It’s August so you know what that means. Summer days by the pool are being put down and being replaced by books and essays. That’s right, school is in session. This means everyone is moving on up. Sixth graders are now in middle school, eight graders are now in high school, and twelfth graders are entering the adult world. For some, this means going off to college. If you have no idea what to expect, that’s why I’m here. Just to give a little hindsight about what REALLY goes down in those university campus halls.
Now, what I’m going to say goes from my own experience for the most part but some stuff does apply to most students. Don’t let what I say discourage you from attending college if that’s something you really want to do. With that being said, before you even start college, make sure it IS something that you want to do. Don’t ever go to college because your family wants you to and you feel you need to impress them. Also, if you plan on going but don’t think you’re ready to go right after college…don’t. I wish I would’ve waited honestly. Don’t let anyone make you feel any kind of way just because you waited. Going straight into college for either of those reasons will make for a non-enjoyable time. It could even cause you to drop out all because you did something to please someone else and not yourself. I didn’t drop out, but I did spend years being miserable because I didn’t decide to wait instead.
So, it’s your first day of college and freedom. You’re about to have fun all semester and get lit and turn up 24/7! WRONG. Listen, I know there are some people who can party nonstop yet somehow still pass their classes. For the rest of us, that’s just not possible. Yea you’re free, but you’re also responsible for getting a shit ton of work done that professors are going to throw your way and if you’re a part of the masses that can’t party 24/7 and still pass, then I suggest taking a different route. You have to learn how to time manage more than ever. My uncle went back to college and he made it seem like you can’t have fun at all. I’m not going to say that. If that’s how you choose to do college and it works for you, then that’s your preference. You can have fun in college and still pass your classes. It’s the matter of if those parties are causing your grades to slip or not. Then, you need to do some life reevaluating.
This doesn’t apply to every high school student, but some don’t know what it’s like to hit a snooze button because their parents were the alarm (and it’s a little hard to hit snooze on your parents). Maybe you did have your alarm wake you up, but your parents were the ones who made sure you were up and out of the house in time. Well, not in college. You’re on your own buddy. You are in charge of getting to class on time or just going for that matter. Professors aren’t going to call your parents and tell them your attendance history. This may sound like a dream, and it can be, but lets discuss why it also can be an issue.
If you’re one who struggles on getting to class on time or not hitting your snooze button a million times, it could be fine. Just hurry up and get there, or if you’re a little too late, don’t go that day. But, depending on your professor, if you’re late then you might not be accepted into the classroom or you’ll be docked as absent regardless of if you’re in the class or not. If you get too many absences then you can be kicked out of the class. Some professors have a limit of how many unexcused absences those are before that happens. If you get kicked out then that’s money you just wasted on the class.
It’s typical to have your teachers provide you with the books you need for class. Well, in college this is not the case. You have to use your own money to get your books. Let me tell you, books are not the cheapest things in the world. What’s worse is professors will tell you that you need the book but barely have you use it. Now, you’ve spent money that you can’t get back. So, should you go ahead and buy the book or just wait until the very last second? That’s a decision you have to make on your own. Choose wisely.
Speaking of things you may be used to having handed to you, teachers would also hand you a syllabus. This also isn’t the case in college. Some professors are kind enough to hand out a syllabus, but others just expect you to print it out or they just keep it up online. This also goes with some papers as well. Again, varies by professor, but just be aware of having to use ink. If you’re able to print at school…DO IT. You’re paying for it anyway. Why use your own ink at home?
Remember all of that homework you were given in school and how much you dreaded it? Yea, well now you might wish you had all of those opportunities to help your grade. If you’re lucky, you might get professors that will give you a little work here and there, which ultimately means more points added to your grade. If you’re unfortunate, and you probably will be at some point, you’ll have a professor(s) that only gives you tests and that’s it. Some may not even give you any quizzes and the only grades you have to rely on are from the midterm and final. When it comes to professors like this, extra credit is CRUCIAL. If they have extra credit opportunities, take them. In fact, even if you’re doing good in class, take them anyway. A little extra credit never hurt anybody. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to do the extra credit. I repeat. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. You need to put your all into it especially if all you have is are tests to rely on and you’re not the best test taker (don’t worry I’m a terrible test taker myself).
The truth is, college is going to take a lot of dedication, studying, motivation, work, prayer (if you pray), tears, nightmares about not submitting a paper on time, etc. This isn’t a vacation away from your parents, this is a step into the world of responsibility and adulthood. College can either be the worst experience you’ve ever had or the best. It’s about your motive for going and how you choose to make the best of it. If this is something you want, don’t let this opportunity (or your money) go to waste.
I didn’t talk about everything that goes on in college because somethings I can’t relate to, but I hit the gist. Have you been to college? Do you have anything you’d add? Comment!