11 College Tips from a Senior
As a student entering his senior year, I thought I’d finally share some of the hard earned knowledge I learned. Some of this stuff is obvious; the sort of things you learn after Freshman year. Some of it’s trickier, though: and all of it’s worth hearing.
1: Fake I.D.’s do not work in Boston. Incoming Freshmen from out of state; don’t even bother. Especially if you’re a guy (girls in bars and clubs have a shot) you will get your I.D. snatched like that. I’ve been questioned, stopped, bothered…with my real, in-state I.D.
2: Buy Nothing at the Bookstore: Borrow, share, and barter your way to textbooks. Google it quickly; “used textbooks.” Congratulations, I saved you $150.
3: Dining Halls as Supplements: If you’re lucky enough to have some dining hall meals, and it’s limited, be smart. Don’t get empty, cheap carbs like bread or cereal that you’d have at home. Stock up on fresh vegetables and fruit, all the things you might be missing typically from your diet.
4: If It’s not worth it, it’s not worth it: No, don’t try so hard to make that relationship work. No, don’t put up with that girl who’se bad at returning texts. Think big, okay? Avoid any additional small stresses.
5: Boldness: I know some guys much bolder than myself, and they’re the one’s doing well. Ask out that girl, go on that road-trip, whatever. It’s college.
6: Earning money beats saving money: Get a little part time job if you can, or even some flat-fee type business. A man can only eat so much ramen before it drives him nuts, and the pride of a job well done (or even done at all) is more than worth it.
7: Meet With Professors: If they’re any sort of interesting or the class is any sort of hard, it’s a great way to not fail the class, plus hey, you might learn something.
8: Everyone has Skills: Use those skills and share them. I write, well, quickly, and often. I use that to help some friends of mine. They in turn have cars, are cooks, are computer nerds, are whatever else they are that can help you out. Use your skill and they’ll use theirs.
9: You Will Get Caught: Probably one of the most important tips: if you do illegal things, you will get caught. Now, I’m not telling you not to do illegal things, just do ones where getting caught isn’t world-ending. I’ve been caught drinking underage by campus cops; no big deal. Same with smoking weed (I live in Massachusetts. Woo!) But know: if you do any illegal thing with any sort of regularity, you’ll get caught once or twice. The trick, as I see it, is not to think you’re invincible and not to get all Breaking Bad on it.
10: Get off the internet: Maybe forever. Social media will never replace being social, and it’s the biggest time-suck around. Read a book. Write a book. Do something.
11: Follow Your Instincts: Ultimately, the one biggest thing about college is it’s easy to get caught up in the hype. Maybe some things have a certain reputation that you should or shouldn’t do, or you feel you have to pledge, or have to go to that party, or have to get straight A’s for some reason. Don’t. Be natural, be yourself, and do it with confidence, and don’t listen blindly to anything anyone or any online list has to say. Cool? Cool.