24 Things I Learned in College (But Not in the Classroom)


Right about now, thousands of college grads are set to pour out into the world, feeling hopeful and free. Sure, they’ll be crushed with the utter brutality of reality (what?! you have to pay back all those student loans!?), but let’s not tell them that. Around this time I like to reminisce about those magical four years. And that’s when I realize that I learned 817% more outside the classroom than I ever learned in one.

Keepin' it classy
Keepin’ it classy

1. Your network is more important than your major.

2. Being in a sorority was an investment.

3. The textbooks of today are the juicers of your future. Both are items you know you should buy and intend to use. Both will sit and collect dust. Save your money.

4. You shouldn’t wait until you’re two drinks in to do your eye makeup. You weren’t that good at eyeliner to begin with.

5. The stupid things you do will scare you later when you think about how stupid they are. I’ll elaborate – Jumping from the roof of one houseboat to another roof of a houseboat while in the middle of Lake Shasta is a terrible idea and you will have PTSD about it for years.

6. Do not eat salad before taking shots. The alcohol is making you fat anyways. You may as well eat bread.

7. Platinum blonde is not for everyone.

8. Chicks before dicks. And the frat boys will be dicks.

9. There are two types of people. People who will pee in public and people who won’t. You won’t. Keep it classy.

10. Never let high people (i.e. your roommate) try to deep fry anything. Kitchen fires are no joke.

11. Going on a random adventure with your bestie is always a good idea. Whether it’s to Target or Texas.

12. On that note, bouncers in other states don’t know what real ID’s look like. 20-year-old Nadine and Kaylin loved Austin.

13. If a guy who has a girlfriend starts texting you, when you are later his girlfriend he will be texting other girls. Don’t be a dumbass.

14. You will nearly always pick the wrong guy (until you pick the right one). That is your own choice. Learn from it. And don’t be mad when other people don’t feel bad that you get your heart crushed.

15. Having a code word with your roommate for when a guy is talking to you at a bar and you want him to leave you alone is a great idea. Except it’s not when you pick a super obvious, random word. Avocado.

16. You will discover the epic gloriousness that is Brunch and it will be your favorite meal from college until forever. Hollandaise sauce on everything!

17. If you order a pizza while you are still out (but planning on leaving semi-soon), you will arrive at home at almost the exact same time as the pizza. This move was invited by my roommate and I still think she is beyond brilliant for it.

18. Lots of girls have eating issues. You aren’t one of them but be sensitive to those who do.

19. If you spend $50 on a formal dress and blow your grocery budget, that’s your own fault. Put down the credit card.

20. You can’t sorority squat and skinny arm at the same time. Trust me on that one.

21. You have the rest of your life to be in bars. Enjoy frat houses while you can. The beer is free!

22. Studying abroad gives you major FOMO but you’ll never once regret it.

23. Saying you’re pre-med sounds great but not when everyone else is too. Not everyone can be a doctor. You can’t.

24. It is completely possible to write a 14 page paper the night before it’s due in a matter of hours. You will really perfect your procrastination in college and it will be a life-long skill/bad habit.

Feeling a little nostalgic? Here are 10 things college kids just don’t get.

  • LOVE THIS! Especially #3.

  • Oh, #24. Of all the things I tried to perfect in college, this is the one that has stayed with me through the years.

  • Oh goodness!! I’m sitting here in my office reminiscing about my own college experience. Thanks for all the great reminders!

  • Love this. #17 is brilliant. I wish I had thought of that during college. Our apartment was a ten minute walk home from the bars, it would’ve been perfect.

  • i really need to start listening to number 4…. i do it every time and it never ever ends well! haha

  • Oh this makes me miss college! Your roommate is a genius with the pizza idea. I wish I had known/thought about that before now.

  • Haha these are so true. Oh college…

  • Hilarious list! There are things on your list that people will never understand unless they actually go to college 😉

  • haha i love this. sorority squat and skinny arm- so right- it cannot be down simultaneously! and don’t drink and do eyeliner.

  • Great post. I learned so much about myself when I was in college, and I think a lot of people forget that you don’t go to college solely for the academia. There’s a whole lot more to it than that.

  • Man, college was the best! You’re right that everything I learned was just life experience instead of classroom stuff. Not having parents around for the first time was a huge growing experience. A lot of mistakes were made, but I also figured out a lot of stuff, too:)

  • This is actually genius, true, and hilarious. I’m dying of laughter… except the textbooks. Damn I needed those expensive textbooks.

  • Lex

    SO MUCH COLLEGE NOSTALGIA! Missing roommate shenanigans hard right now

  • It really is unbelievable how much you can write if you stay up all night before something is due. Do you look good handing it in? Nope, but you finished it!

  • Brilliant. Just, brilliant. Love everything.

    And YES to frat guys being dicks. So. True. Except for the ones that sometimes are better friends than your girlfriends, in a pure platonic way. (Hint: it’s the “least popular” fraternity)

  • I LOVE this! It’s all so true!

    Crumbs & Curls

  • Oh my goodness… I can totally relate to so many of these! College kids today don’t know how good they have it! And so true about sorority squat and skinny arm… I also find it funny that to this day when my sorority sisters and I take pictures half the time we end up with the sorority squat… some things will just never change!

  • I love this! Especially #14 and #16. They are both something I learned my first year at college

  • It sounds like there is a funny story behind each one of these points. This did make me nostalgic for college. Thanks for sharing!

  • This list brought back so many (mostly good) memories. Loved it!

  • This is an amazing list! Love it!

  • Oh college. Good times. Sometimes I miss it. Although, from reading this I had quite a different college experience than you. But that’s something that happens when you go to a university in a state where 95% of the population is LDS. 🙂

  • JC

    Yes to everything. Except I didn’t get the opportunity to study abroad. Also take internships they pay you back 10 fold later.

  • SUCH a great list! Makes me think of my own experience. My brother is graduating college next year and I remember his freshman year sharing a few things “I had learned” with him as well. 🙂

  • Omg currently learning these right now – you’re nailing it! The pizza trick is genius – totally doing it next time.

  • A great list of lifes lessons

  • My #5 would be hitch hiking with complete total strangers my first weekend in college. Seemed ok when he had a family with him – but then he dropped them off at the hotel, and it was just him, his fiance, and my friend and I. The whole way home I had no clue where we were – ended up he was just traveling on the other side of the river. You don’t know how good it felt to see the St. John’s Bridge in Oregon! Haha.

  • Dee

    Awesome list! Avocado cracked me up.

  • 4, 6, and 13. Yes and yes and yes.

  • I laughed SO hard at the sorority squat/skinny arm comment! I’m a lost cause for the skinny arm but being a short girl, I was in a perpetual squat for 4 years. And houseboat hopping at Lake Shasta–been there, done that, too!

    Great post..x

  • My biggest one would be if you are going to rage you need some carbs in your stomach first!

  • Our code word was “Atchelsay Izzapay” pig latin for a pizza place in my college town.. 😉 ooh, good ole college days.

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