rcgspark is a college expert, and she's about to share the inside scoop on post-high school life!--Sparkitors
That’s right, I said it: I'm a Super Senior. I’ve attended three colleges over 5 years, and as I round the corner into the home stretch, I’ve got a few tips to share with anyone who's just getting started. Here are a few tips from someone who has learned how to college:
1. Scrap Hollywood. You’re probably smart enough to know this already, but in case you’re like me (no shame, there are plenty of us out there) and you bought into Hollywood's depiction of college, now is the time to scrap it completely. Why? Because as much as I love the American Pie series, Legally Blond, Van Wilder, Animal House, and pretty much every other movie set on a college campus, these films are setting you up for a fall. Camera panning scenes filled with hundreds of students sprawled out on sunny lawns in groups studying, cheering and playing hacky sack? Sure, this happens… for about a millisecond every semester. It’s not that you won’t have free time to do these things, it’s that everyone’s schedule is all over the place. What this means is that unless you’re that rare person that has over 200 buds (no, Facebook doesn’t count) chances are you’re going to have a hard time meeting up impromptu. If you want these fun times to happen, plan!
2. You will be alone. Remember the first day of high school when you nervously scanned the cafeteria, hoping and praying that your friends were given the same lunch schedule? It’s going to happen again. Except this time it will be in your college’s dining hall, and you will know no one. Don’t worry, though; every other freshman is in the same boat. Just smile and introduce yourself if you want to, or sit by yourself and read a book. Unlike in high school, sitting by yourself in college is not a social death signal. There are plenty of other opportunities to make friends; in fact, most of the socialization in college occurs outside the lunchroom—the place that in high school may have been the center of your social day. In college, you eat when you have to, and when you have time. Sometimes this means you won’t get a break for lunch until after 3 or before 10, when the dining halls are often vacant. In these situations, you’ll have no choice but to be alone. But remember, sitting alone does not mean you don't have any friends! Another possible point of aloneness is between classes in your dorm, or on long weekends when a lot of people go home, in which case I suggest you check out Alone in the Dorm? Here’s What to Do .
3. Responsibility rocks… and sucks. It rocks because nothing is more empowering than not having to ask to use the bathroom. It’s funny, I never thought about it in high school, but not having a say in when you can go is some serious suckage. In college you are responsible for yourself inside the classroom and out. Teachers won't track you down to turn in your late assignment, or embarrass you by addressing your poor grades in front of the class. They don’t care, and it’s awesome. That’s because you’ll be doing your work 100% for yourself and every good grade you get is all yours. The other side of this, of course, is that if you have a poor grade, it’s all yours also. But take these instances as learning experiences and try to turn it around for the next time. Check out It’s the Final(s) Countdown! for some tips.
Do you have any college tips you want to share with the newbies?
Related post: The Truth About College Life