10 Impacting Lessons That I've Learned In College

Osaretin Uwumarogie
7 min readJun 10, 2015


As a recent college graduate, and ready to move into the real world. There are many of lessons that I have learned, in which I may publish more eventually. But these ten lessons have impacted me for the better.

1. Accountability applies in almost every aspect.

As a member of a fraternity, the one word that was constantly mentioned was accountability. As a freshman and sophomore, I failed to realize that I needed to hold myself accountable. The lack of accountability was shown through my grades and social life. By the time I hit junior year I realized that I was not giving my 220% that I know I can give. Also I realized that my lack of accountability made me a flatout liar with my pants burning with fire.

2. Silent mouths never get 1st place

The number one problem with my alma mater is that its never vocally honest or even vocal at all when its needed, from the staff to the students. I was always annoyed when certain peers talked a lot outside of the class but in the classroom stayed about as silent as a church mouse. Many people are afraid of being ridiculed in front of there peers, even though they get ridiculed by others in private. I got fed up with the silence and the conforming attitudes, so I had to realize that I need to be “the one”. The one person who would be vocal in an honest and respectful way, make things better and contribute.

3. Sometimes losses and failures are underrated

In my college career, I had my shares of successes and failures. Every body in the world knows how devastating it can be. But too often in society, we forget people build off their failures and make them successes. And also with success, many times people fail to maintain it. I've seen a few of my peers had a real bad freshman but in the later years pick up the pieces.

4. Be your DAMN self.

Throughout some of my high school years, I hated who I was. I wanted to change it but for some reason I couldn't. That tune changed when I got to college, may people embraced who I was. Who I am is a charismatic, friendly, energetic, flamboyant person who likes to smile and believes in taking care of business and two sides of the story. I also have a set of principles that doesn't always fit with the general consensus. It’s been one thing that my parents and my fraternity liked about me was my character and personality. In which thanks to college I have grown with my personality. The reason why I state this point is because, I seen people lose self-respect because they wanted to be something else besides themselves. Also during my college career I’ve embraced who I am.

5. Honesty is the best policy

The one trait that I’ve misconstrued was the honesty complex. I was honest with mostly other people than myself. Because of this way of thinking, I limited myself out of opportunities in college. A big thing was dating, I thought I had the confidence to get any girl I wanted. It also lead up to me being at certain times being complacent. Another thing was that lack of honest hampered my Also I’m the type of person that just doesn’t do gossip, I’ll be honest to your face. Also honesty is more respected, even if its hurtful.

6. Balancing generosity and Selfishness

My problem a whole lot with me was that I was too generous, and got railroaded many more times than I would like to say. I have given too many chances to people who didn’t deserve it. Also unforunately, it made me become something of my own worse nightmare. That nightmare was becoming a simp (look up the urban dictionary for the definition) in my sophomore year of college. After that year, I had to learn fast about who deserved my generosity.

I can attribute some of my early college struggles was because I was too unselfish. Our society has constantly, talked and highly made an emphasis about unselfishness. Unfortunately, we make people become too unselfish and harm themselves or become victimized. I gave more emphasis on clubs and organizations that marginalized me, rather than my own academics. There was also the scenario when, I made sacrifices to people who cared less about me. My If I had learned this lesson my freshman year, many scenarios would have changed.

7. My diverse music library is taught me a lot too.

I listen to a whole lot of genres of music, even though I prefer some genres over others. There are multiple songs that have literally talked about my college life. Here are a few songs that have documented some of my college life:

  1. “Don’t Save Her” by Project Pat— The song reminded me of an experience that I had with dating.
  2. “After The Party (S1 and Caleb’s Who Shot JR Ewing Mix) by Little Brother — It’s one song that literally ticked my brain and has a good lesson to the song.
  3. “East To West” by Casting Crowns — One song that made me realized that I needed to change myself in more ways than one.
  4. “Lost One” by Jay Z — An underrated song that reminds me of a few lost friendships at QU, and also made me realized that people change for the better and worse.
  5. “Our Lyfe” by Wylde Bunch — It reminded me to stay true to myself and sometimes not go with the in crowd.
  6. “I’ll Be Here Awhile” by 311-It’s one of those songs that made me realize that I needed to make the best out of my college experience.

I have to thank that person that made the quote “Music is Life”.

8. Friends: The Difference Between The Winner’s and Loser’s Circle

If there was one big thing that I need to work on is embracing true friendships. I would like to give a shout out to my true friends and apologize if I ever seemed distant or ever became a bad friend. I never had the chance to enjoy long friendships to be quite honest. In high school, I was never the best with keeping friends, I was used to being a loner and a Nomad (as my HS football coach once called me). I was so focused on education, I let friends and social interactions take a backseat. One of the few quotes that stuck with me til today by Mr. Kirkland went a little something like:

“You’re as good as you’re friends, winners hang with winners and losers hang with losers.”

The lesson carried me through college it made very observant of other people. Their habits, goals, morals, and character. Race, material stuff, and looks were irrelevant to me. As much as they were friends, I wanted to aspire to their levels of high standards. Many of my friends were goal-oriented, taught me lessons, worked hard, and had their eyes on the present and future. They also helped me get through thick and thin and vice versa. As I progressed through my time at QU, it may have been one of the first times in my life that I realized that I had an actual group of friends that I could go to. It also made me appreciate and miss those moments (small or big) that I had with them. Also those group of friends made me open up like never before. Being alone is sometimes good, but it is also important that have a good group of friends.

9. Fight

“Quitters never fight and fighters never quit”. I’ve always known that quote and the concept of being a fighter, but in life sometimes you can forget what you’ve learned. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I have only flunked a class twice in my academic career, once as a sophomore in high school (long story) and as a sophomore in college. I may have mentioned my sophomore year in college as a hellish year. I was in fall semester financial accounting class with a professor named Dr. Eidson. I struggled miserably with that class, as a stubborn immature college student at the time I didn’t do myself any favors with that class. While at that time I was dealing with multiple struggles, and I crumbled. I didn’t reach out for help. I didn’t make an honest effort. I did the unthinkable and threw in the towel prematurely. As a result, I got a well deserved F with an uber pathetic 39%. It was the worst I ever did in a class.

Fast forward to junior year, I had to take another accounting class with the same professor. I wanted to get redemption and work hard in that class. I got off to a decent start with a few snags in the road (she wasn’t to fond off our class early on). I made sure that I did the work she assigned, went to the SI sessions, and made sure I tried. It was working for a while, until a small mistake nearly costed me. I talked to the professor and realize that she saw that I was trying. Despite her disappointment, she realized that I was trying. With that,my will to fight, and Kelsey Ley’s awesome job as an SI, I passed the class. (It also killed the perception, that I thought Dr. Eidson was the devil and made me realize that she was a good teacher for her honesty and the challenge of the students.)

10. I always have room to grow

Despite graduating in May, my learning will never stop. I am open to learnin a lot of life lessons. I still need to work on a few weaknesses and continue to help build on my strengths. All I can do is be optimistic, understanding, and the open to whatever is thrown at me.