Friday, August 16, 2013

Free Advice Friday -- Advice for College Bound Students

    Many of my former students will be heading off to various Colleges and Universities during the next few weeks.  I feel that it is my duty as a former High School teacher and college professor to keep preparing these students even after they have graduated High School.  Therefore, I am going to dish out some advice from a former University to student to all of the new kids in our Universities.  Enjoy!!!

    Any class before 10 AM is Really Ridiculously Early And Nearly Impossible To Attend

    We all know the thought process when you were initially signing up for classes: “Well, I had to be in at school at 7:30 in high school, so 9 will be like sleeping in. I can get all my classes over by noon and have the entire afternoon off.” That would be true, except that high school didn’t usually include watching re-runs of Big Brother at 2:30 am while writing your blog and chatting with the hottie you met last week on Facebook.  There are a ton of distractions in College and they will get you, no matter how strong you think you are.   And instead of doing your work during your afternoons “off” you are more likely to pass out in a chair in the library while dreaming about your Economics T.A or that incredibly hot girl who sits in front of you in Stats 101.  You lose all concept of time in college, and getting to bed before 2 AM actually becomes a goal that will rarely be accomplished. Be smart; nothing before 11 and night classes are good because they are usually only once a week and you might actually be bored enough by then to attend them.  I had one 8 AM class in my 4 years and it did not go good.  All of my other classes started at 11 or later.  I would say 75% of my classes were in the afternoon.  Trust me on this one. 

    Take advantage of the Fact that you are a student:  Visit Your School's Gym

    There is a reason that there are so many hotties and hunks in College.   They know competition will be stiff in college and they want to stay in shape to look their best and have the greatest opportunity of hooking up.  You know that hot girl in your calculus class? The one with the amazing body that looks phenomenal in those girly track/sweat pants she is always wearing with your school name printed right across both butt?  Now, see that muscular dude who has all the charisma of an oscillating fan sitting next to her? Know why he’s there? Because he works out!  In high school you didn’t need to work out because you actually were at school walking around and off your couch for more than 3 hours a day. You enjoyed varsity sports, theatre; even marching band members got more daily exercise than you do now. The closest you now come to an athletic field is the walk across central campus, and the only acting you do is sneaking past your RA’s when it is 3 in the morning.  And what about your eating habits.  No good, well-rounded meals from mom now.  You have probably doubled your caloric intake and regularly make a meal out of chips, Peanut M&M’s, Twinkies, and a 6 pack. The Freshman 15 (The myth/fact that you will always gain 15 pounds as a freshman) has long passed you bye and you are now trying to prevent the Freshman 50. If you don’t want to return home in 5 months resembling a young John Goodman then I suggest taking a hike (hey, that burns calories too) to your school’s gym. Your scale, and the person who bunks below you, will thank me.

    Everything That Is In Your Room Is Community Property, Get Used To It

    You were the one who came in all prepared to outfit your college dorm room. You had your X-Box 360, a microwave, a mini-fridge, a kick-ass computer and the best 35 inch flat-screen TV you could get. By the end of the semester you can probably count on it that your microwave will be covered in sauce, cheese, and a healthy layer of mold. Your mini-fridge will be full of things you definitely did not remember buying, your computer will have a ton of websites in its history that you do not want your parents to find and your X-box will be out of commission.  Whatever you bring to/acquire at college becomes not only your property but the property of anyone that knows you. Books, IPods, blankets, tennis rackets, and especially DVD’s are going to be borrowed and undoubtedly broken, or in all likelihood disappear all together. Whatever you have that you worship and adore, such as your collection of SI Swimsuit issues, leave them at home!!!!  Do not bring anything that has sentimental or big monetary value with you to college.  If you return with half of the property you initially brought to school consider yourself fortunate. Also know that there are no boundaries really when it comes to the whole idea of college sharing. Booze, toilet paper, toothbrushes, you name it, are fair game if you are not using them at the time when someone you know has a pressing need. But don’t forget, everyone is borrowing/stealing your stuff, so feel free to shop for what you need in their rooms, and pick yourself up something nice.

    Laundry Has to be Done 

    Believe it or not my buddy's roommate made it an entire semester without doing a single load of laundry. Instead, he sprayed his clothes with some fabric softener after every use. If it stunk real bad, extra cologne.  If they got dirty, he would just throw it out and buy something new. Needless to say, people noticed. The sweet pungent mix of body odor and fabric softener is a smell that stings the nostrils and leaves a less than desirable impression upon the people you meet. He also probably spent way more on new clothes than he would have spent on washing and drying.  Laundry seems like a waste of time because it takes up a good couple hours when you could be doing something much more important (like playing Wii or trying to pick up chicks at the school cafeteria).   Those girls won't talk to ya if you are smelly...

    Finals Are Called Finals for a Very Good Reason

    In College, finals can make or break you.  In high school, finals were worth like 15% of your semester grade.  Bomb the final and you could still get an A or B.  Not in College.  Bomb a final and you are screwed.  They are your final chance to pull up that grade you’ve been slacking on all semester. Your final chance to avoid getting booted from your school.  And you’re final chance to avoid having your parents scream “What did I just spend 35,000 dollars on?” Use them wisely. No longer is it as easy as it was in high school, when finals consisted of cupcake questions on books and concepts you had covered to death in a class that was mandatory to attend. You may have a missed a class or two in college (or 12 or 13). Guess what? That doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for the material, there are no “make-up finals” and rarely the opportunity for extra credit that involves you making something out of poster board, pipe cleaners, and a googily eye or two. These things generally matter, and often make up 50% of your final grade; which is great for people who slacked, but terrible for so called “bad test takers.” No matter who you are, no matter how much you followed along in class, the pre-final all-nighter is generally a good idea. Just be careful not to shut your eyes for that quick second and wake up 7 hours later on your couch and realizing that your exam started 2 hours ago. You will be out of luck.  Don't even show up late.  I have had professors lock the door the second the final began.  I have even seen one professor allow a kid that was 30 minutes late to take the final, only to have the prof tear it up when she handed it in.  The girl was in tears.  Professors can do this in college, and they will.
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