Some Friendly College Advice

            Now that I am done with college, which took the better part of a decade, I tend to
look back on it and wonder how things would be different now if someone had
taken the time to tell me what to expect and what was really out there in the
“real world”. I’m not complaining about where I am, because I have a lot going
for me that I didn’t expect would be there when I fucked up and got kicked out
for bad grades halfway through my sophomore year. Yet, I would have appreciated
a little friendly advice from someone who experienced the side of college that
I went through, just for the sake of making me a little bit wiser to the
knowledge that all of our actions have consequences. It’s true that the
universe always works things out in the end, but having some control over where
it is taking you is always a nice feeling.

            My first advice is to all the high school juniors/seniors out there who are
applying to schools and figuring out where they want to go. GO AWAY FROM HOME.  I never really thought about where I wanted to go to college and just assumed that I would be going to the University I grew up next to, which I did. First of all, if you live at home in
college it will always feel like you are on the outside looking in. Your
friends will always talk about the dorms, girls/guys, and the wild nights they
are having, (going home to you parents house late at night just feels weird).
If you are fortunate enough to live in the dorms at your local university, it
will always be a bit of a different experience being able to go home/ being
called home, at anytime. College should be a great reason to see a different
part of the country and grow on your own, without the parents just a short
drive away.

            So now you are a Freshman, regardless of whether or not you went away, live in the
dorms or at home, this is the most important year of your college career.
People will argue otherwise I’m sure but whatever. The main thing here is GOING
TO CLASS! The myth entering college is that all that matters is tests and
papers. BULLSHIT. All that really matters is attendance and busy work. If you
do every little bit of homework and attend your class, your teacher will
definitely notice that you were one of the 20 people in a 300 person class that
actually attended and if your grade isn’t quite what you wanted it to be, they
will probably help you out. Get good grades your freshman year, it will give
you a strong starting GPA and set the tone for your work ethic the rest of
college. As far as the partying goes, GET SCHMACKED. Try your best to not be a
tool or try to be like everybody else, stand out and be original because that
girl or guy you want to attract is not going to remember your face (names are a
lost cause) if you are wearing the same tank and same haircut as every other
Frat star. Go Greek if you want to but there is nothing wrong with joining
sophomore year, all your friends already in the house will be “looking” after
the pledges and will just be stoked your finally joining. If Greek isn’t for
you then play a sport, because it is basically the same thing as Greek except
you’re an athlete and chicks dig that.

            Ok, you’ve made it through Freshman year and now you the big bad Sophomore who knows what’s up. You got good grades and took classes that fill up GE
requirements regardless of major. If you didn’t get good grades you are
probably on Academic Probation and are about to get kicked out if you don’t get
it together. This is where I went wrong. Take a semester off from the party life
and get your shit together. You don’t want to spend the next year at a JC
trying to reapply for school and end up watching all your friends graduate a
year or two before you do, it just sucks. Now if you didn’t mess up or it is
spring and you’re a GDI and are feeling like something is missing, join a house
for obvious reasons. More importantly, start figuring out what your major will
be or what you should change it too. My advice is Engineering, Athletic
Training, Business or Finance. I know these all sound boring and hard but once
you get out of college and looking for jobs, you’re really going to wish you
had an engineering degree. Why? It pays a ridiculous amount of money right out
of college and will make job searching much easier, because apparently that is
all any company wants, engineers. The other majors I mentioned are good too
because they give well-rounded teaching in today’s economy. I know this section
sounds lame but you will thank me later. Suck it up and take the harder classes
because as good as it feels to be a baller on daddy’s card, it feels that much
better after college when it is on your card. It is the same feeling you have
when you look back on High School and think the popularity doesn’t mean shit
now, because that is what it will feel like after graduation. But by all means,
continue to get buck wild and have the time of your life, because college
doesn’t have to be the 4 (‘cough’ 7) best years of your life but they should be
at least 4 of the best 10. Enjoy your first year in you “new” off campus house
and tailgate as hard as you can.

            Junior year is finally here and your almost 21, life sucks, you feel old but your not,
you really want to go to bar but you can’t. Take a second to calm down and
enjoy being a Junior. You’re not quite having to stress too much about
graduating and your finally comfortable with your college life, so embrace the
last year of not feeling semi awkward hitting on freshman. This is your chance
to really enjoy the house party scene before it is almost gone, and be the cool
kid standing above the rest of the party looking out at all the youngins,
remembering when that used to be you. Pass on your knowledge of the secret
spots on campus or the best places to eat, because most people look up to the
juniors, because lets face it, the seniors got the hell out of there and are
learning that while you used to gripe about throwing 5 or 10 bucks on a party
to drink as much as you wanted to, you barely get two beers for 10 bucks at the
bar and there might even be a 5 dollar cover. So enjoy this year the most,
still worry about your grades because it is important to get the best grades
possible especially if you’re an Engineer, again, be an Engineer, you will
learn all about opportunity cost and what not and the payout is HUGE compared
to the work you have to put in during school.

            Summer between Junior and Senior year….Get an internship, forget making money, this is way more important and you parents might hook you up with some sweet talking on the money front.

            You are finally a Senior, you’re 21 and will finally learn the value of a dollar.
Bars are expensive as shit and you will always be down to throw 20/bring a 30
rack to a party even if it’s just to get it started, because lets face it,
still way cheaper than a night out on the town. Take this year to finish strong
with your classes and start looking a jobs and internships so you have a plan
after college. The real world is going to come much quicker than you think and
you don’t want to move back home with your parents (for too long). Take some
time to walk around campus, visit spots you never knew about, tell you crush
what is up, attend some random sporting events and take it all in. College goes
by much faster that you think and you will wish you could never leave. You will
want to leave because it is time, but you will always be drawn back for various
reasons so it is never too early to reminisce.

             5thyear…it is basically a
given at most colleges nowadays so go ahead and repeat all advice for Junior
year but as a 21 year old, and besides, graduating in 4 is like leaving the
party early. Fuck That!!

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