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7 Life Lessons They Don’t Teach You In College

Photo by John-Morgan

Despite an economic climate where even college grads are having a hard time making gravy, I am grateful for my college degree.

There’s no doubt about it: the experience greatly aided my understanding of the business world, and equipped me with skills that will serve me for life.

Things like discipline, time management, and critical thinking skills. Not to mention, how to survive on “meatless meals” between financial aid checks.

But like many who are the beneficiaries of higher learning, I have discovered that there are some life skills that are left out upon graduation. Things that can make the road to success void of endless detours; Lessons that can impact quality of life!

Here, I’ll share with you, seven life lessons they don’t teach in college.

1. How to craft a killer resume, and how to land a lucrative job is only half the battle.

I wish I would have known that “how” you make your money is just as important as “how much” money you make.

It would have saved me years from working on gigs that stressed me out, stole my peace, and were poor matches for my personality and value system.

Experience is important, but enlightenment is crucial.

2. Life doesn’t grade on a curve.

There aren’t any “Cliff Notes” on credit card management, dealing with a bad boss, or understanding the opposite sex.

And yet, we’re constantly being “rated”.

Give your best to life’s many tests! Some things you just can’t fake. And you’ll end up on the losing end if you do.

3. Financial literacy is more important than remembering algebraic expressions.

To this day, I confess, I’ve never, ever had to apply what I learned in College Algebra.

But, I must say that calculating and converting percentages has made me a whiz on discounts during bargain sales at major retailers.

4. Knowing how to choose “good” friends is as important as having good grades.

Don’t believe me? When was the last time your books served as your “designated driver” when you needed one?

Or made you feel better after a bad break up?

Or told you didn’t looked fat in your new jeans?

Or supported your dreams?

As one famous writer eloquently expressed, “My friends are my estate.”

5. Even when you “perform well” other factors will influence your overall success.

Ask the folks on American Idol. Consider things like politics, popularity, timing, and who you know. Cover as many bases as possible in order to score.

6. Balance is crucial.

Just like yin and yang are influences that create harmony, it’s important to balance work and play, professional and recreational pursuits.

7. We are much more than our titles and our take home pay.

We were designed to be “human beings”, not human doings.

In other words, there is value in being a good person, a good parent, and making contributions to society, regardless as to your net worth. Know that!

And equally important as these take-away tips is the adage, “those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.

How about you? What life lesson do you wish you would have learned in college?

Do share.


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This article was contributed by Jennifer Brown Banks,  a veteran freelance writer, Pro blogger, relationship columnist, and incurable romantic. Her work has appeared extensively online at sites such as Daily Blog Tips, Technorati, WorkAwesome, Search Engine Journal and She blogs at

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Mike says:

Very nice article. I particularly agree with the fact that financial knowledge is not taught in college and yet is so important. I like the format of your writing too. Good job.

Mike @

Jennifer Brown Banks says:


Thanks so much for your time and feedback.

Lindsey says:

Great post! I agree with a lot of what you said! Having worked in student support services for a couple of years, I definitely noticed a trend among students. Many of them believe that college is the meal ticket for life. In many ways, having the degree is a huge help. But it doesn’t guarantee anything. Being able to articulate what you care about, what you love to do, and why you are good at it are also very important! College should be a time to figure that stuff out. It seems like the mentality is different though – get the degree, then figure out what you want to do.