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I went back to my undergrad college campus (Winona State) after three years and it was super weird. We passed the beach volleyball section and I told my friend I remember being a freshman and feeling so not “in college” and not “college like;” I felt weird, young, and small. But then I remember all the things I did, wish I did and didn’t do–the didn’t are never regrets they were lessons. And if you are going to college for the first time, or in your third year here’s a check list of things and reminders of what to do in college.
CHECK LIST FOR COLLEGE
- Get out of your bubble: expand yourself, this is the very first time where you don’t know anyone and you are living on your own-it’s exciting and scary. Just be willing to try and meet people, don’t be afraid. I think when I look back I was so stuck in my own worries and being “too hyper” and not wanting to be something that I wasn’t willing to just do things. It wasn’t until my 2nd year that I broke out of that.
- Do things with your floor mates: Definitely live on campus your first year, don’t think about moving out even if you can. I think the best thing about my first year was my floor. We would go to dinner together, we would sit in the hallway together, I would watch TV shows in my neighbours’ rooms. Sleep in the common room together one night. We would study together, we would go to class together or walk in the same direction especially if we saw each other waiting for the bus. Take advantage of living in a dorm!
- Roommate: This is my “advice”. I had two freshman roommates; the first one wanted me to change in her closet and the 2nd one stole my clothes. The check list is to really just get along with your roommate. You are put into a room with a total stranger and maybe for the first time in your life you may have to just be able to live with each other. If you can not get along, go to your RA; it’s what they’re there for. Having a roommate will make you learn the importance of communication instead of being passive aggressive about issues.
- Take notes, study, and find those reliable sources: I think the biggest thing about college is that you are coming out of a world you know, having parents telling you what to do and a familiar high school, to a ‘whole new world’ and part of that is learning to be a college student. This might sound a bit weird but really spend time on your note taking, studying. My friend said she really grew and became more open from college, and that not only had to do with the experience of being around so many different things but also the education part. I learned so much in my classes. I never thought I’d learn about the relationship of “Spiderman, God, and Moby Dick.”
- Go to a house party: I am not telling you to drink! I’m saying go to a crappy house, meet people, go into the party basement have the plumbing burst and be smart–Don’t be stupid! You really have to see things first hand to know, experience and learn that house parties aren’t glamorous at all.
- Go to class: College isn’t only about the game and fun things you are also there to get an education. Skipping class, not doing the assignment is on you. The quote that stuck with me is “you’re paying for it not me”. The best example I can give to you for not skipping class is my Energy class, he gave you the whole problem and how to answer them right there, leaving blanks and where to go and get that number to put there, and telling you what answer he wanted to have for an answer. . And there was a kid I met that never went to class, so he missed the homework. The professor said if you miss class you better come with a good excuse or have a good friend. That part I hated, but still how easy is that, go to class, you get the answers! Who would have thunk it!
- Make friends with the “lunch lady”: I lived on west campus during my 1st and 2nd year and I knew all the staff people that worked in the cafeteria and I loved it! The lady who swiped the cards became my friend during our hour-long talks during breakfast. I went to her with tons of problems and stories; she pointed me in the right direction; she even got me a guys number. I got the best pancakes from the cook, and when the night cafe was open I got to sit with the guys and swipe cards. I even got free chicken tenders.
- Join clubs: The one thing I wish I did more of was join more clubs or in Ireland they are called societies. I do think there wasn’t really much to pick from though. There were a lot of related to majors, and they felt clicky sometimes. I wish that the UCC societies had been at WSU; something like the Moltey Magazine would have been SO COOL and a GREAT opportunity. There was a literary journal at WSU but it was a course and it wasn’t going to fit in my schedule.
- Study abroad: Make time to study abroad. I think the best time I had in my four years was at UL (well top 5 & it is number 1). It is an opportunity to meet new people who will become lifelong friends.
- Date: Definitely date in college. When I was in college Tinder and Snap Chat were popular and as a result dating was not the thing to do. People would just meet up and suddenly they were in a relationship. College might not be the place where you meet the “one”, but it might be. To find out, date!
- Definitely do weird things in the library: I’m not talking about the Prince and Me moment, I’m talking about wearing a onesie into the library or maybe lay under the table. And it doesn’t have to be the library. One night my friend and I danced to a One Direction song all the way to the cafeteria. We had a night of “what Kole can fit in.”
- Go to the games at least once: I am not a homecoming football fan, but I went once and I saw. I went to a lot of basketball games with friends that was fun!
- Make connection with your professors: They are there to help you and near the end they can be a great resource to really help you even when you are out of college. Go to their office hours; they will tell you when they are on the syllabus, it’;-there is no excuse. Get to know your professors; like find out if they have a cat or a kid. I mean by the time you’re in your last year you might be drinking with them in a bar. WEIRD!
- Don’t declare your major right away: After learning about how Ireland guides you into what major you should be doing I think we are really lucky that we are able to switch into a new major. I mean you may go to college thinking math but then you really like art. I didn’t declare my major until my 2nd year, I knew I wanted to do English but I wanted to figure it out. I do wish I took more graphic design classes or did more mass communication classes; but my school wasn’t a liberal arts college so the focus was a bit different.
College is the first real chapter when you are figuring yourself out so allow yourself to do it. Make friends, get out of your comfort zone, really get yourself involved, don’t be afraid, and definitely keep at your studies! I am not your mother but realize that college is the balance between having fun and getting an education, so do it! This wasn’t supposed to be “tips” for college, but advice for things to do while in college and consider things that you may not have thought of doing. Like I didn’t join a club until my 2nd year of college, I mean I put my name down but it took a year to go.
I’m definitely going to a style school post closer to September, but I did share some Outfit ideas without going school shopping on FB page. If you want tips about college like studying, buying books, dealing with roommates, or making friends in your courses, like this post & if I get 6 likes I will know I should do it!