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3 Life Lessons I Learned From 3 Years in College

Anoop Abraham ( The Soul Jam)

The joy of winning the 😂prestigious Hilltop Bhosale Football Cup during my third year

College was a special time in my life, and it’s a period that I look back on fondly.

By the end of my three years in college, I was almost a completely different person to the person I was in school, and at one point, I didn’t look anything like I used to either because I had grown my hair long.

Here are three life lessons I learned when I was studying in college, that wasn't taught in my course or the classroom.

Let go of fixed plans for the future

Anoop Abraham playing guitar

The guitar was something I had wanted to learn to play ever since I was a kid.

During my first year of college, I finally started learning to play the guitar and began singing, and I fell in love with both.

I felt a burning desire to pursue music, and my dream was to be a professional musician. Now I knew that sounded like a crazy idea, especially since it's very difficult to succeed as a musician, but that didn’t faze me.

Every morning I just felt so grateful to play the guitar as soon as I was up. I would spend hours playing it daily, and it hurt even to imagine not playing it for a single day. Playing the guitar and singing felt intoxicating, and it made me feel so alive.

Even the process of writings songs interested me, and I wrote a couple of them (along with many half completed songs) when I was in college.

When I thought about my future, I was certain that it would involve something to do with music. To me, it didn’t make any logical sense to consider doing anything else because of how incredibly passionate I was about music.

For many years I was desperately seeking answers to what I wanted to do with my life, and I was so happy that I had finally found my answer.

But then somehow almost out of nowhere that fire and passion I had for music started to fade.

If you ask me why it faded, the truth is I don’t know the answer myself, and even today, it remains a mystery to me. I am still passionate about music, and it’s still one of the things I love most in the world, but I no longer have any interest in pursuing music.

Why do dreams and desires change for no apparent reason? I still wonder.

But it made me realise that it’s unwise to plan too much into the future or do things such as make a “five-year plan” because it’s only natural for us to change and want different things in the future than what we can conceive today.

Books can have a life-changing Impact

I read almost a hundred books during my time in college, and I believe that perhaps nothing has had a more profound impact on my life than the books I read back then.

It would be no exaggeration to say that I gained more valuable and practical knowledge from the books I read during this period than my entire formal education consisting of both my school and college years.

Reading books such as The Conversations with God series, Autobiography of a Yogi and The Power of Now, completely transformed my outlook on life.

Books have also been a great source of joy and inspiration in my life. Reading Eat, Pray, Love and Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master inspired me to solo travel, which has had a big impact on me.

You can be happy even when you don’t get what you want

I had a lot going for me in college, and I was truly blessed to have the college experience I did.

I had loads of free time because attendance in my college was not compulsory. I had some great friends, stayed in a wonderful place, had a great roommate and discovered plenty of things about myself that I never knew.

During this period, I started meditating, reading a lot, singing, learned to play the guitar, started journaling and I felt more alive than ever.

Yet, in spite of all this, there was a feeling of discontent, especially in my first year and second year, because in many ways, my college life did not unfold according to the desires I had in my mind.

When I started college, I had very naïve ideas about happiness, and to me, it more or less meant fulfilling my desires.

Our mind can be deceiving, and it presents the illusion that we can be happy only if we fulfil certain desires.

However, over time I began to notice that fulfilling my desires did not always make me happy. And I also eventually began to see through the illusion of my mind; and my experience in college made me realise I could be happy and content in the long run even if I was unable to fulfill many of my desires.


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