Whether your college years are a real-life reenactment of the shot-sucking, party-hopping Blue Mountain State boys or the art-inspired, love stricken Felicity cast, college is a place of learning. Outside the lecture halls, after the all-nighters and beyond the final exams, college teaches you valuable life lessons that will last you beyond your thirsty Thursdays.
1. You don't always have to take yourself so seriously.
This is a common misconception about getting older. Sure, once you graduate you can no longer get hammered on a Tuesday afternoon or spend your Saturdays tailgating with complete strangers turned best friends, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Take that millennial zest for life and desire for a good time and carry it with you into the your future as a responsible adult. But maybe we'll leave the alcoholism behind.
2. Naps are never -- and never will be -- a bad idea.
One of the major problems with our society today is the feeling that we always need to be doing something. This is the reason you see people filling out paperwork on the subway or leaving family dinners to take a business call. We try to squeeze every ounce of productivity from our lives as possible. This is an easy way to wear yourself down, make you sick or lose your drive to succeed. Take a lesson from your college self, maybe take a 30-minute nap when you get home before you start your new progress report. I guarantee you won't regret it.
3. The $50 Craigslist couch beats the $2,000 Anthropologie one.
Sometime after college, our sense of functionality seems to fall second to our need to impress each other. Remember the time when you had seven couches in your living room and none of them matched? Five of them had some sort of bodily fluid stain on them and they had the stench of 27 cats that no bottle of Febreeze could cover. But hey, for 50 bucks you didn't give shit. Who needs a fancy couch anyways? All you do is sit on it, and you're not the queen of England.
4. It's ok to get drunk and dance ridiculously.
During your drunken college bar crawls you didn't care who was watching as long as you had a bottle of tequila to dance with. Whether it's the tightness of the pantsuits or a boss' heads up their asses, it seems like a majority of adults have forgotten how to dance. Even if you have to restrict it to your weekend, don't be afraid to loosen up and live a little. The good thing is, now that you're an adult you have better judgment than you did in college. And hopefully you'll recognize the moment when dancing with your friends turns into blackout body shots with a 65-year-old biker named Wayne.
*WARNING -- exercise this rule with caution. Getting too sloppy could result in embarrassing social media photos and potential job loss.
5. Budgeting sucks, but it's possible.
Hopefully, you get a job so you never have to return to the Ramen guzzling, toilet paper stealing days of your college career. That being said, no one knows how to creatively budget better than college kids. Even if you don't have to sell your plasma to buy your groceries for the week anymore, don't delete that "Cheap Sheet" pin board just yet. Odds are you still have some student loans to pay off, and setting a budget for yourself could be exponentially beneficial in the long run.
6. People are people.
It's no secret that millenials are more accepting than previous generations. There's a higher tolerance for different sexualities, different cultures and different religions. Maybe it's the gender and culture focused courses you take. Maybe it's the fact that you were raised by the children of the '60s and '70s. Whatever the reasons, be sure to carry that accepting attitude into the rest of your life. There's no greater sense of community than on a college town. Why not carry and spread that sense of community into the adult world?
Even if you are newly graduated and daunted by your new life as a "real adult," don't be afraid. Your college self is still there somewhere (probably in your heart and somewhere in the damage to your liver). You'll find you learned a lot more than Shakespearian literature and finite mathematics. College not only introduces you to the best people you'll ever meet, but it also teaches you lessons far greater than any textbook or exam could give you. It teaches us how to live our lives the way they're supposed to be lived.