Be nice to everyone and try to make as many friends as possible. These are the people you never know when you will see again and could offer you a great opportunity down the road. Always keep as many doors open as possible.
2. Grades Don’t Really Matter (To Some Extent*)
If you spend your four precious years of college holed up in the library to get great grades, you’ll learn a lot but you’ll have missed the greatest lesson college can teach you: experience. College is more about finding yourself and learning about who you are and what you believe in than what you achieve on paper.
* Grades do matter if you plan to go to grad school, if you fail and therefore have to repeat courses or get kicked out of school. Get good enough grades to please the person who pays your tuition!
3. What They Really Look At On Your Résumé
When you’re interviewing for a coveted job position, they’re usually never going to turn you down because you didn’t have a 4.0 from a top college. Most places don’t even look at your GPA. What they’re going to look at is your experience. Get as many internships as possible to help you get work experience and learn what you like and what you don’t like before you’re out in the real world. This is your chance to make mistakes and go down the wrong paths without getting stuck there for life.
4. Avoid The Awkward Walk In
If you see a sock, a rubber band, a tie or anything obscure that usually doesn’t sit on a doorknob, STOP! Your roommate is having sex. Follow these three easy steps to avoid an unwanted peep show. Stop, listen and leave. If you hear groaning noises, you are sexiled—go find somewhere else to crash.
5. Make At Least One Friend In Each Class
There will always be those days you overslept, you’re sick (usually from the night before), or you’re just flat out playing hooky and you’ll miss a class. These are the times that a friend comes in handy. They can give you notes, sign in your name if they take attendance or fill you in on the material the professor talks about that’s not in your book. A classroom friend is your biggest secret weapon.
6. Know The Rules To Beer Pong
When you hear the words “girls blow, guys finger” don’t freak out. This is not a lewd sexual game. It just means if the ball is circling around in your beer filled cup, girls can blow into the cup and guys can scoop the ball out with their fingers in order to avoid drinking the beer. Read up on rules like these so you don’t look like an amateur.
7. Work Hard, Play Hard
Yes, you’ve seen the crazy college ragers that are portrayed in movies like Old School and Animal House, but in real life…they’re just as crazy. College isn’t all about partying, though. You’re paying to go here, so don’t let yourself skip too many classes or not take your studies seriously. But college isn’t all about schoolwork either. You have to balance both in order to get the most out of college. Set time aside to study so you can still find time to do the fun things later.
8. How To Take A Shot
DO NOT SMELL WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO INJEST. This is never a good idea. Just close your eyes, think it’s something that tastes good, and just throw it to the back of your throat. If you feel it coming back up a little, turn your head away from company and pretend to cough.
9. You’re Not Invincible
Just because you’re not living with your parents and you have all the freedom and independence you could want, doesn’t mean anything bad can’t happen. Even if you think you’re not that drunk, to other people you may look like an easy target to take advantage of. Never walk anywhere alone, always keep your phone on you, don’t put down your drink and watch who pours you one. And if you have a bad feeling about a situation, there’s probably a reason for it. Muggings, getting roofied, getting arrested and yes, even deaths are in the news headlines at a lot of college campuses. Always be aware of your surroundings and try to make good decisions.
10. Choose Classes Wisely
Save yourself a semester of hell and talk to upperclassmen about which classes to take and which professors to avoid. People who have already gone through the agony of choosing classes will be more than willing to help you. If you can’t avoid a hard class, spread out your hardest courses over the four years. It’s not better to get hard classes out of the way all at once because your GPA and stress level will suffer.
11. Get Some Sleep
Pulling all-nighters might seem like a good idea at the time but in order to retain information you have to get some sleep. Lots of school work and late night partying can cut into your zzzs but make sure you get at least six hours of beauty rest. The bags under your eyes will thank us later.
12. You Don’t Have To Read Everything
This is college, not high school. You won’t have a pop quiz on whether page 42 has an
exclamation point or a period on the third line. It depends on the teacher, but generally professors have read the required book and just lecture on what you need to know from it. If it’s a class that revolves around different literature, you’re out of luck. But if it’s a class that has a general textbook, chances are you don’t have to go in depth and you can just use it as reference tool.
13. Avoid The Freshman 15
It’s not just an urban legend. A lot of times people go to college and come back gaining weight. Your parents aren’t around anymore nagging you to come to the dinner table for a family meal, there aren’t set lunch times given during the day, and regular gym class or after school sports are no longer in your daily grind. Drunk munching also plays a significant factor. Do yourself a favor and eat three meals a day, especially breakfast to jumpstart your metabolism. If you know you’re one of those people who drunk snacks at late hours, get in at least a 30 minute workout. Alcohol has a lot of calories and dorm food isn’t always the healthiest option. Don’t starve yourself, but be aware of what you put in your body.
14. Know How To Do A Keg Stand
Find a buddy or two to hoist you upside down above the keg with your hands on the rim. While someone is holding your legs, have someone hold the spout to your lips. Breathe through your nose while you try to guzzle as much beer as possible. Please the crowd by going as long as you can stand. When you come right side up, take a little walk and deep breath. No one likes a spewer.
15. Protect Your Rep
Even though you’re starting fresh in college, it doesn’t take long to form your reputation. People gossip just as much and rumors still make their way around campus. Definitely experience hook ups and relationships but be careful about what kind of person people may label you as.
16. Survive The Walk Of Shame
Chances are in college you’ll spend the night at a boy’s frat house, dorm or apartment and leave the next morning in last night’s clothes or your guy’s oversized clothing. You’re very easy to spot and even if you don’t do anything with the guy people will assume you did. Most people get up later in college so slip out earlier in the morning to avoid that walk of shame.
17. Scheduling Is Important
Just because in high school you woke up every day at 8 a.m. doesn’t mean that waking up at 9 a.m. in college to go to class will be a piece of cake. Factor in the best nights to go out and the best time you’ll be to listen to hours of lectures the next day when building your schedule. Also, once you discover the beauty of not having class on Fridays, it’ll change your life.
18. Talk To Your Teacher
In a classroom of 300 or even a classroom of 15, a professor may teach five different sections and have no clue who you are. If you’re upset with a grade or if you just don’t understand one thing, go up to the teacher and talk to them. It’ll show them that you care about learning and it will give them a chance to remember you instead of just your name on an essay. If you want to go abroad or get a scholarship, you’ll need teacher recommendations and they can’t write it if they don’t know you. And even if they don’t change your grade, communicating with a teacher can only help you.
19. Wear A Condom
Just do it. You’ll thank us later.
20. LIVE IT UP!
These are the friends you’ll have for life and the experiences you’ll never want to leave. Take advantage of everything because it’s over before you know it. And take lots of pictures.
By Katie Kravit