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  • Erika Loja Barahona

Top 11 Things College Has Taught Me

1. Be social - perhaps you've heard that when you go to college, you should solely just focus on your studies and nothing else. Don't get me wrong, that's good and all but it sounds a bit boring. You need to make friends; you NEED to network with the person sitting next to you. You never know if that person will help you land the job you want! Plus, you also need friends you can eat with during those 25 min breaks before your next class.

2. Procrastinate - yep, you read that right. College has taught me how to be an expert in the area of procrastination. If there was a degree for it, I would've gotten my masters by now. The reality is, we all have a busy life (it's not an excuse to justify it) but let's be real, we go to class, take notes (if necessary), go home, eat and catch up on social media; Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Netflix before actually going to sleep. Then you find yourself doing class work or "studying" the night before or even the same day of the exam.

3. GPA - more like guess-estimated point average. Getting good grades is important but it does not define who you are as a person. You're not less of a person if you don't have a 4.0.

4. Follow your intuition - don't change your major just because other people say you won't make money. I always wanted to major in education, unfortunately I fell under the trap of "teachers don't make money" and changed my major. After thinking what would bring me closer to teaching I picked HR which is why I aspire to work in the training department of a company.

5. Be yourself! Who cares what others say or think of you? You are who you are and if people don't like it—then too bad. Always stay true to yourself and your values. Everyone is unique in their own way; that's what makes everyone special!

6. Group Projects - are a joke. For the most part, one person always ends up doing all the work. After being exploited myself, this has taught me that in a team, you all work together for a common goal, you have to delegate tasks among group members, hold them accountable, and always give constructive criticism.

7. Appreciate the Internet - you can find anything on the Internet. Remember those difficult calculus, accounting, or statistics questions? Yahoo got the answers! At least that's how I passed those classes. Have you ever googled yourself? If you haven't, I advise you to (from an HR major). You need to be aware of what pops up when someone looks you up during recruiting purposes. You may want to take down those "XYZ ownz thiz pic" MySpace days are over!

8. How to Trust the Process of Letting Go - in this world, you will meet different people and not everyone is going to benefit you. Either they will be a blessing or a lesson. I've learned that you need to surround yourself with people who will help you grow as a person and as a leader. My mom always says this in Spanish "Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres" translation- " tell me who you're with and I'll tell you who you are" if you meet discouraging people, detach yourself from that negativity right away. If you're best friend is not your best friend anymore, trust that everything does happen for a reason and for the best.

9. There Is No LIFE101 Class- professors don't tell you how to deal with heartbreaks, betrayals, or how to be patient, and how to live the best life possible. Life is an everyday lesson and if you make mistakes, that's OK—you will learn from those and move on. One of the things, I struggled with these past four years is patience. I realized that rushing through anything results in disappointment; there is a time for everything and good things take time, in the end, it is all worth it.

10. Love God - for those of you who don't know, I am also part of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. As a Christian college student, it is extremely easy to distance yourself from God and Intervarsity has been key to stay loyal to my faith and relationship with my one and only Savior. Reading the Bible in between classes (sometimes during) is something I truly appreciate doing. Proverbs 3:5-6 has been my personal anthem; it has kept me sane. Some of IVCF events I love attending are Coffee House, Baruch Live, Small groups, and I absolutely love the one-week retreat-Basilea that's held every year at the end of May :)

11. Love Yourself and Let Yourself Be Loved.

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