As more and more of my Internet friends are slowly getting into uni mode (I know, it’s still August!) I was thinking if I can leave anything in the Internet space of some tips for college freshmen. I’ve read some great articles on the topic in NY Times and The New Yorker, so I thought I could as well just give it a go, as a proud uni survivor.
- Just don’t care about opinion of people who do not care about you and it does not matter if they are your group mates or teachers. I know it is a harsh thing to say when it comes to college professors but trust me, there are people for which you will be a number and there are those who will see you as a person.
2. Remember about sleep. It doesn’t have to be full 8h dreamy time but a few hours then and later are doing magic. Don’t sleep during classes unless you can hide that fact really well.
3, If you can make any choice in your classes just use this opportunity. I was not that lucky and was granted with almost none choice during my university experience, but I know that each time I could chose e.g. what kind of exam do I want to take, it was the right thing to do. When it comes to choices, changing your mind is absolutely fine, even if you are already half way through with that damn essay (just remember to be consistent).
4. Speaking about essays, writing things is hard and editing them is harder, so if that’s something of a great importance find a proofreader. If you don’t even know what to write about, chose the topic that makes you angry and go with the flow. Things are much easier if you need to show the world how shitty something is and how to fix it.
5. Teachers want to hear discussions, even if they don’t seem like the type, I can almost guarantee they won’t stop you if you start. So, anytime you and your mates have a feeling like you would rather die than sit at those particular classes, start a discussion. It doesn’t have to be topic related, as long as you have any opinion of your own. Once we’ve spent like an hour with hour teacher talking on why homosexuals should or should not be allowed to adopt a baby in Poland and it was best class ever.
6. It’s ok to have doubts about your major’s choice, content of your books, things you learn, grades you get, your colleagues’ opinions etc. because that’s a proof of your being a mindful person.
7. Whatever you do, just don’t waste your time. Learn to use the time you are given and if you feel you can do more, do it. Take those online classes, read that David Foster Wallace’s book, join a sport team or a hobby group. Take additional language classes, start a podcast or a videoblog. I am sure that even if you decide to procrastinate after all, it won’t be a time wasted.
8. Summer is not the time for books. I know it’s hard to believe for some majors (hell yeah English) but trust me. Those textbooks won’t read itself, but they will not turn into ashes if left untouched for some time.
9. About summer, a very important thing my friend taught me is, after you’re done with exams you absolutely need to clear your head. Do it at once and later you can think about whatever you still need to do. Don’t leave yourself in exams innuendo for too long, because it’s too much for any head, as far as I know.
10. Take your time to enjoy what you’re doing. I know that sometimes “enjoy” sounds very exotic, especially if your learning plan is full of tests, books, 3AM studying and thing like that, but you will see that nothing gives you wings bigger than watching sunrise over your notes or reading a positive comment on that damn essay above which you were tearing apart for a month.