1. How to Manage Bills
Managing bills sounds easy...until you actually have to do it. Unfortunately, we aren't taught this in high school, so I had to learn it on my own when I was away at school. I quickly got into the habit of marking down due dates, balancing my checkbook regularly, and making sure I kept aside enough money each month to meet each payment.
2. Time Management
Time management is necessary in high school, but it's even more necessary in college. Unfortunately, I learned hard way -- by procrastinating on large projects until a day or two before, and then pulling all-nighters in order to get them done. Not fun. I quickly learned how to plan in advance and make sure I set aside enough time each week to dedicate to homework. My solution was mainly about finding a balance between work, school, and fun.
I didn't have a lot of friends in high school. But in college, I made quite a few friends (and enemies). Along the way, I learned what qualities I really wanted in a friend. I didn't just want friends who would go out and do fun stuff with me on the weekends, I wanted friends who I could talk to, and who would help me out when I needed help (of course I would help them in return). I also learned that some people who I considered friends turn out to be fake, and some people who I didn't think I'd be friends with made the best friends.
4. How to File Taxes
This is another thing I wish I'd learned in high school. Being away from home and having a job in another state, I had to file taxes myself. It was one hell of an afternoon, and I was on the phone with my parents almost the whole time, but I made it. I'm not looking forward to doing it next year, but at least I feel better about navigating the process.
5. What Love Is
Most importantly, I learned about love. I'd originally had a list of character traits that I wanted in a guy...and all of them were positive. However, when I fell in love, it happened to be with a guy who didn't meet all my qualifications for perfection. It was then that I learned what love really is. Love is knowing someone's flaws, but loving them away. Love is fighting and making up. It isn't all bliss, but it definitely is all worth it. If I'd stayed at home to go to college, I would've been kept under the influence of my parents' opinions on what type of guy I should marry. But going out and falling in love on my own enabled me to see what I really want.
6. (Bonus) Heartbreak
Of course, all love stories don't have happy endings. Sadly, mine was one of the ones that didn't. My guy moved away at the end of the year. I never fully understood heartbreak until it happened to me, and I spent night after night crying, and feeling like a piece of myself was gone. I learned that heartbreak doesn't really end; you just kind of get used to the pain. And he did promise that we'd see each other again, so who knows? In my mind, our story isn't over yet. But I did learn that life goes on, happy (or unfinished) ending or not.
Please comment below and let me know what you learned in college that didn't come from classes/books!