The other day I got together for lunch with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Alli graduated from Champlain last May and we only live a few blocks apart, but as the story of my life goes, I never have enough time to see all the people I want to see. We were talking about life as I get ready to graduate and as she is trying to make ends meet with the 2 part-time jobs she has, and she started telling me that in college there should be a Crash Course 101 class on how to survive after graduation. She explained that not only is it quiet and lonely living in a 1-bedroom apartment, but it’s so much harder to pay college loans, rent, utility bills, phone bills, and car payments than she thought it would be. She also mentioned how weird it is to have a day off with no homework and no structure as to what you need to accomplish that day. “Why don’t they teach you this in college?” she asked me. I just smiled as I thought about the things that college does and does not teach you and Grace Boyle‘s blog post, “What I learned in College Wasn’t Found in My $200 Textbook.” And yes, Grace’s list is 100% true to me as well…besides studying abroad. (Grace is a former Champlainer and a PR inspiration. She was also my orientation leader my first weekend at Champlain, but I ducked out of most of orientation so we unfortunately didn’t get to know each other). Just to add a few additional items to Grace’s list:
- Bouncers can either be your best friend or your worst enemy
- There’s no need to watch or read the news. Everything I need to know can be learned on Twitter
- Connections are everything
- When there’s a new form of social media emerging almost daily, textbooks are useless
I feel so fortunate to have had the educational experience that I did at Champlain–where many of my class assignments consisted of designing public relations campaigns and marketing strategies for real clients, where I haven’t had a written final exam since my sophomore year, and where I am getting credit to complete a paid internship. And, because I knew better, the one textbook that was priced at more than $150 was never purchased.