If I timed this right, this post should go up right after my graduation ceremony. It’s a memorable time, let me tell you. So, in celebration of my last four years, here is a list mostly true lessons on how to go to college/university.
Contains swearing, references to drinking, and no capitalization. because censoring the college experience does not do it justice.
— buying the wrong kind of peanut butter does wonders to your lunch, and not in a good way
— always carry an extra $10 in cash just in case you find a really interesting street vendor. anything over $10 on the street is not worth the impulse buy
— actually read the homework that sounds interesting. you might learn something
— part-time jobs are painful but you’ll get through it. reward yourself with chocolate, booze, or both after a hard day at work
— unpaid internships can be equally painful. reward yourself by taking a day off (but only once every three to four months and only when you’re not actually stressing about anything)
— paid internships are only slightly better than unpaid internships. the only downfall is you can’t call in as often.
— professors are people too. they are about as judgmental as a cat, which, if you’re paying attention, doesn’t give a shit what you do as long as you feed it. although in the professor’s case, replace “feeding” with “doing the actual homework”
— professors also see through your bullshit, believe it or not. sometimes they call you out on it. the ones that don’t probably care as much as you do
— people of similar interests to you have the highest potential of being your friend. what is life if you cannot gush about batman, classic science fiction authors, and/or children’s television shows?
— the above point is the reason I’m going to a dessert banquet with a fellow intern
— as a freshman, poke a hole into your comfort zone and stretch the hole until it’s big enough to find people who don’t judge you for marathoning anime and reading two books in a week. ignore those who do judge you
— never expand your comfort zone wide enough to talk to various professors because you never really have trouble in their classes and you never do the readings so you can’t say witty and intelligent things like “this reading failed to cover such and such topics which would have been beneficial to learn considering the subject matter. you should fix that in the future.”
— take advantage of campus events like free movies, free food, free office supplies, and free advice
— attend meetings for clubs you would have never thought to join like genetics and publications and business marketing and engineers without boarders
— you don’t really have an obligation to your high school friends unless they’re still your friends. but if they never return your texts, phone calls, or facebook posts, then maybe they’re not worth keeping around
— limit your drinking. the morning after blacking out can be the scariest moment of your life (according to some sources. i met a girl who really liked blacking out. she kind of scared me)
— a roommate is not always your best friend and that’s okay
— trust your gut and friends when picking professors for the next semester
— take advantage of a computer still logged into someone else’s account. especially if they have access to a full color printer and photoshop.
(my roommate and her landscape architecture class did this to someone. they did a bad photoshop job of their least favorite teacher on a busty ninja chick with a giant ass, printed several posters, and plastered them all over the lab. i believe the professor has the image on a coffee mug now)
— when you get your first apartment, experiment with meals by throwing random shit together and tasting the result.
— keep the online take-out website in your bookmarks in case of failed cooking experiments
— study abroad. if there’s anything that makes you grow as a person, it’s attending college as a junior-freshman in a foreign country where your parents are unable to visit and the cultural norms vary from yours and you never end up making life-long friends
— travel abroad alone. if there’s anything that makes you question your life in a single location its seeing something new every day for two weeks straight.
— studying abroad alone can also be called “a study in personal independence”
— drunks have a weird aversion to water despite the anti-hangover qualities it has upon the body. whenever the group mother-hen offers you a bottle of water, take it and pretend it’s tasteless wine. your head will thank you for this.
— one can never have too many books, pillows, or stuffed animals
— plan your homework accordingly. if you’re planning on going to medical school, you’ll want to devote no less than forty hours a week either in class or doing homework. if you’re an english major, reading the source material is optional unless you’re writing an essay on it. then read literary criticism online and copy people’s ideas but not their words. (that’s call plagiarism and you can get expelled for that)
— while we’re on that topic, write down the main points of a discussion so you can elaborate on those points in an essay
— roommate drama happens.
— be the better roommate — do the goddamn dishes
— always be conscious of potential employers checking out the online profiles of you and your online friends
— no one ever said you CAN’T fill your water bottle with just water. have some fun with that (especially if your water bottle is opaque)
— take advantage of family proximity, especially if you get free meals
— it’s always a good feeling when you get to a Saturday and realize you’ve eaten out the entire week and it was all on someone else’s bill
Discussion Question: What was your best college experience?