13 Things I Still Haven’t Learned In College

I always vastly overestimate how knowledgeable my future self will be after certain milestones. After I passed my driving test, for example, I figured I’d know how to drive. After high school, how to pronounce the word “rural.” Neither has come to me as of yet.

I still have a year before graduating college, but I’m starting to suspect there won’t be a difference. Here’s to back-to-school season, and we can only hope for redemption.

Things I Still Haven’t Learned In College

  1. How to give that timeless icebreaker.


I’ve been giving icebreakers for at least a decade, so I don’t get why I’m not yet proficient. The anxiety while waiting, the uncomfortable delivery, the after-shame… It never gets better. I would reuse icebreakers—successful ones have been “I was a morbidly obese baby,” “Havana once evacuated me from the city,” “I studied abroad in Korea and learned six phrases in six weeks,” and “I’m past level 1,000 on Candy Crush” because pity establishes rapport—but as a senior, I see too many of the same faces in my classes to recycle. At this point the only solution is to transfer out of state.

  1. How to habitually use purses.

I’m the age of an adult woman, and adult women have adult purses in which they carry essentials like emergency toiletries, a book, and never-ending Olive Garden breadsticks. Instead, I just stroll around, gripping the straps of my mostly empty backpack with both hands like an oversized Dora the Explorer.

  1. Finance.

In high school, people used to gripe about how the education system never taught us anything useful, like how to do your taxes. But if college has taught me anything, it’s that almost everything practical must be figured out yourself by doing it. You can’t wait around. That said, I am a business major and I still don’t understand finance. My consolation is that, for example, no one really can predict the stock market, so even finance people don’t understand finance.

  1. How to sleep through the night.

Stop browsing social media on your phone an hour before bed, you say? Don’t be ridiculous.

  1. How to overcome my anxiety-induced exclamation points in emails.

Every other sentence in my emails ends in an exclamation point (the real ones will remember when this provoked my professor.) Most likely conditioned by texting etiquette (wherein you don’t punctuate unless grievously offended,) I feel I must compensate for each irate-sounding period with a peppy exclamation point! I’m not mad! Just going crazy!

  1. Why anything matters.


  1. What engineering actually is.


  1. Anything football.

For me, UT football games are more about the company and celebration than the sport. Junior and senior year of high school, I only went to football games because the dance team performed at halftime. Once, we were at a game held on a small field, with bleachers only on one side. Halfway through the game, elated that a player had scored and even more excited that I’d recognized the play, I loudly cheered and was promptly informed that that had been the opposing team.

  1. What to do when the right lane has a designated traffic light but also doesn’t show “No Turn on Red.”

We assume turning on red is okay unless otherwise indicated, but if so, what’s the point of having a traffic light that can flash red? I think about this a lot.

  1. How to properly tan.

I’ve never tanned correctly. One time, a few hours before a formal event, my friend and I sat outside while eating, hoping to lightly brown. We burned instead. At this moment, I’m also still weathering the farmer’s tan from when I got catfished by Bastrop, TX.

I’m pale and feel like getting tan would stop people from telling me I look dead. That might seem like a rude thing to say, but thinking some more, I would hope that someone would break the news to my corpse.

  1. How to enjoy the taste of beer.

Okay, most people don’t like the taste of alcohol, but I especially can’t stand beer. I know someone who drinks non-alcoholic beer for the taste. Coincidentally, we don’t talk much anymore. Anyway, to borrow another’s words: every time someone tells me some alcoholic drink tastes good, I’m like “yeah? Well, imagine how it’d taste with no alcohol in it.”

  1. How to keep less than 100 tabs open on my laptop.

After people who see my laptop make fun of me for using Notepad to take notes—I GET IT—they proceed to make fun of how many tabs I have open. This is the summer, and right now I have 4 browsers with 45, 48, 17, and 42 tabs. You can’t even see the page icons.

Friend: I hate that.

Me: Me too.

Friend: Isn’t that so cluttered?
Me: *laughs*

Me, tapping my temple: Yeah, now imagine what it’s like in here.

  1. Why I, aware of all the above inadequacies, have the nerve to continue attending university.

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27 thoughts on “13 Things I Still Haven’t Learned In College

  1. Things I never learned in college: how does a 401k work (I know now, kinda, i am an Adult), and how to eat a whole bag of salad greens before they start getting slimy (I still don’t know).


  2. Living in a craft beer centric city (Victoria, BC; think a littler version of Portland, basically), I have no shortage of IPA swilling friends who lambaste me for my admiration of light beers — so let’s just say I feel your pain. And hey, if you don’t like the taste of sharp alcohol, may I declare that Pilsners could be your friend?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The amount of shame I felt typing “IPA def beer…” Anyway, thanks for the suggestion! I’ll have to try it the next time my friends and I are out, and if the night miraculously doesn’t end in me going “… God, what was the name of that beer I got in that comment from WhyBoy that one time?” I’ll be sure to get back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Getting a tan is over rated I’m usually red, or the kind of pale where you would get snow blindness from looking at me in the sun. Once for my 18th birthday I got a spray tan and honestly, I looked super weird. I washed it off well before i was supposed to and I still looked all kinds of wrong. Also I really enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry, forgot to come back and respond to this! Thanks for leaving your thoughts(: I’ve never considered a spray tan because my friend once came back looking orange. Thought that looked weird so instead I get bad farmer’s tans that stay for months and look just as weird.


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