When I first came to college I was clueless and had no idea what was going on. Some of the tips I give you others might argue that you do not need to follow these. Sure, you can get away without following these tips. However, if you do not follow these tips you will most likely not have the best grades and you will not be prepared for the real world. I mean that is the point of college is to prepare ourselves for the real world.

Go to Class

I honestly cannot stress the importance of this first rule enough. The professor might not take attendance or you might know everything about the class already. However, that is not important I hate to break it to you but in the real world, you have responsibilities. I do not know of any employers who want to hire someone who cannot show up to work every day. So, get used to going to class every day because in the real world it is not an option to just skip when you feel like it.

Pay Attention

Do not just show up to class but actually listen and pay attention to what the teacher is saying. There is a good chance that you will need to know this information for test and assignments. In the real world you have to pay attention in order to be a good employee, so start learning how to pay attention now.

Always Read the Syllabus

This is college and I hate to break it to you but you are no longer in high school. If you want to know when your assignments are due and when you have test you best believe you better read that syllabus. In the real world, people are not always just going to tell you things sometimes you actually have to do that for yourself.

Get Involved

College is not just about making the good grade but it is all about finding yourself. When you get involved in things clubs or extracurricular activities it helps you get to know yourself better. Also, when you go into the real world and start applying for jobs you need something that is going to set yourself apart. I hate to break it to you but just having a degree and good grades is not good enough.

Decide on a Degree

Find what you are truly passionate about if you are just doing it because it makes good money then that is not the degree for you. I know that money is important but so is happiness, so there is no point in wasting your life doing something you do not even like. It is ok if you do not find your passion right away and you can always change your major.

Get Plenty of Sleep

I know that college is fun and you want to go out and party and that is ok. However, you need sleep without sleep you cannot function. Also, it is not ok to pull all-nighters because cramming for a test is never good and you have to have sleep. For whatever reason it may be that you stayed up all night most likely you will either not make it to class or if you do you will be unable to pay attention. So, just get plenty of rest you can thank me later for this one.

Build New Relationships

College is all about making new relationships. It is important that you build relationships with not only your classmates but also your professors. In the real world, it is important to have good communication skills, so when you apply for jobs you can be personable. Also, college is hard and you are going to want people there to help support you and be a positive influence.

Try New Things

College is all about trying out new things which can sound a bit scary, but if you do not try new things you will not ever truly accomplish anything. Just be open to new ideas college is a diverse place, and so is the real world so start to learn and accept people for who they are. I am not saying you always have to agree with everyone but just be open to new ideas and always be respectful of others.

Time Management

In college, there is a lot of free time and you better use it wisely. Always take advantage of your free time and learn how to adapt and what works best for you. In the real world, this is important because the real world does not run on your time, so you better learn to manage your time wisely.

10. Fail

It is ok to fail that test that you studied so hard for. I know that it can be discouraging to fail something, but if you never fail you never learn. In the real world you are going to fail more than just test, so start learning how to handle failure because you are going to experience a lot of it. Take failure as a lesson learned and always get back up and keep pushing.

Just remember to always enjoy this chapter of life, but this is not the end it is only the beginning.

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.


I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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