Guest Post: “College…and…the Lessons I Learned” (Written by: Ryan Adams)


Hello! Please give a warm welcome back to Ryan Adams, a 22 year-old aspiring writer! This is his second guest article…Enjoy!

– Kevin J. Hotter

I am graduating from Bentley University in May with a degree in managerial economics. I recently accepted a position in Chicago, Il after living in Massachusetts for my entire life. Now, at 22 years old, I will be taking a look back at my life and evaluating the lessons I have learned thus far

In the immortal words of Billy Madison, “Well what can I say, I graduated. It’s over, I did it.”

I learned all sorts of stuff in college, almost none of it pertaining to my major. I know that life is about to start going really fast, so I thought it would be important to get it all down now. Also, I wanted to take this opportunity to figure out what I actually learned in college.

The goal of this piece is not to talk about classroom work. I did get a lot out of my classes here at Bentley, business skills that have gotten me a good job. More importantly, I think, I learned about the world on a grander scale. I learned things about my country, not all of them that I am proud of. I discovered what I am passionate about.

I learned where my weaknesses are. Of course I got a lot out of going to a good school, but that is not really what I am going to remember. So I will tell you about the stuff you see in the movies.

Lesson #1 – I still don’t know anything

I wanted to put this disclaimer in. If there is one thing I know about adults, is they love telling you that you don’t know anything. Since I am at least close to an adult, I realize how much I don’t know. I remember how much I thought I knew after senior year in High School, and I didn’t know anything!

Lesson #2 – I am a spoiled brat

I realize now how much I have been handed in my life. I have had umpteen opportunities in my life. Now while I pissed many of them away, I have managed to put myself in good position heading forwards. I would be remiss if I did not thank my parents, extended family, teachers and counselors that have helped me along the way. I have the foresight to understand nobody is handing me anything anymore. I have to work hard and take the opportunities at hand seriously. Nobody else will suffer but me.

Lesson #3 – How to Have a Conversation

I have realized throughout my college career that my first impressions are similar to speaking with a computer; formal and calculated. I have loosened up throughout college by realizing a few simple things. Just like wild animals, most people are as afraid of you as you are of them. A smile goes a long way. Listen more than you speak. Say what you feel.

Lesson #4 – How to Drink

Definitely a natural transition because lets face it, conversation always seems to pick up after a couple of drinks. The real problem is that it is way too easy to be a jerk while drinking. Have I ever been there? Of course not, my grandparents read this blog. But, all my hooligan friends drink and I have learned from them. Don’t roll your eyes.

Lesson #5 – How to cook

This is also a lesson in how to shop like an adult. I started my college career buying cookies and some ramen, if anything. Now I can put together a list, plan out meals, basically ensure that I wont starve. Am I a 5-star chef? Absolutely, I’m amazing.

Lesson #6 – How to Clean

This may be my biggest actual lesson, and I owe it all to my current roommate. My freshman year I had developed a “moat” around my bed of various things, but 80% clothes. Also, I never did laundry and went an entire semester without changing my sheets; which I realize now is utterly disgusting. Now my roommate and I get remarks on how clean our room is. Maybe we should start a business…Hmmm?

Lesson #7 – Frat Brothers Suck

Frat boys and I have a checkered past, mostly because they are immature idiots. This is not to say that all people ever to be in a frat never grow out of it, but frat brothers still in school (or acting like they are still in school) always suck. They are loud, never as athletic as they dress, way into “chicks” and looking at their bros…

So yeah, I don’t like frat brothers and really never will, important stuff people.

Lesson #8 – How to Treat People

I always heard the saying “Treat people how you want to be treated.” Great lesson for kids, not true at all. I want to modify it to “Treat people how they want to be treated.” All people really want to hear is something that already agrees with their way of thinking about the world. Plus it is really fun (and necessary) to tell people off, but not so much getting told off.

Lesson #9 – Parents are people (But children aren’t)

It took me until this past winter break to come to grips with this. I have understood my parents are people, I learn more about their past all the time that helps me understand who they are. They will never look at me like a real person to them. These are the same people who had to feed me and change my poop filled diapers. I know that if I wiped someone’s butt for a few years I wouldn’t be able to look at them as adults…no matter how much they grew.

Lesson #10 – The World is Fair

The world is so fair that it makes people think it isn’t. Why do bad things happen to good people? Because good things happen to good people too. The point is the world doesn’t care about what we think is good. Life is fair, but it isn’t fun. Or at least that’s what it seems like right now, refer to lesson #1

I probably have more but this is my initial impressions of my world around me as I approach graduation. Now on to what I have been preparing for all this time…

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” –Albert Einstein

Capture (1)About the Author: Ryan is a soon to be Bentley University graduate with a degree in managerial economics. He has accepted a position with Hanover Insurance in Chicago. Ryan has a passion for sports media and hopes to begin his writing career while in Chicago.



20 replies »

  1. Wow. This was brilliant. I thoroughly loved Ryan’s essay and observations. They pierce the heart of truth for a soon to be graduate. I’m sending the blog post on to my college freshman daughter. She could use the perspective from someone who has most recently stood in her shoes.
    Thanks for allowing Ryan to guest on your blog, Kevin. Terrific decision.
    Cheers to the both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! On behalf of both Ryan and I. Ryan is actually my oldest nephew. He is my older sister’s son. We are only 14 years apart in age (Ryan and I), so I often think of him as a little brother sometimes, as opposed to a nephew. Good luck to your daughter! College is am amazing time in life. Some of my best memories took place during those 4 years.


  2. Wow Congrats! Moving to Chicago IL where I am at, well Grayslake IL. I just graduated but cannot find a job, I am Tech Business MGMT. I also have a Paralegal Degree. You are young and motivated and you will do so well in Chicago, IL please update us. Jackie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “… . I know that if I wiped someone’s butt for a few years I wouldn’t be able to look at them as adults…no matter how much they grew.” Ha! Truth! I really enjoyed reading this and being encouraged that my children won’t always “be” like they are right now…..they will grow and mature. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “….I know that if I wiped someone’s butt for a few years I wouldn’t be able to look at them as adults…no matter how much they grew….” ha! Truth! Enjoyed reading this as well as being encouraged that my own children wont always “be” the way they are now….they will grow up and mature in thought. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very impressive….there are some who never evolve in a lifetime as much as you already have. I have a “50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years” list and this reminds me of the lessons we learn along the way, no matter what age we are. Good job, Ryan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s quite obvious by this article that you are,without a doubt, coming to the realization that adulthood has a way of creeping up on us. It is also a gift,I believe, to be able to express your feelings with an honesty and openness that can be appreciated by all who read your words. As your life’s journey continues, may your education never stop. I have always believed that we learn something new everyday,no matter how small or insignificant it may seem at the time! May you continue to follow your dreams and find happiness in exactly who you are!

    Liked by 1 person

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