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Post Reply Things you wish you had known before starting college
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23 / M / U.S.A.
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Posted 11/23/17 , edited 11/23/17
Well I still need to start college...
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21 / M / HTX
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Posted 11/23/17 , edited 11/24/17
I didn't know that there was an option to register online and to register for summer courses until the beginning of this year. I would have graduated this semester if I "binged" on my basic courses. I wasted so much time and money on those.

Also, I don't even want to know how much debt I will be in after I graduate because I already expect it.
anfex 
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28 / M
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Posted 11/23/17 , edited 11/24/17
Work hard play hard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dbEhBKGOtY

That may sound silly but in my opinion is a valid point. I think that when we go to college, it is really important that we study hard and learn everything we can because that knowledge is probably gonna be an influence on our future success in life. Additionally, it is really important that we enjoy those years when we are young because that happens only once in life and no one wants to get older and be full of regrets for things that one didn't do. Be careful though, don't go too crazy ;).
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70 / M / Columbia, MO
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Posted 11/24/17 , edited 11/25/17
Hindsight: cut classes more often than I did. Military conscription prevented me from dropping out (1965-1970, Vietnam era) of US college attendance entirely. I was always on the road traveling to places about to abandon streetcar lines, passenger train service so I could photograph their existence. College holidays were always during winter when daylight hours were short, weather was too damn cold, dreary (Pittsburgh, PA in December where they had a large collection of PCC cars in operation branching out all over the city). What few holidays existed in Spring coincided with operational curfews to enhance track maintenance or whatever.

Hindsight: not photographing the Fishbowl buses more than I did. Preferred the GM TDH-4501 series coaches account 1940's styling over green goblin stare glare of lighting within the 60's glitzy American diner exterior styling the Fishbowls, aka TDH 5301. Yuck.

Didn't really take college seriously until 2nd time through reinventing myself 12 years later.
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31 / M / U.S.
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Posted 11/25/17 , edited 11/26/17
1. Lay out the things you might want to do career-wise, figure out how feasible they actually are, and make a realistic plan. For example, don't take courses toward a degree in political science thinking you'll be a major politician in your country because that just doesn't make sense. Learning is an end in and of itself, but you still need to be able to get a job at the end of the day with whatever qualifications you get. As a general rule, if someone asks what your plans are and you give an answer that you feel is fake or unrealistic, it's time for some thinking.

2. Get some work experience and do an internship or two before you graduate. Figure out if what you're planning on doing is really going to work, and be flexible enough to change course if things don't work out.

3. Become very familiar with the rules and procedures for your university so you can handle unexpected situations.

4. However much studying you think you need to do, you probably actually need to be doing more.

5. Do have fun and work on building social skills, but never lose sight of the fact that you are in school for the sake of your future. Going to class everyday is like having a job. Nobody will be watching you closely to make sure you do your work and apply yourself, so you need to dig deep and find the motivation to stay on track.
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22 / M / US
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Posted 11/26/17 , edited 11/27/17

EarthLight22 wrote:

1. Lay out the things you might want to do career-wise, figure out how feasible they actually are, and make a realistic plan. For example, don't take courses toward a degree in political science thinking you'll be a major politician in your country because that just doesn't make sense. Learning is an end in and of itself, but you still need to be able to get a job at the end of the day with whatever qualifications you get. As a general rule, if someone asks what your plans are and you give an answer that you feel is fake or unrealistic, it's time for some thinking.

2. Get some work experience and do an internship or two before you graduate. Figure out if what you're planning on doing is really going to work, and be flexible enough to change course if things don't work out.

3. Become very familiar with the rules and procedures for your university so you can handle unexpected situations.

4. However much studying you think you need to do, you probably actually need to be doing more.

5. Do have fun and work on building social skills, but never lose sight of the fact that you are in school for the sake of your future. Going to class everyday is like having a job. Nobody will be watching you closely to make sure you do your work and apply yourself, so you need to dig deep and find the motivation to stay on track.


To iterate

1. Definitely. High schools don't do a very good job explaining this part when this is the part they really need to focus on. It's not just what do I want to study, but what I can I do with it. Also, technical schools are a great option if your just looking for a job.

2. This aids number one. I've done two internships and work on campus as a tutor. Examining those will help determine exactly what and, more importantly, where I would like to work.

3. Eh, no comment. My universities pretty chill if things don't work out exactly to the letter

4. Ditto

5. Double ditto. It's actually a problem I run into a lot, but that's me. Do as I say, not as I do.
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36 / M / PEI, Canada
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Posted 11/29/17 , edited 11/29/17
I've never been a part of the college/university life described there. Took a nine month trade course then apprenticed for the next four years to get my license.

The best I can say, getting out of high school I had no idea where I was going in life. It has all been learn as I go.
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24 / M / Planet Earth
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Posted 11/30/17 , edited 11/30/17
College students are actually quite busy people. Time management skills are key to surviving college. You gotta learn how to balance homework, jobs, personal life, and especially studying. Studying will take up more time than you think.

Sure you'll have the opportunity to have fun now and then, but the students you see in movies and TV who have endless partying and free time is more made-up Hollywood stuff than reality. Excessive partying and slacking off will lead you to failure.
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21 / F / SoFlo
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Posted 12/1/17 , edited 12/1/17
First of all, should have taken ton of DE classes in high school to get those college credits. Could have saved a bunch of time and money yet instead i chose to go the easy way. Even though I went the easy way I didn't even get good grades in high school, I had a C average. Ugh lazy teenage me how I would come to regret it all.

Calendars are your friend. Write down EVERYTHING you need to do on that calendar because you'll forget. Study a little every day then review few days before the test, don't just cram 1 or 2 days before. Participate more in class so your professors know you and talk to them often so they love you. Gotta butter them up for those recommendation letters to grad school. Socialize more, relax more. College is about learning and getting good grades but there's no reason to miss out on the rest of the college experience, you won't get the chance for it again. Do your homework as soon as possible and stop being salty about everything and just enjoy the stage of life you're in haha.
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29 / F / Oklahoma
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Posted 12/1/17 , edited 12/2/17
Everything I wish I had known is personal and not actually related to college/university life in of itself. I can't separate my college years from that and can not see how I would have lived my college years normally because... well, the very first semester of college everything got super messed up in my life.

Sure, I changed my focus from Music Education to Musicology, which is a pretty big deal. But... I can't say I would have had to have made that decision if my life had gone differently. I can't say either way.
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22 / M / US
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Posted 12/1/17 , edited 12/1/17

Bunnilah wrote:

Do your homework as soon as possible and stop being salty about everything and just enjoy the stage of life you're in haha.


But being salty is like at least 25% of my life right now. And I'm doing well, getting my stuff done, etc.
Then again, I do play league.
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21 / F / SoFlo
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Posted 12/1/17 , edited 12/2/17

zero356 wrote:


Bunnilah wrote:

Do your homework as soon as possible and stop being salty about everything and just enjoy the stage of life you're in haha.


But being salty is like at least 25% of my life right now. And I'm doing well, getting my stuff done, etc.
Then again, I do play league.


Haha I guess I meant it more as life type of advice rather than just college. Being less salty generally makes life more enjoyable and less stressful. League could have something to do with it lol.
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22 / M / US
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Posted 12/1/17 , edited 12/2/17

Bunnilah wrote:


zero356 wrote:


Bunnilah wrote:

Do your homework as soon as possible and stop being salty about everything and just enjoy the stage of life you're in haha.


But being salty is like at least 25% of my life right now. And I'm doing well, getting my stuff done, etc.
Then again, I do play league.


Haha I guess I meant it more as life type of advice rather than just college. Being less salty generally makes life more enjoyable and less stressful. League could have something to do with it lol.


While true, I also find that being pissed off is great motivation. It's about the balance.
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21 / F / The Cat Empire
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Posted 12/2/17 , edited 12/3/17
Save money, get a job early,

don't take unnecessary classes, maybe take summer classes at a community college to transfer!
scye27 
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33 / F / US
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Posted 12/3/17 , edited 12/3/17
- I wish I would've saved my money and not spent it on parties, clubs, etc. Though I had a dorm and a junk car, I wasted a lot of money. One could say, "well you have a lot of good memories". No, no I don't. They are not good memories of the ones that I actually remember...Not all bad, but as a whole, it was negative.

- Look at the degree you are wanting and ask yourself if that will be needed in 5 years. If another recession hits, will the good/service you would provide still be something that people will need? I never thought that, and a year after graduation while in the degree field, I got laid off due to the recession in 2008. I now don't use the degree, and still pay student loans.

- Find friends that want to be around you even when you are sober. Too many will be your "friend", but when there's no party, they suddenly aren't around.

- If you can stay with family or have friends rent a place together, that would be better. It's a tossup whether the roommate(s) are decent people. You can look up endless roommate from hell stories.

- Have your own car and charge people gas money if they want more than just a quick ride. You can easily be taken advantage of by people that refuse to be responsible, and will act like gas just comes out of thin air. Tell them up front that you can take them to Point B 5 minutes away, but you'd need gas money for Point C because it's an hour away.

- Have a job, even if it's part-time. It will be hard, but it helps to realize that money doesn't grow on trees.

- Don't take classes that are useless. They may be "fun", but unless you can't take any other class to get the credits needed for the term, it will be a waste of time.
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