unexpected college lessons

Unexpected Lessons You'll Learn Outside the Classroom


Updated By Staff Writer on May 20, 2020

Some of the best life lessons in college are not taught inside the classroom but are learned through real-world experiences. Whether it’s through the friendships you form or your opportunities for internships, a lot of your learning will happen outside the classroom. Here are seven unexpected lessons learned outside the classroom.

1. Understanding People

In college, you are exposed to new people from different backgrounds with varying points of view. Interacting with other students, staff, and instructors will not only help you understand others better but will also help shape who you are. Between conflict management and working in groups, you’ll gain the skills and confidence necessary to be effective in the workforce.

2. Project Management

By participating in study groups, student organizations, and clubs, you’ll quickly learn how to manage your time and workload in the face of deadlines. This type of interaction will help hone your organizational and task-management skills, while also preparing you for leadership outside of campus. This practice in team building and leadership will help you conform to the work environment in many of the jobs you pursue.


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3. Freedom to Be Creative and Freedom to Fail

Creativity is one of the most in-demand leadership skills in today’s job market, and college is the perfect place to develop your creative chops. The college environment allows you the freedom to expand your creativity beyond the classroom and receive feedback from accepting peers. Not all of your ideas or projects will be a success, but the freedom to fail and learn from those mistakes is a vital experience.

4. Independence

Ideally, independence is one of the first skills you learn outside of school. Independence is essential for handling all of the responsibilities that come along with college because teachers and parents aren’t checking in on you regularly to make sure you get your work done. Only the students who foster independence will have the self-motivation necessary to succeed. For many students, college is also the first time they’re living on their own, doing their laundry, cooking their meals, and paying their bills.

5. Persistence in Your Goals

If you ask any college graduate, “What are some lessons you learned outside of school?”, they’ll likely tell you how they learned persistence in their goals. Like life in general, college inevitably comes with challenges. Whether it’s a difficult class or a busy schedule, those challenges will teach you that all worthy goals require perseverance. The harder you work toward your goal, the more you’ll appreciate it when you reach it. You’ll gain confidence in your ability to do difficult things, which will serve you well in the workplace.

6. The Importance of Relationships

Not only are good relationships important to success in the classroom—they’re also an essential part of mental health and wellness. In college, you’ll build new relationships with teachers and peers. You’ll network with internship advisors and potential future bosses. But you’ll also rely on long-time relationships with friends and family, looking to them for support and encouragement throughout your time in college.


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7. Your Strengths and Weaknesses

While you’re in college, your comfort zone will be tested both inside and outside the classroom, which can help you discover some of your hidden talents. Get involved, take on new challenges, and investigate your passions. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses makes you a better potential employee and entrepreneurial leader.

You Can Do Anything!

Once you realize that you can juggle school, work, family, friends, and adulthood all at the same time, you will understand that you can do anything when you put the effort into it. By graduation, you’ll recognize your shortcomings and be able to honestly celebrate all of your hard work. The success of graduation can catapult you into continued success in your career field.

If you’re ready to learn the important life lessons college has to offer in and out of the classroom, check out Independence University. We offer a wide selection of degree programs to jumpstart your career, whether you’re interested in accounting, nursing, or graphic arts. Learn more about Independence University degree programs today!

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