responsible, but college is your opportunity to explore, meet new friends and create unforgettable memories. Once you become a working adult, you may not have the same freedom to make impromptu decisions, so take advantage of everything college has to offer while you can. Don’t always have a plan and try new things while you’re in college; some of the best memories and lessons are unplanned.

What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind for your future career during college years? Share with us in the comments!

What’s the most important thing Catherine Murphy, writer for Mercy Ships, learned in college, and how does it help her now?

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