14 Lessons I Learned My Sophomore Year

10264729_10202704188063760_964395762472055611_nWith the school year ending, I thought it would be nice to write another reflection piece on what I have learned this year. Sure I’ve learned about metabolic pathways, modal reasoning, and trophic pyramids, but the most important lessons learned came from a less likely source: outside the classroom. After my Freshman year, I wrote a similar piece to this one called “41 Lessons I Learned From Freshman Year” where I outlined some more specific lessons that structured my freshman year experience. This time around, I wanted to get a little deeper into the lessons I’ve learned over the past year. Looking back at my Freshman year post, I think I have matured significantly, and begun to realize what type of person I am, and what type of person I am going to be. That being said, this post is a reflection of some of those lessons I have learned in the process of maturing, and how they can effect your life as well. Here we go:


1. Having Close Friends is Incredible

This may seem obvious, but when you are struggling, having someone there to talk to, or help you out is key and incredibly therapeutic.

2. Some people have different views than your own and that’s okay.

Don’t assume someone is a bad person just because they have different views than you. Most of us are a lot more alike than we think. Hearing someone challenge your own thoughts can also help you become a smarter, more empathetic person.

3. Be grateful for what you have

Showing gratitude for what you have has been shown to improve your overall health. Don’t just be grateful, show it. Thank those you care about regularly, and understand what is important to you on a daily basis.

4. Generosity is not easy

We learn it when we are mere infants, but even college-age kids can’t always grasp the idea of generosity. It’s not as easy as we might say it is, but being generous helps make trusting relationships with the right people.

5. To get support, you must give support.

Being a club president, I’ve found that one of the most important ways to network is to simply show support for other organizations. Attending other club meetings, events and trips is a great way to get your organizations name out there. When other organizations see you at there meetings, they will want to attend your own.

6. When in doubt, meditate.

Im not going to lie, I went through some difficult swings this semester. However the one thing I found to help the most when times were tough was meditation. Meditation can include a number of different activities (cleaning, sitting, laying down, etc.). After I do some sort of a meditative activity, I feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. Give it a try.

7. Everyone deals with grief differently

Don’t be upset that someone feels more or less emotions towards something than you do. Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief. All you can do as a friend is be there for support.

8. It’s okay to argue something you are passionate about, but otherwise, let it go

Not everything matters. Simple fact. I would even venture to guess that most things don’t matter (but I guess that’s a whole other post… or book). If something is really that important to you, stand up for it. Don’t be afraid to argue something you are passionate about, and that will really make a difference for you and others. However, most things (and by things I literally mean anything) are probably not going to make that much of a difference and you might be better off spending your time and effort in other areas.

9. Prioritizing your health and well being makes everything else easier

Even the largest Oak trees fall down if they have weak roots.

10. Use your resources wisely. Being in college gives you access to a lot.

I think most students lose sight of just how accessible the campus community is. If you want to do something (start a club, run a business, host an event, etc.) it’s really, really easy. Stop thinking things will just fall into place, go out and make it happen.

11. To be yourself, you must know yourself. To know yourself, you must find yourself…Who am I?

Technology has really decreased the amount of introspection and self-evaluation that we do. Take some time this summer to get to know yourself, your habits, what you’re good at, bad at, etc. I’ve found the best way to do this is to go off the grid for a while (i.e.: go for a hike or camping).

12. There is more to life than your resume, how much money you make and who you know.

Experience, live, love, enjoy. Success is not just the size of your paycheck.

13. Life will give you what you ask of it.

This is a Tony Robbins quote. Everyone should read/watch some Tony Robbins.

14. The greatest lessons are learned when times are toughest.

Talk is cheap, school is expensive, learning is free.

About The Author


Max is a passionate pursuer of integrative health. He has been drafted by a professional baseball team, worked in publishing scientific laboratories and spoken to groups of students on health and well-being. He is currently a biology major and philosophy minor at Denison University. Max spends his time reading, weightlifting, traveling and learning. Email Max at mungar810@gmail.com.

2 Responses

  1. Bob & Loris Ungar
    Bob & Loris Ungar May 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm | | Reply

    What a great thing to do. We loved readingabout all the things you have learned since going to Dennison and before.

    Love, Grandpa and Grandma

  2. Sharon
    Sharon May 23, 2014 at 6:33 am | | Reply

    Wise words, max! Thanks for sharing. We would all be better off to incorporate that into our lives.

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