06/06/2012 02:46 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2012

5 Ways College Accidentally Prepares You For The Real World

My freshman year of college was filled with some pretty depressing realizations. After all, like so many high school kids, I'd dreamed of college as a magical place where all petty, small-minded behaviors would magically float away. It would be a place filled with people who "got it." The halls would be teeming with bipolar, bisexual girls looking for three-ways with a deep and sensitive boy like me, and being a David Bowie fan would not be cause for suspicion. When I got to school, however, I found that none of that was true.

Still, college taught me a lot, and I'm not talking about all the things I learned as an English major: Dorothy Mermin explained the inherent anti-Irish elitism in T.S. Eliot's "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," Gordon Teskey lectured about his theory on William Shakespeare's "project of interiority" while being on the receiving end of Indiana Jones-esque flirtations from the girls in the front row and Dan McCall delivered flawless creative writing instruction. But the most important lessons I learned from college, I learned indirectly. Life lessons delivered to me by my first immersion in a shitty microcosm of humanity.