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How Will You Remember College?

Chris Diehl

June 05, 2007

Close your eyes. Picture yourself four years from now, standing in front of friends and family on your graduation day, waiting in line to receive your diploma. As you wait for the line to move forward, you begin to think about the four years you’ve spent at college, how much you’ve experienced, and you say to yourself, “My college experience turned out the way it did because I…”

How will you finish that sentence?

Will you look back on your four years at college with pride? Appreciation? Relief? Regret? Which of the following examples do you hope you’ll be saying to yourself in four years?

“My college experience turned out the way it did because I…

…took a class in a subject I knew absolutely nothing about.”
…learned a ton from my professors outside the classroom.“
…studied abroad in an amazing country.”
…learned a foreign language.“
…took a course because I thought it would be fun.”
…took a course because I heard the professor was hilarious, even though it wasn’t in my major.“
…picked a major for personal reasons.”
…picked a major for financial reasons.“
…picked a major for the reason that I didn’t know what else to choose.”
…learned how to challenge ideas and be a better communicator.“
…wore pajamas to class.”
…avoided a professor who I heard was lousy.“
…didn’t skip a single class.”
…skipped too many classes.“
…skipped so many classes, I now wonder why I went to college in the first place.”
…fell in love with a subject that I’ll spend the rest of my life exploring.“
…learned to play a musical instrument.”
…performed in a play.“
…got a ton out of my education, but still had fun.”
…wasn’t afraid to speak my mind.“
…joined a sorority/fraternity because I wanted to.”
…joined a sorority/fraternity because my friends wanted me to.“
…got along great with my roommates.”
…loved living in a single.“
…volunteered at least once to make a difference in my community.”
…had a steady boyfriend/girlfriend.“
…dated lots of different people and learned a lot about myself.”
…dated lots of different people and ended up back where I started.“
…played in an intramural sport where I scored the winning points/runs/goals.”
…took part in a large-scale prank (harmless, of course!).“
…stayed in touch with old high school friends.”
…didn’t let fear hold me back from doing something I loved to do.“
…sang karaoke in front of people I didn’t know.”
…hosted a radio show or webcast.“
…became really good at pool and darts. Maybe a little too good.”
…took part in all the cool things my campus had to offer.“
…did my own thing off campus.”
…took a chance and did something to make everyone I know say, “I can’t believe you had the guts to do that!”

The author Henry Miller once said, “One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.” Sometimes picturing our goals and where we’d like to end up can help us figure out what we want. Consider taking that approach when you start college in a few weeks.


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