Once in a while, I start writing a post and save it so I can finish it later on. I wrote this post the afternoon of Monday, August 8 last summer, but I lost interest or forgot about it entirely before I could finish and post it. This is the original version:
Now that graduation is nearly upon me, I've started looking through job listings to see what's available to me. A lot of the requirements include languages or systems I don't know and experience I don't have. I think about what I've learned in college and look for jobs with those requirements, but it occurred to me that the things I'm good at and enjoy doing weren't learned in class. So what DID I learn in class? I've spent four years and thousands upon thousands of dollars; was it worth it?
I learned to share a room with someone who isn't related to me. I learned to get along with fifty strangers that had suddenly become the closest neighbors I've ever had. I learned how to sleep through anything and everything, because I had to.
I learned that my most productive hours are from 10 PM to 3 AM.
I learned which classes could be skipped every other day without serious side effects.
I learned about foreign cultures, and how the daily lives of people around the world are wildly different from my own and each others'. I picked up a thing or two about philosophy. I know that I can eat three meals a day for about a dollar if Wegman's macaroni and cheese is on sale.
I learned how to teach myself, and that I can do it better than almost anyone else. I learned how to live with no money, no car, and, for a long time, no phone.
I learned to appreciate country music after spending the first 17 years of my life hating it. I learned about dozens of new bands and musicians, and found that some of the music I was listening to before is pretty terrible.
I learned that some people get upset about things that I wouldn't even notice. I learned that life is way too short to worry about anything that isn't immediately threatening your well-being or that of a friend, and that laughing at life is the best way to get through it.
I re-learned the importance of reading.
I learned a lot about myself and finally got a pretty good idea of who and what I am.
I learned that finding a job is more about who you know than what you know. I learned that I don't know everything, but I can be pretty damn convincing even when I don't. I learned about politics.
I learned to appreciate my family; absence really does make the heart grow fonder. My brothers have grown up a lot, enough that I can actually have meaningful conversations with them both. I learned that Mom and Dad are right more often than I ever could have admitted four years ago.