High school was the same each and every day. Simply go to class for 8 hours a day, practice or club meetings, and then heading home to do daily chores. From the partiers to the nerds, our high school experiences are all very similar, almost to the point of being scary.
When considering the experiences we all have at college, the stories and memories vary widely from person to person. We miss having that similarity amongst us… and what better way to find those similarities than thinking of it in the form of our own ABC’s.
This is key to college success. Do not get me wrong, there are many people who can pass their classes and get that fancy piece of paper that we call a diploma without attending their classes. What one would have to ask them is, how much did they truly learn. By attending classes regularly, one truly learns the information and typically score higher in the class.
For every college student, alcohol always has an affect. Whether you drink our not, you will have friends who are the opposite. You may enjoy a drink with a friends, go to the bar, or be a designated driver. Whether you drink or not, make sure you enjoy your college experience how you want to, not how someone tells you to.
The thing that caught my full attention with Lindenwood was the beauty of its campus. From knowing the fastest route from one class to another or knowing which buildings have the comfy couches that are perfect for naps (Lindenwood’s very own Butler Library for example) you better make sure you not only know the campus but learn to love every part of it because it is your home for this part of your life.
Even though the campus may feel like home, the dorm room itself feels like a prison. We all know those roommates that don’t get along down the hall, the ones with their room always as a mess, or, like my freshman year, the one with every inch of the wall covered with a canvas or decoration. Learn to make your dorm room more like your getaway, not like a prison cell.
THIS IS THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOING TO COLLEGE! Your tuition, your classes, study sessions…all of them are for the purpose of obtaining an adequate education. If you don’t realize this yet, I promise you, your professors will remind you of it every time they tell you they won’t let you leave early because you paid for the full 50 minutes of class
We all have those friendships that last a lifetime from the day we were born, but the friends we make in college are some of the best we will ever have. In high school we were friends with those we had classes together which still may occur in college. Many of my own best friends at school are science majors similar to me, but others are marketing majors and computer information system majors. In college, you are not forced to see each other, you do it because you truly want to see them because your life wouldn’t be the same without them.
G: Greek Life
I, myself, am a member of Greek life and am in a sorority as are many college students. Greek life allows student the opportunity to meet people, gain experiences and participate on campus in ways other organizations can not. For those who are not members, the Greek life on campus still affect them by appearing at sporting events to cheer on the team or by bringing attention to their own chapter and hence more national attention to the university itself.
At some point in all of our lives, we have learned about the health triangle and how it involves three different parts: physical, social, and emotional/mental. This is important in all of our lives, not just college. During college though, you must maintain them all by staying active and eating right, joining clubs and organizations, and taking the time to do the things you truly enjoy.
No more parents, no more house rules, no more curfews. College grants a new thing called independence to each member. We learn to take care of ourselves, hold ourselves accountable, and to make our own rules. Mistakes ARE made, but they must be learned from . We do have a support system, but techniquely, we are all on our own once we enter the world of college.
College has expenses, expenses must be paid off with money, and money has to be made by working. Some students work enough over the summer so that they don’t have to work during the semester, others of us, myself included, have to work both summers and during the semester to pay for everything. Also, future employers want someone who has job experience, so even if you don’t need money, internships are definitely a must.
K: Keeping Notes
The approach that you used in high school to take notes… yea, I would suggest throwing it in the trash. Notes in college tend to be much better than any book. Whether it’s notecards (my preference), bullet point style, margin writing, highlighting, or any other way, your notes will need to be perfect. Before every test, you will basically act like they are the bible for college.
In college this is hard. You have the high school sweethearts that are still together, people who just want a quick one night stand and then leave you in the dust, or even ones who manipulate you so that you are the perfect backup plan when their significant other ends it all. Even with all of these types out there, love in college can be fun. You learn to truly search for a good person rather than the “popular jock” or “preppy cheerleader” like you did in high school. There are memorable dates and dates that you wish you wouldn’t remember. The one thing about love in college is that everyone keeps their heart open and no one ever knows what is going to happen.
Such a simple thing that people ask us about, but not easy to answer: ”What is your major? What degree do you want all this education to result in?” I personally have changed my major and considered changing it again. Never answer that question to easily. Ask anyone in college, some of us do love our major, but in reality, we have absolutely no idea what we plan to do with it. We don’t know future holds and have chosen a major to have some sort of goal or plan.
I love sleep. If I could lay around and sleep as much as I wanted, I probably would sleep at least 75% of the day away with the other 25% thinking about how I want to be asleep. That hits an extreme once the semester begins. There is always so much to do and so much going on that we all need a simple mental break, and what better way to do that than with a quick 30 minute nap?
From how you have your desk set up to your files on the computer or how you put together your notes, organization is important when it comes to excelling in college. Not only that, but you have to learn a new way to organize your thoughts even. Unlike what everyone says, you have to choose the best way to organize your life. No one knows how yours or my brain works.
Sorority events, tests, study groups, due dates, family events, holidays, breaks, projects, homework, sporting events…. So many things to remember. My planner held everything. It had my life scheduled out almost down to every second of every day. Color coated and highlighted, each event was represented with a different level of importance. The one thing I recommend to every student that asks what I couldn’t survive with at school is that everyone needs to invest in a good planner.
Q: Quiet Time
This is hard to come by in college. Whether it’s your roommates blaring their music in the dorm room, people walking around the library, random car horns, or phones ringing, there is no such thing as quiet anymore. Finding a quiet place to study is important. For me, I found that the baseball fields tended to be empty unless there was a game, so if it was nice outside, I took advantage of the open seats. Otherwise, the single person rooms or even group study rooms in the library are prime studying space.
Everything done in your life seems to just be in preparation for the next step. Elementary school prepares you for middle school which further prepares you for high school and then college. This includes all the experiences, jobs, and lessons you learn in college. Not only that, the people you meet and work for become references for the rest of your life. This helps to create your resume to help you further your life into a career field.
This is a big one in colleges! One of my favorite things are sports and they provide such a great mental break and stress reliever from the intensity of college courses. With going to Lindenwood University, I have learned to love the school and what better way to show my love for the university than by showing some school spirit at a home sporting event? Also, ladies, who doesn’t love baseball pants or just watching any attractive athletes?
The biggest things that you and I will both study for during college. Whether it is a reading examination for a world literature class, a test of your knowledge on organic mechanism, or a big test like the GRE or even MCAT, these are important. I have even experienced one class where it was only three grades for the class and those were two tests and the final examination. The worst thing that I have discovered about these is when they cover information from the book that was never discussed in the lecture hall. But I promise one thing, if you are like me, the feeling of acing a test can't be beaten!
For Lindenwood especially, there is a large percentage of international students who attend the university. There are many races, different genders, different personalities…but one overall goal. We are all there to attain a degree with our names on it. We work together in study groups, as lab partners, or even just friends during our study breaks to help one another get closer to graduation.
Many lose sight of this one in their first year or two. You, me, and everyone else has learned many morals and values throughout our childhood. That initial taste of freedom causes us to second guess a lot of things. Maybe you start missing church here and there, you break laws, you stop being honest with your family, or you start skipping class, to many those would be our values changing. Stay true to you during this time of your life and you won’t regret what you do.
This is my favorite! I love working out and I hope you all find a passion for it in college. That freshmen 15 is no joke, I promise you that. With a simple workout (and a good diet) every day or at least every other, you may find yourself getting healthier instead of gaining the weight. Also, it is one of the best stress relievers during your study breaks.
X: XL t-shirts
My desire to dress up every day for college disappeared about one month into my first semester. Baggy tshirts and leggings were a must when it came to my closet. The best part about it, no one judges it because just about everyone around campus will be wearing similar things!
“You only live once.” That phrase couldn’t be more true. College presents so many rare opportunities for people and you are only in college for a short period of time. Take every chance you get, jump at the free concerts, every opportunity you can to break out of your comfort zone, and any time that you get to try something new.
Z: Zero Sleep
Even with the random naps, there will be nights where your stress causes you to miss out on sleep. Other nights you will be studying and look up to find out that it's 3 a.m. and that your test is at 8 a.m. My hint of advice, learn to enjoy coffee but also try to avoid depriving your body of sleep. Your grades will thank you, trust me, mine did.