K-State students learn there is more to college than just a degree


There is actually more to college than just math equations, reading and internships. For some students, this is their first time being out on their own and making their own decisions.

While it is important to walk across the stage with a degree and knowledge about your career of interest, college is also supposed to prepare students for the real world. There are certain topics that are learned in college that are best learned outside of the classroom. Some of these areas that help college students enhance their experiences include money management, independence, cooking and the ability to enjoy all aspects of college life.

Robert Tinker, senior in construction science and management, said he learned there is much more to school than just going to class.

“It’s important you have fun and go to games and Aggieville,” Tinker said.

One lesson some students have learned since entering K-State is getting out of their comfort zones and meeting new people.

Coming into college, students are likely experiencing freedom for the first time. If a student has no previous experience in monitoring personal finances and he or she has started working for the first time, it is easy to overspend after receiving paychecks for the first time ever.

For some students, money management might be one of the most essential concepts learned in college. Money management effects students lives in many ways, including paying for tuition, on-campus housing and meal plans or rent, utilities and groceries. Students who have to work or pay for their education have to make sure their money lasts.

The importance of meeting deadlines and communication skills will take many people far in life outside of college. For Vincent Praderio, senior in construction science and management, the most important lesson he learned at K-State is related to food.

“The number one thing I’ve learned in college is that Vienna sausages are in no way, shape or form a good substitute for hot dogs in macaroni and cheese,” Praderio said.

Although some lessons are heard time and time again, that doesn’t detract from their value and insight.

“You’re never too old to go back to school,” said Lesley Sawyer, senior in history. “Education is the one thing they can never take away from you.”

Sawyer, a 57 year-old nontraditional student, is living proof of that testament.

For students living on their own for the first time, miles away from the possible financial and emotional cushion of their family, one of the biggest lessons they might learn is independence.

Savannah Wilson, sophomore in animal science and industry, said she has learned to be more independent while in college.

“It is most important to grow up and not rely on your parents for your entire life,” Wilson said. “When you’re in college you have to get out on your feet and do things for yourself.”

Though there are arduous responsibilities involved with having freedom, students should not leave college with feelings of “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.” People have four or more years to do everything they want to do, before they jump out into the cutthroat real world. If students don’t enjoy themselves now, they might face regrets later in life.