7:10: Alarm starts going off. Several slurry expletives uttered.
7:30: Two snoozes later, I stumble to my desk and hit the books. Why do you have to be so funny every night Jon Stewart? Why? Now I’m doing my Italian homework before class. More curses.
8:15: Get ready for class
8:50: Out the door!
9:00: First class of the day, Italian. It involves speaking in a foreign language to my peers. I cannot name one thing about this I like. Nevertheless, this is my 5thsemester of it.
11:00: Optional Lecture/nap. I call it optional because I have a good friend in the class who I know will have notes if I miss it. Also it’s Art History and across campus. I usually go but today I’ll take a nap in the Student Center before work (because I have no pride and I have a home, okay? It’s just too far to walk without cutting into nap time).
12:00 – 2:00: Work at my amazing library job I can’t believe I landed. I usually get to sit at the front desk and get paid to study, and it’s subsidized by Federal Work-Study so I get paid an ungodly sum for doing this. Score.
2:15: Back in the ole dorm room or scrounging for food and caffeine at this point for afternoon labs, precepts (graded group discussion), or reading/writing for the next day’s class.
If I don’t have any afternoon classes at this point it is extremely tempting to nap/ play DJ Hero/ call the bestie and piece together what happened Saturday night /watch court TV, etc., but 3 years into college and I’ve learned that riding the tide of activity from earlier in the day is how I get some productivity in-between classes and having a life.
Nighttime is an adventure waiting to happen. You’re surrounded by 1,000s of people your age with free time. Get to it!
Frat Bro’s Schedule
Well I know Wonderbread likes to start her day off at 7:10 am. But the rest of us normal college students like to start our day at the latest point possible. After 3 years of college, I have followed some golden rules when it comes to scheduling for classes.
- The golden rule! Never schedule a Friday class if at all possible!
- Try not to schedule a class before 11am. This has a couple positives.
- You have enough time to wake up before a test after studying all night and get that last couple hour cram session in.
- You don’t have to worry as much about the angel on your right shoulder telling you it’s a bad idea to go out during the week.
- For those of you trying to get a job make sure you clump your classes together so you have time to work after/before.
- Try and live as close to the building that the majority of your classes will be as possible. This is clutch for that extra 10 minutes of sleep!
- If you know you are going to have a really hard class. Try and give yourself an hour or so before it. This will give you time for homework and hopefully you wont want to shoot yourself after having already sat through lecture all day.
7:30 – dreaming about… wouldn’t you like to know
10:50- class is in ten minutes, jump out of bed throw on a hat and some clothes (for some reason they don’t like when you show up in your birthday suit)
11:00- walk in to class as it starts; I try to sit towards the front to help my already dwindling attention rate.
12:00- some other class
2:30 – last class
I have taken one or two night classes these aren’t bad depending on the teacher and your willingness to sit in a classroom for 2 and a half hours.
5:00 usually head into work to be a server. I get to hear a lot of people complain for the next 4 hours.
I’m reading Microeconomics
I’m sure it’s hard to imagine leaving your besties behind, but if you end up going to the same college as them, you most likely won’t make many new friends. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and talk to as many people as possible. The majority of freshman are just as nervous and excited as you, and looking for a new friend group as well! I only knew one person going into my freshman year of college, but ended up meeting my current best friend at a campus event for freshman the very first week of school. We lived in the same dorm that year and then went on to live together off-campus for the next 3 years. I consider myself lucky to have found such a great friend and someone who was so easy to live with (a rarity!). Also, I will stress the importance of going out-of-state if you can afford it. The more you can experience outside of your security bubble, the more well-rounded you will be.
2. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to study
I had no idea what I wanted to study until my sophomore year of college. It was overwhelming when I realize that all of my friends knew what they wanted to do immediately, but I quickly realized that many of them changed their minds in the time it took me to decide. If you don’t know what you want to do, talk to your advisor about your interests and passions and what you’re good at, and they’ll help you find the right fit (that’s what they’re there for). The first three or four semesters of college are usually just general university-required classes anyway, so you won’t be any further behind if you go in undeclared.
3. Live off-campus and meet people!
I highly encourage living off campus. Every year after my freshman year, I lived in various old houses with 4 or 5 girls and had an absolute blast. Making friends with your neighbors is important too! Some of my closest friends to this day are people I lived right next door to over the past few years. It’s so cool to have close friends next door so you can go hang out whenever you want, or party with them on the weekends without having to worry about driving anywhere! It also comes in handy if you ever need help with anything (for example if you suffer through an ice storm and run out of power, it’s nice to have guys next door who will help you make a fire, and to trade food with…in my experience).
4. Get off campus and explore the city you’re living in
Find out as much about this place as you can. Be sure to partake in all of the fun college stuff, but also get out of the bubble and explore the city. Another lesson I learned is that you should take weekend roadtrips and visit your friends at other schools as often as you can. You have more flexibility now than you will after graduation, so go visit your friends at other colleges (and enjoy getting to stay with them for free and not having to rent a hotel).
5. Make friends within your major
This is one of the most important tips because it’s probably the most beneficial. It is extremely important to make friends with people in your major so you can have someone to study with, someone to sit with in class, someone to work on projects with, and someone to take notes for you if you’re absent. It’s also just nice to have a friend who knows exactly what you’re going through in school and has the same things to stress about.
6. Study abroad if you get the chance
Coming from someone who never studied abroad, I really wish I had. Out of all my friends who studied abroad, every single one of them had a positive experience and met so many different people who they have remained friends with (a couple of them even fell in love). Just be sure to heavily research the place you’re going!
7. Get to know your professors
This one is cliche, but just as important. It’s difficult in the really big classes, but once you get into smaller classes it’s such a good feeling to know that your professor knows who you are. This will also come in handy when you need recommendations after graduation. Just remember, if they know who you are, they will also notice when you’re absent!
8. Don’t be afraid to change your mind
This is the last time in your educational career that you can study ANYTHING you want! Expand your knowledge! Change your major if you want to. Learn as much about as many different things as you can! Be the most well-rounded person you can be (it will pay off when looking for a job after graduation). Most importantly, tuition is steep so get your money’s worth!!
9. Take advantage of your breaks (and classes that don’t take attendance)
While I stress the importance of going to class and learning as much as possible, it’s also important to take advantage of your free time. Once you graduate and make your way into the corporate world, you will be waving goodbye to spring break and Christmas breaks and will only get “unpaid vacation time,” so travel and sleep-in when you can!!!
10. Work hard, play harder
I feel like this is probably the golden rule of college. Tom Petty sums it up best in one of my favorite quotes ever:
“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.”
Do any of you current/former college students have any more advice to include? What are some things you wish you would have known about college? Let us know in the comment section!
I’m reading Organic Chemistry