As a senior in college, you have two pits you can ultimately throw yourself down. One of them: Graduate school; the unyielding nightmare of any undergrad that simply wants to pay $100K more in tuition costs but needs to take a five hour test, get over 1,000 hours of internships, and twenty reference letters to justify putting themselves in debt until they’re 40. Sounds pretty fun. Or the other: Try to find that job; the never-ending “internship” that you will most likely be forced into until you’re 30, and can then be seen for the genius you are. But our lives are not as easy as a rerun of “Suits”.
The glamour and safeness of college is ending. My friends that have moved on constantly tell me how fun college was, how hard life is, and how many mistakes they wish they never made. While I’m starting to agree, all I want is the chance to take everything I learned, in and out of the classroom, and apply it to my future. What you learn in college is much more than a grade, despite what your GPA says as it laughs at you. It’s about the moments you fell down, got an F, had a horrible professor, terrible roommates, all-nighters that backfired, and crappy cups of coffee. It’s all of those moments that, ultimately, should have torn you down… but didn’t.
In my four years, I’ve learned some key insight into how to survive roughly 20 credits, 2 jobs, and a (pathetic) social life. (I’m not adding sleep in that mix considering I’ve most likely consumed enough coffee to kill an elephant… and besides, let’s be practical. No one sleeps anymore).
Here we are, the not-so-practical-and-probably-won’t-help-you-list-on-college-survival:
1) Never stare a free coffee in the face.
2) Mismatched socks will save you a lot of time in the morning.
3) This is a not a runway, and yes I did wear this outfit three days ago.
4) Don’t forget batteries; calculators don’t run on will power.
5) Having three alarm clocks has saved my life. LITERALLY.
6) Your GPA doesn’t define you. ….sure helps though.
7) Drinking four cups of water before bed is a terrific natural alarm clock.
8) Being late to class because of laziness is not an excuse. Unless it was to pick up coffee, because come on.. let’s be practical here.
9) Flashcards. Flashcards. Flashcards. Flashcards. Flashcards.
10) We all have those subjects that we just. don’t. get. but don’t give up… otherwise, the class wins.
11) “Me time” is an extremely important part of mental health, don’t skip it. (Never underestimate the power of free time reading).
12) My personal survival tip: Cupcakes solve everything, even a really really really really bad day. Plus a Caprisun.
Okie dokie, as you can see a sense of humor can most likely save your college experience. (Don’t forget the sock tip though, that one is dead serious).
For all my nerds out there, my histology class (to which one of my bosses thinks is a made up class) is probably the best class I’ve taken to date. Being able to sit for hours and look at slides while listening to some music, plus working at my own pace, is it’s own little gift to a science major. I have always enjoyed labs like this because it allows you to experiment and explore on your own terms. If you are going to be taking any 400 level science classes in the foreseeable future, histology is the way to go!
So to end this obnoxious post, college isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s also for the vulnerable. Be open to new experiences, be your own person, and if you see a kid with a sign on his back in the library, DO NOT DISTURB HIM.