College Blogs

What I've Learned

Erik

ERIK

Major: Business Administration –
Agricultural Business option
Hometown: Centennial, CO

Year: Senior

As my time at Fort Lewis College comes to an end, I realize more and more all of the things I have learned over the past four years. Obviously, I have learned all of the information I need towards my major and minor, which is expected if I’m paying for an education.  What I see as the most important things I’ve learned, though, are the many different life skills you acquire from living away from home for a few years.

Having Your Own Place to Live:  Arguably one of the favorite and most anticipated parts of leaving for college.  When you have your own house, you have a sense of freedom where you can do whatever you want.  For example at my first house, I built a swimming pool in the front yard just because I could.  The flip side of having your own house is maintenance.  You learn how to fix things you never have before, you learn to remember to pay your own bills on time and how to turn off lights and heat to save money (it became more relevant for me when I was the one paying the bill).  Last year we tried to save a little too much on our heating bill and kept our house pretty cold.  All of us living there left for a week during winter break only to come back to icicles hanging out of the sinks and bathtubs, and a fish bowl frozen solid with the fish suspended in the ice.  Lesson learned… try to cut back to save money on bills, but cutting back gets way more expensive when your pipes break.

Getting Along With Roommates: I’ve learned how to live on my own and with other people.  I have had three or more roommates at any given time since I moved out of the residence hall.  Whether it’s living in the dorms or in town somewhere, you learn that everyone has different habits, mannerisms, and personalities.  For example, some of my roommates have been neat freaks while others have been absolute slobsOverall, the experience has made me a more flexible, understanding and knowledgeable person. 

Nutrition:  It seems like everyone has heard of the “poor college kid” diet, and I have found that it is completely true.  I remember being spoiled while living on campus and having a good full meal three times a day.  Then you move out and have to learn how to sustain yourself.  Of course you start with your average college foods: ramen noodles, frozen food, pizza, fast food, pasta, grilled cheese…basically anything easy and fast to make.  For a while all I would eat is potatoes--however you wanted to cook them (baked, fried, scalloped, raw, stewed, mashed, microwaved, open flamed, pressure cooked, dehydrated, grilled)--simply because they were cheap.  Now as I have lived and learned, I finally understand why people eat healthy.  For me it wasn’t the obvious things like weight or personal health, I started eating better simply for energy.  Who would have guessed: if you put junk into your body, you feel tired and lazy all day and end up spending money on energy drinks.  When you eat healthier food, you spend more upfront but feel way more energetic and alert during the whole day.

Going to college allows you to live and grow as a person.  People always say it is better to learn from experience, and that doesn’t only apply to school-related topics.  Just from my experiences of trial and lots of error, I have learned to live a much healthier, smarter, and more successful life.

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