You go to college to learn. That's the whole point of it. After having completed my freshman year, however, I realized that you learn just as much outside the classroom as you do inside it. And, believe me, these lessons will bruise you and break you just as much as the exams and labs do.
Those strangers on a train got me looking back my days as a dad by focusing on facts instead of feelings. Hence, I've developed this list for my son. It compiles all the important numbers (some estimated) that spring to mind as I contemplate life with a son who is now on his own.
For many young women and men, the end of August marks the start of a new chapter of life -- one of higher learning, critical thinking, problem solving, horizon broadening, and lots and lots of casual bonking.
For the past 20 years, I've been directing orientation programs for incoming college freshmen. All of a sudden, I am the on the other side of the equation -- I am the new face -- a little nervous, but eager to get started.
One day you will blink, and it will be graduation day. So appreciate everything, even the bad stuff, because it is the bad, scary, anxious, lonely parts of college that teach you how to take advantage of the happy, fun, exciting, amazing parts.
As much as I hate to admit it, up until this point I have, for the most part, quantified success. In the next four years I hope to reshape my definition of success to encompass a more fulfilling definition and one that cannot be measured by grades or achievements.
Since experience is probably the most valuable thing to offer college freshmen (except for free food because free food always wins), here are some things I learned/wished I would have realized during my first semester of college.