When I started college, my priorities were school, extracurriculars and relationships, in that order.
But since, I’ve realized that my priorities were out of whack. More often than not, it is important to put relationships first.
I have realized that cultivating relationships is an integral part of the grand learning experience that is college. And, of course, relationships in this sense are in no way limited to romantic ones. I mean relationships with friends, family, partners, professors, acquaintances and the people we pass by every day on the way to class. And the more and more we engage in relationships with these people in our lives, the more our emotional intelligence grows.
Emotional intelligence is something that is somehow simultaneously extremely valuable and undervalued. The more emotionally intelligent we become, the more our capacity for empathy develops.
Without engaging in relationships with other people, how are we to understand where other people are coming from when they have different opinions? If we shut ourselves off to other people, how can we expect to understand and be understood?