I had my first day of class as a big bad Super Senior yesterday. I tried so desperately hard (maybe too hard) to make it an awesome day. Let’s just say the universe threw INSANE challenges at me. And I got a migraine on top of it. I was struggling. The one thing that really stood out to me yesterday was going to Peer Teach an Anatomy & Physiology class. It’s this opportunity that Temple has that if you do really well/have a good relationship with your professor, you can help the students conquer the material. A&P is a GIANT (read: there are 600 people in the class) lecture with students of all ages. Watching all of them furiously scribble down the difference between anatomy and physiology (good luck, guys), I realized that I have a lot to say about college.
* Make friends, but realize that your “group” is not the be all and end all. I was in love with all of my friends freshman year. It was a HUGE freaking group. I was so happy that I wasn’t alone. But it still felt a little like high school went drama went down, and Lord knows, it’s college, it’s going to go down. Just make sure to try and make friends everywhere you go . Chances are, you aren’t going to see a huge gaggle of juniors walking around together. You will all find your way, so don’t seclude yourself!
Yes, there’s a lanyard around my neck. No I didn’t wear it like that. Just say no to lanyard neck.
* If you’re in a high school relationship and you’re long/short/mid-distancing it, just break up with them. Ouch. That was harsh. But it’s going to save a lot of pain someday. I know there are high school sweethearts out there that will argue this until the cows come home. But that’s my opinion.
* Just say no to the dining plan. Unless you go to Virginia Tech and have the best food in the country, just say no. Get creative. Use that group kitchen. Your body will thank you. Every time I would come back to school from visiting home (read the sentiment above), I would get MAJOR stomach aches. Be kind to your stomach. Because your liver’s going to need someone strong.
Plus: can you bake cupcakes in aprons and sports bras in the dining hall? NO.
* I’m all for saying yes to things (except that freaking dining plan), but know that it’s okay to say no. I think 100% that you should never turn down a sporting event, a road trip, a trip into the city, etc. if you’re down with it. Go for the 90:10 rule here. That being said. Going out and getting completely messed up is just not my style. Sometimes I said yes hoping that I would have fun. I usually didn’t, unless there was dancing involved. Find your “partying style” and embrace it. I find house parties much better than crazy intense frat parties with people puking all over the place.
PJ Party at American. ‘Nough said.
* I know you’re busy, this is all very overwhelming, yadayadayada. Get a job as soon as you can. I’m not talking a “big boy” job here. I’m talking scooping wudder (for you non-Philadelphians, that’s “water”) ice at a Rita’s until 11 o’clock at night sort of job. Nothing teaches you how to prioritize like getting a chunk of your time taken away. And I know it’s fun to get spoon fed by your parents, but it’s AWESOME to support yourself. Even though right now I can see the horrified looks. Just get a job and pay for that junior to go get your alcohol by yourself.
* Accept the fact that you might hate your school. I chose Temple because they gave me a scholarship, I wanted to be in a city, and I didn’t have enough money to go anywhere else. I met amazing people there, but I’ve also met people that I want to shake and tell to grow up. Including some professors/administrators in my department. Definitely weigh the pros and cons here, but if you don’t like something…stand up for yourself. It took me a really long time to realize this, but my department is in for a world of hurt this year if I don’t like something.
Just because I hate it doesn’t mean I can’t embrace it.
* You had to know this was coming, but study abroad. Get away from the place you call your home. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Travel. Even if you don’t want to study abroad, take a semester off and just LEAVE. Do it. Maybe you’ll be happy you did it (probably), maybe you won’t (unlikely). But you’ll learn more about yourself in doing so than sitting in a classroom for four (ahem…five) years straight.
Is the Trevi Fountain on your quad? No? Good, go to your study abroad office NOW.
* Sort of related to that last point of taking time off. You go to college and they tell you, “Don’t be afraid to change your major! Learn about yourself! Try new things!” THEY WANT YOUR MONEY. Unless you make an inter-college major switch, you will have to take more classes. People have done it before without too much trouble. But if you really don’t know what you want to do (hello, Amanda at a younger age), take some time off. Unless you’re fine with taking 6 years of classwork in 5 years and staying a year after your freshman class graduates, really think about it. They don’t tell you this, but changing your major looks bad when you’re going for certain big, important scholarships. I hate the way this system is, so I would recommend discovering something you really want to do, even if you have to take time off. However, if you’re in a major you hate, screw everybody and change it. And then come talk to me. We can share some ice cream.
And that’s all she wrote for today! Keep in mind that this is coming from a bitter super senior that is not all head-over-heels in love with her college. Some people’s tips will be totally different from mine. But I’m a really, really big fan of my tips.
Do you have any college tips for those freshmen/students in general? I could have gone on for days! Share your insight!