10. In the Summer of 1997 I thought it would be a good idea to do a pre-Freshman year leadership program called FYSOP at Boston University to meet people. Our mission was to go and help the homeless people in the city and in order to “get us ready” we weren’t allowed to eat anything but scraps of bread for 3 days to see how it feels to go hungry. I cried myself to sleep every night that week. College taught me how to be tough.
9. My Freshman year roommate didn’t like me very much. She spoke in a language I had never heard of at all hours of the night. She didn’t have an alarm clock or a cute Laura Ashley comforter. Looking back on that year makes me realize that even though she wasn’t the nicest, I probably wasn’t that easy to like. I judged her because she couldn’t have been more different than me. Instead of trying to learn more about her, I probably made her feel like more of an outsider. My Freshman year could have gone very differently. College taught me the importance of acceptance.
8. In High School I participated in drama and got all the parts I wanted. I sung the National Anthem at our basketball games and was always complimented on my dancing and singing abilities. When I tried out for “HAIR” at Boston University and didn’t make it I felt defeated and hurt. The next play I tried out for a lead, and got a part in the Chorus with no speaking parts. College made me realize I was a big fish in a small pond; it taught me humility.
7. During my first year, friends from home were all writing emails about having fun on their college campus. They met people walking to classes, they played frisbee on the Common, they partied in Upper Classmen’s houses. I was going to college in the middle of Boston. I took the ‘T’ to school every day on the other side of campus. It was packed with adults begrudgingly going to work. We didn’t have a common, we had Storrow Drive. We didn’t have houses, we had high rises. College taught me that things aren’t always what they seem and to stay flexible.
6. After my Freshman year ended I couldn’t wait to get back home for the summer. I spent half of it there and couldn’t wait to get back to the city. College taught me perspective.
5. When I became an Upper Classman myself, my parents gave me their old Honda to drive to school and an internship. I owned it for a week before it got stolen off Commonwealth Ave. College taught me to be smart in more ways than just education. (And to really appreciate my parents.)
4. I switched majors from Business (where I struggled in every single class) to Communications (where I thrived in every single class.) College gave me my career.
3. By Senior Year, I was hanging out with a group of girls that cared about me. They celebrated my birthday. They laughed with me in the back of Public Relations 101, and fell asleep on me in the back of a bus to New York. In college, I learned the power of a Sisterhood.
2. When I graduated and started looking for a job I noticed that every single interviewer nodded and said “Boston University, huh? My aunt/sister/neighbor/boss went there.” College taught me the importance of making connections.
1. Throughout the course of 4 years I had successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses. I made great relationships and tore through terrible relationships. I was often happy, sad, elated, contemplative, and indecisive. College taught me who I wanted to be; and maybe even more importantly, who I didn’t want to be.
Going to college teaches kids so much more than the stuff they’ll read in text books. (Wait, there are still text books, right!?) Help your children get there with MEFA and the U.Fund College Investing Plan.
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