I was watching this video and the person in the video was saying at 0:33:

So college really opened my eyes to different types of people, and now even when I go, when I come back home, start a new job, I'm trying to be open to people just because I learned that in college. That's really what gets you by.

What does the last sentence mean?

1 Answer 1


The cited text is a relatively uncommon derived transitive usage based on the (normally intransitive) stative phrasal verb...

to get by (Cambridge Dictionary)
to be able to live or deal with a situation with difficulty, usually by having just enough of something you need, such as money:
How can he get by on so little money?
We can get by with four computers at the moment, but we'll need a couple more when the new staff arrive.

In OP's cited context,it amounts to saying that in the context of rapidly-changing / strange new environments as experienced by adolescents going to college, starting work, etc. ("learning" how to become "adults"), the writer thinks that "being open" makes it easier for people to succeed (or at least, avoid failure; getting by usually just implies surviving, not thriving).

Another common variant is [Our wonderful new product] will help you get through your day, so

I can get through my day with just a couple of cigarettes
is equivalent to
I can get by with just a couple of cigarettes a day.

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