• Emily Formea

What College Won't Teach You

I recently graduated from undergrad this past May. I graduated college in three short years with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and two minors, one in Religious Studies and the other in Business Economics. On paper, it sounds sort of impressive. Granted most people always ask me why in the world I went into politics. But overall, college today is seen as a necessity. It teaches you skills that almost any job believe you must have. College is the new baseline. Everyone goes to college because college produces capable employees. When I was applying for jobs, most jobs didn’t even bother to ask me about my resume or even my major. They looked for my degree, where it was from, and how well I had done there. That was it.

I have now been out of school for about 6 months.

I have a previous and current job.

I went through a multitude of interviews and job applications since May.

And I adore my current job.

But it got me thinking about the journey I have gone through these past six months.

Ya see I am currently a barista at a coffee shop in the heart of Washington D.C. herself.

Nothing at all to do with my major.

Or my degree.

Or even my college.

But I have never been this happy in my entire life.

I adore going to work.

I adore every single person I work with there.

I love coffee.

I love the customers.

I love to brighten people’s days with a simple ‘good morning’ or ‘hello.’

I really do enjoy my job.

But didn’t need a degree for it.

Didn’t learn about coffee in college.

My point writing this blog is not to bash college or to insinuate that my degree is useless.

Not at all!

My point in writing this blog is to talk about what college didn’t teach me.

College did not teach me how to budget.

College did not teach me how to search for apartments and to ask all the right questions.

College did not teach me how to meal prep for a work life.

It did not teach me how to change my license plate when I moved states.

Not only did college not teach me ‘mechanical’ things so to speak, but it also didn’t teach me deeper things as well.

College didn’t teach me how to find a passion.

It didn’t teach me how to prioritize my hobbies, friends, goals, and dreams over my job.

It didn’t teach me alternative sideways to make a hobby into a career.

It did not teach me how to be kind to others even when they are not kind to me.

College didn’t teach me that it is COMPLETELY normal and alright to have absolutely no idea what you are doing with your life after you get your diploma. That is alright to feel lost because you are. That it is okay to be lost. That it is okay to take a job with absolutely nothing to do with your major simply because you love doing it.

College didn’t teach me to believe in myself.

College didn’t teach me how to start a blog.

It didn’t teach me that you will most likely jump from job to job when you are young rather quickly. And that is okay.

It didn’t teach me that you may get your ‘dream job’ and hate it. And that is okay.

College didn’t teach me that true happiness and success have nothing to do with your salary.

Happiness and success come from living your life the way you want to live it.

Do what you want.

Make a passion for your job.

Experience new things.

Don’t feel defeated when you believe everyone else has their life figured out and you don’t.

Trust me, they don’t either.

It is okay to feel confused.

It is okay to cry.

College didn’t teach me these things and I wish it had.

My hope is that you don’t feel alone when you encounter the list of things that college didn’t teach you.

They are normal obstacles and now being through some of them I can confidently say, “You will be smiling on the other side.”

Don’t live your life according to college.

College doesn’t know everything.



Sincerely, XO Emily || 2020

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