10 Things To NEVER Do In College, EVER

10 Things To NEVER Do In College, EVER

Just a little advice for the start of a new semester.
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College — a new place with new people and a new you! You're ready to get a fresh start on a new campus; before you start, however, there are some social rules that you should know. These are suggestions that you are not required to follow, but they are highly recommended. Here are ten things you probably should not do from now on.

1. Raise your hand to use the restroom.

You're an adult now. You don't have to ask to use the restroom, go get a snack from the vending machine real quick, or go outside to take an important phone call. Just go and take care of whatever you feel is important.

2. Watch your favorite TV show... while sitting in the front row.

Going to lecture might be boring sometimes (and/or tiring, depending on when the class is). You would rather sign the attendance sheet, take out your laptop, and continue binge watching your favorite show. This is especially tempting when you have class in a big lecture hall with 200+ students; however, if you are in one of the front rows, other people can probably see your laptop screen (especially if you have a fairly large laptop). News flash: there are other people in the class trying to actually pay attention to what the professor is saying. It also defeats the purpose of going to lecture, so it's not doing you a favor either. So if you have to go to class and absolutely need to watch that last episode of "Game of Thrones", do your classmates a favor and sit in the back of the class.

3. Sit down on the bus and use the seat next to you for your backpack.

If you go to a big school like I do, we have a bus system to get from one part of the university to another. Do not be that jerk on a crowded bus who thinks their bag/backpack/whatever other stuff you have with you deserves a seat for itself. If you are on a crowded bus, place your bag on your lap, on the floor between your legs, or under your seat. You will get glares from people if you make a special seat for your [insert expensive bag here].

4. Avoid giving up your seat because you're already comfortable.

If you are able to stand on public transportation, let someone else who might have a heavier load take your seat. Included in this category would be elderly people, pregnant women, injured people, disabled people, someone holding multiple bags of groceries, and other people in situations. It's just the kind thing to do.

5. Leave your drink unattended.

There are horrible, scary people in this world. You might think that a lot cannot possibly happen in the two minutes you'll take in the bathroom or to find your friend in that crowded room, but it can. Someone could slip drugs (or something worse) in your drink while you're away. So I'm going to repeat it for those in the back of the room: NEVER LEAVE YOUR WATER/SODA/BEER/UMBRELLA COCKTAIL/ANY DRINK UNATTENDED.

6. Go into the shower without flip-flops.

Don't have your share of athlete’s foot. Get a pair of shower shoes for those communal showers typical of first-year residence halls; shower floors can and will be gross when you share them with around 30 other people on your floor.

7. Register for an 8 A.M. class.

Unless it is a class needed for graduation and you have no other way around it, this is absolutely a no. You may think that you started high school at 7:30 A.M. in at least a semi-functioning status, so you’ll be used to this. But you’ll quickly learn this is no longer the case and regret your decision immediately. Just don’t do it.

8. Avoid asking for help.

College is a tough transition for first-year students. It’s normal to not earn marks as high as you did in high school. However, don’t let it become a habit because your grades (and your GPA) do matter to employers. There are often resources like writing centers, tutoring, and study groups available for free through the university. This isn't limited to academics, as there are many resources through your college within your reach, such as career services, counseling centers, and health centers. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

9. Avoid office hours.

This goes along with #9. Professors hold office hours for a reason: so you can come in with your questions and seek help straight from the source. Going to office hours with prepared questions lets the professor know that you are serious about your performance in the class. Another benefit from going to office hours on a regular basis would be a higher possibility of them writing a letter of recommendation for you because they get to know you after a semester of struggle. If you have another class during your professor’s office hours, ask the professor if you can meet them at another time that works for both of you.

10. Go home every weekend (unless absolutely necessary).

I know homesickness can get to you when first starting college. The first semester can be tough, and you’ll be tempted to make a trip home. Unless you absolutely have to go back to your hometown, try not to. When you are home, you are missing out on chances to meet new people at school and do new things like attending football games, having Sunday brunch at the dining hall with your floormates, and getting involved in student organizations.

You will get the hang of things eventually. Good luck in the upcoming semester!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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