Here is the rest of my list for the top 10 things college freshmen should know about college:
5. Go to College Activities! – College is fun and you only get to be an undergraduate once. I hate those people who think they are too mature and too grown to go to a pep rally, eat in the dining hall or participate in the war of the classes. We had a water gun fight back when I was in school, and when I look back it was one of the most fun, strategic, exciting things I have ever done, and yet so many people did not want to do it because they thought it was silly to get wet. So while I was laughing my ass off for hours they were chilling listening to music or having some dull conversation with their other “mature” friends. Look, if you are going to go to college, then act like a collegiate. That means dining hall food fights, AIM name impersonation, getting drunk on the alma mater and late night creeping!
4. Be Open to Anyone and Anything – In college, you will get a chance to meet a lot of people that you otherwise would never talk to in your life. Remember that weirdo from high school that freaked you out? Well, he got into college too. And since you and him are going to the same school, you probably have more in common than you ever imagined, and he probably has his head on straight, too. Then there’s the cheerleader who never liked you, or the jock who was too good to talk to you. All of these people not only show that you have something in common by both deciding to educate yourselves, but it all of them will significantly change and demonstrate the ability to more liberal and open than they were in high school. I have so many friends from college who are characters I would have never become friends with in high school. The thing about college is that you learn to like so many new things when you’re in school, and thus you start to have more in common with different types of people. It’s a great thing and I hope everyone who goes to college takes advantage of this phenomenon.
3. Eat off Your Parent’s Dime – This is money saving tip: eat at the dining hall! Yeah, it probably sucks, or at the very least, it gets extremely mundane and repetitive, but eating at the dining hall means the food is coming out your tuition and not your wallet. And even if you are paying your own way through school, you’ve already put up the money for your dining hall food, so you mine as well use it to the full extent. Besides, isn’t your money better served for drunken nights and nightclub admission fees anyway?
2. Don’t Mistake Spring Break – So many people do Spring break wrong, especially freshmen. First rule: take only your closest friends. Don’t take somebody you don’t know too well just because it makes the price more feasible. It’s not worth it and the trip won’t be as fun. So if one of your friends can’t come but you need a fifth, try to get the rest of your traveling party to chip in and have him pay you back later. It’s worth the investment. Second rule: plan ahead. Most freshmen aren’t aware, but you should buy your spring break package no later than January, and usually before the end of December. You will get the cheapest rates and will still be able to get the best packages if you pay for your package at this time. Final rule: go some where that is a lock to be fun! So many people want to get real creative with their trips and go to some exotic location in the Southern hemisphere or something. Truth is, those types of trips are better served for a summer vacation or for after school. You should always go to a traditional spring break location, because those cities will be geared towards college student and will therefore have those wonderful activities you see on television, such as; wet T-shirt contests, Girls Gone Wild, and drunken beach parties. So if people keep telling you that Miami, South Padre and Negril are overdone, tell them that there is a reason for that.
1. Take Classes You Enjoy, It’s the Best Way to Get into Grad School
– The thing that will follow you from college into your life the most is your education. And if in the end, you didn’t enjoy your education that is going to be quite sad. Taking classes that you have no interest in not only bores you, but it usually results in grades that aren’t too favorable or reflective of your capabilities. I know. I know. Everybody has to take mandatory classes, especially at liberal arts colleges, but a lot of people dive into majors that are required for a related field of work they want to do or are required for graduate school. Look, the best things to do to get the job you want or to get into graduate school, are to get good grades and to know about the subjects you studied in college. And to be able to do that, you have to like your classes, you have to be attentive and actually be interested in what the professor is saying. I was pre-med in college, and so I didn’t get to take classes that I truly like until my senior year, and I regret it, because my senior year classes were so much fun and I actually stayed awake in them, too! So if you’re contemplating taking a class that looks good on your transcript versus a class that you know you will love, go with the latter, and that semester, and your life, will be much more enjoyable!