The Stages Of College Leadership
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Student Life

The Stages Of College Leadership


It’s your first day on campus as a college freshman, and you have a pretty good idea of what’s in store for you -- there’s an abundance of drinking, partying, clubs and sporting events all at your fingertips. You’re eager to experience the new and exciting opportunities that await you outside those plainly colored dormitory walls. But as an eighteen year old fresh out of high school with those expectations of what the college experience should be like, it’s easy to forget about why you’re actually at that glorious institution of yours. You’ll hopefully break out of that awkward, naive freshman stage and will eventually develop as a (somewhat) functioning young adult with a career in your future.   

Stage 1: Freshmeat

In this stage, students tend to focus on making new friends, trying their best not to walk into the wrong classrooms and making those tough decisions on whether or not they can get away with wearing that dirty shirt one more day. More than likely Burnett’s will be your go to drink, gracing you with some of your first nasty hangovers.

You’ve probably had much experience in the “winging it” department on most tests and homework in high school, so you assume college level courses won’t be too bad. The first midterm test is a huge wake up call, but you aren’t convinced that office hours is an actual thing that people do.

Stage 2: Purgatory

Not-being-a-freshman tends to cause a feeling as if you are the wisest of the wise. You’re familiar with the campus now, making you confident in your strides to classes instead of having your nose down in the campus map. But don’t get too excited, sophomores. You’re still not old enough to get into the bars -- you’ve entered college purgatory.

You’re most likely leaning toward a career path and are taking more core classes for your major. You’ve learned that professors and TAs can be a huge help for studying for that midterm, so you take advantage of emailing, office hours and study guides.

Stage 3: Oh My God, I’m Getting Old

Well, you did it. You’ve made it to your third year of college and can finally hold a beer in your hand without looking over your shoulder for cops. You stock up on better alcohol, cringing at the sight of any flavor of Burnett’s with war-like flashbacks from several parties back in the day. 

You’ll visit your adviser more regularly, and he or she will stress the need for an internship over the summer while you pray to God that you’ll be able to graduate on time as you look over your required courses. You browse for internships, realizing that many require a GPA over a 3.0. Anxiety starts to set in, and you’ll probably be living at the library instead of going out four days a week.

Stage 4: For The Win

You can’t believe senior year is here already, and it’s so bittersweet. This stage can be very different for everyone. Some may have jobs lined up, some may be taking a fifth year, and some still may not be totally sure with what career path they want in life. But, if you’re graduating on time, one thing’s for sure -- after four years of countless papers, projects and all nighters spent in the library, walking down that aisle to retrieve your prestigious degree will feel like the biggest relief and accomplishment thus far in life. Now it’s onto the real world -- which means waking up before noon and stocking up your kitchen with more than just Ramen Noodles and Easy Mac.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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