Weekly Blog September 3rd, 2017: Allen’s Guide to College

Hello Internet!

I’m back after a fantastic weekend. Honestly this week has just been amazing. All the views, likes, and comments has just made my entire week. You guys are seriously the best. I’ve seen a huge influx of views and feedback this past week and after such a dreadful and problematic month, I’m happy to see that people are actually flocking to the website instead of running away from it. If this is your first time here and you don’t know what happened, my laptop decided to die right after we celebrated 100 published pieces here on the website and I spent the entire month trying to get it back up and running. I ended up buying a new laptop which has allowed me to pick up the pace on writing pieces and getting us back on our regular schedule. The big thing is that I don’t have to keep on talking about how my laptop is broken and how messed up the schedule is. That’s a big headache that neither of us have to worry about now.

So here we are with our first proper Weekly Blog since the “soft reboot” of the website and I thought I’d pass on some wisdom to the younger people out there. There’s no way for me to know what my demographic is out there but I’m going to assume some of you out there are heading off to college. Maybe it is your Freshman year or your Senior year. Either way I want to pass on some knowledge to you based on my college experience and maybe it will help you as you return to college or prepare to go in the future. Again, this is based on my college experience which may be super similar or radically different from yours. Also, this advice will be mostly directed at Freshmen or people who are new to college, so if others may be familiar with this kind of stuff. Hopefully it will help you no matter what.

My first bit of advice is to Get Involved and Attend Things. This is kind of two points, but they are related so I decided to group them together. The first thing you need to do is find some stuff to get involved in. Major colleges have tons and tons and tons of clubs and organizations for all types of people. If you love chess, or skateboarding, or art, or computer programing, or politics, or architecture, or reading, or horseback riding, or improv comedy, or whatever, I’m sure you can find a club of people who love the same things as you. My college had a policy that if you couldn’t find the club or organization you wanted to be a part of, you could create your own club by finding an advisor and a few members interested in your club. Smaller colleges might not have as many clubs, but there should be plenty of opportunities to form some kind of group (official or unofficial) that likes the same things that you like. The other thing that you should do when you’re in college is attend things. Go to Improv Shows, or Musicals, or Barbeques, or whatever. Attend things! You’ll never know what kinds of things you might enjoy and if you can get a group of friends to go with you, that’s even better. Another plus is that a lot of events will be accompanied by free food or free t-shirts or something free. Groups and companies love to give out free stuff at events as a way to advertise and you should take advantage of that stuff. Don’t be afraid to hang out with people you might not normally hang out with and go on adventures. I made it a point to always say “Yes” to my roommates when they asked if I wanted to go get dinner with them or go see their Ukulele Concert or go get late night donuts across campus. You never know what trips may become lasting memories and you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun.

The second thing is that You Should Be Friendly To Everyone But Don’t Be Upset if the People You Meet in College Don’t Become Lifelong Friends. That’s kind of a long one, so let me break it down a little bit. In College you are going to meet a lot of people who are your age and may have similar interests to you. Between orientation and roommates, you may meet between 10 to 20 people before even stepping foot in a classroom. You may get along with these people or you may not, and either way it’s ok. Talking from personal experience, I have two stories I want to share with you. The first is that I met this guy during my orientation and we were seated next to each other when we were making our schedule for the first semester. Now since we were both Freshmen, we had to take a lot of the same GenEds despite having different majors. Well we both agreed we would have Spanish together since it would be nice to have at least one person we kind of knew in the class. Well the only way to make it work was that we had to take Spanish as a 8AM class. That sounded horrible, but I decided to do it so I would have this guy in my class. Well fast forward to the first 8AM Spanish class I have, and this guy is nowhere to be seen. He might have dropped out or switched classes or whatever. Either way I never saw the guy again, I don’t remember his name, and I had to take a 8AM Spanish class for the rest of the semester.

The other story I want to tell you is about College roommates. In the dorm I stayed in throughout my college years, was set up as four rooms with one common room in a suite that held 10 people. So day 1 of my freshmen year, I met 9 new people that I would end up living with for almost a year. I didn’t have a problem with any of them, but we just didn’t mesh that well. We all had different interests and majors and different class schedules. All of that led to us not spending a ton of time together and we didn’t really become the best of friends. My next year as a Sophomore, I roomed with a few of the same people mixed with some fresh, new faces. We got along as a group way better and our friendship was much stronger. I’m still friends with most of those guys. Basically sometimes you meet people who are going to be friends and sometimes they will just be acquaintances or roommates. Either way, it’s ok. That’s life. Not everyone is going to be your best friend. A little thing I’ll thrown on the end here is that you should be friendly to everyone in college. You’ll never know if someone in your class is going to become a friend or not and sometimes the people you know and the networks you create can lead to awesome opportunities and maybe a career path in the future so keep that in mind. Networking is really important when it comes to life after college and college is the perfect place to cultivate those relationships.

The third thing I want to say about college is that You Need to Take Care of Yourself. Now this comes with many, many parts. I’ll start with saying that there is going to be a lot of new things being thrown at you. You have classes and homework, you have a social life and getting to know your roommates, you have the organizations and clubs you want to be a part of, you have the parties or events you want to attend, and many, many other things that will soak up your time. All of these things can overwhelm you and often times, your personal health (either physical or mental) will suffer. We’ve all heard of the Freshman fifteen which is a phenomenon where College Freshmen will put on 15 lbs during the first year at college. This can be due to poor diet, lack of exercise, an increase of partying and drinking alcohol, an increase in stress, and many other factors. It is important to try to stay healthy and develop healthy habits in college. Eating healthy food, exercising, showering, and getting plenty of sleep will help you stay healthy. Also try to become more organized and plan for big projects of papers on the horizon. I met a lot of students who were good under pressure and got things done at the last minute when it was absolutely necessary. I also met a lot of students who thought they were good under pressure which had stressful nights and ended up doing really bad on big projects or important assignments. When I went off to college, I forced myself to be more organized and clean up after myself more. I wasn’t super messy in high school, but there were plenty of times when I would forget assignments or end up procrastinating until the last minute. I didn’t want to do that in college, so I forced myself to be more on top of things. I would recommend that you try to eat at the same times each day and get into a good sleep pattern. A regular schedule can help you cope with things like stress and unpredictability that is present when first going to college.

There are a lot of new experiences heading your way and it is easy to feel overwhelmed, but I hope that this advice helps you with that. The last thing I’ll say is that you should try to take advantage of any student groups or organizations that are oriented towards helping College Freshmen. Usually colleges will have groups that help students with new stresses and anxieties that arise during your Freshman year of college. Sometimes students deal with anxiety, stress, depression, and homesickness and that is a totally normal thing. I suffered from a lot of that kind of stuff my Freshman year. I’m hear to tell you that it does get better and there’s no shame in reaching out to these groups on campus. That’s what they are there for.

So that’s all I want to say about college for now. If you are going to college, I hope that you have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself. Just call your mother every now and then. She worries about you. If you enjoyed this piece about College, feel free to give it a like. Also leave some College advice down in the comments if you have anything to add. I also ask you to spend some time on the website. If you like my Weekly Blogs, there are plenty of them on here and if you don’t, then check out some of the Creative Writing pieces that are on the website.

Thank you all for your support and I hope you have a wonderful week!


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