25 Things You Should Know Before Starting College

Some of these things I knew before college. Some of them I learned later. A couple I still haven’t really figured out. When it comes to college, you’ll know about as much when you get out as you did going in, but you become more comfortable with the fact you know nothing. In the meantime, here’s a couple things you might learn.

1. Always get the warranty or the insurance. Always. Even if you think you won’t need it (because you are never the kind of person who drops your cellphone or gets it wet), you will. Murphy’s Law sees all.

2. Ramen Noodles, while cheap, is incredibly high in sodium and cannot possibly take the place of nutrition in one’s diet. You know those Vitamin supplements your mom gave you? They’re probably not helping much, and your body maybe absorbs half of those nutrients. We Vitamin-loving Americans have the world’s most expensive urine.

3. You have the time to read books outside of school — everyone has the time for everything. It’s just a matter or how you use the free time you have. There’s no shame in watching the Real Housewives, but be honest with yourself.

4. Just do the dishes after you dirty them. Sure, you say you’re going to clean them later, but later usually means a week from now when you’re done with finals or that clustercuss of papers that are all due within three days of each other. By that time, your dishes are growing new things.

5. You can’t put two loads of laundry in those extra-large dryers. I know you should be able to and you’ll try way too hard to save that $1.50, determined to get the dryer to just shut up and take it this time. However, there’s no substitute for dry clothes.

6. If you are super hard up for cash, just hang dry your clothes. Your bathroom will look like a disaster for a day, but it’s a lot gentler on those shirts you don’t want to see destroyed by endless wash cycles. Turns out those Amish might know what they are doing after all.

7. When you buy from H&M or Forever 21, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason everything is 8 dollars. That’s about the number of days it will last. If you want quality for cheap, thrift it. It’s not just a catchy Macklemore song. Looking great on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing quality

8. Has your meal card run out? Join a bunch of student groups and find out who has the good food — or just food, in general. (When you’re hungry enough, all food is good food.) In college, there’s a direct correlation between amount of pizza offered and student activity. The clubs that want people to actually show up will cater to your hunger. Trust.

9. Dumpster diving is great for the planet and will save you a ton on food. It’s also gross and might kill you when you accidentally ingest the blood of Cthulhu. Have you ever seen microscopic scans of your sink? It’s horrifyingly infested with germs, much like every other surface in your house, and none of those things have rotting animals in them. Proceed diving with caution.

10. Coffee isn’t just caffeine. It’s a romance that will last you the rest of your life. When he doesn’t call, coffee will always be there for you. It will love you in a way no man ever will.

11. Cigarettes, while curbing your appetite, are not an adequate substitute for food. Hookups, while awesome, often liberating and not at all disempowering, will not make you feel less lonely. This is why God invented corgis.

12. It rarely ever works out with the guy you think it will, and that’s okay. As Zsa Zsa Gabor shows, the eighth time could be the charm. They wouldn’t call affection a crush if loving someone didn’t hurt.

13. You don’t have to wash your clothing each time you wear it. Did you sweat in it or spontaneously shit in it during a night of ill-fated binge drinking? Then why the fuck are you washing it. You’re an adult with a functional nose. You’ll know when it’s dirty.

14. Except for underwear. You should always wash your underwear, even if it’s just in the sink.

15. No television show you’ve ever seen will adequately prepare you for college, and I think Felicity just made it worse. No dorm in the history of man looks like that. No apartment is that spacious. My first apartment didn’t have crown molding or a built-in fireplace. It had built in cockroaches and plain old molding.

16. Hot professors make every class better.

17. Also, Rate Your Professor is a terrible way to select which classes you will be taking. An old prof of mine got a 4.7 because he assigned no work. We also learned absolutely nothing in ten weeks, except for how many dots are in the ceiling of that classroom. Need a recommendation or a referral? Ask old professors you love and trust. They know what’s up.

18. If you cheat on your test or buy a paper from another student, you probably will not get caught. Let’s be honest. Would these industries exist if the success rate weren’t extremely high? No. But do you want to be the kind of person who only learned how to let others do the work for you? George W. Bush skated through Yale with the Gentleman’s C, a designation that indicated his class status got him a pass through school. In life, it’s best to have as few things in common with Dubya as possible.

19. Coupons aren’t just filler sections for when the newspaper runs out of ad space. They are the greatest things known to man, especially if you see “Buy One Get One” free. I know we’re all about the YOLO right now, but personally, I’m a member of the BOGO generation.

20. You usually get one or two skip days per class per quarter. Don’t burn them off when you’re sick; save them for your Ferris Bueller whims. When you’re indisposed, go to class anyway, especially the boring ones, because you’re already in agony anyway. Now can three hours of “Introduction to Esoteric 14th Century Greek Mysticism for Water Nymph Studies Majors” make it any worse? (Note: If that class actually exists, I’d take it in a second.)

21. Watching New Girl while you do homework usually turns into just watching New Girl. Try listening to classical music instead. If Mozart can create his first symphony at eight, you can definitely finish that seven page paper.

22. Also, don’t start watching YouTube videos before writing a major paper. You’ll never get to that paper.

23. You need to take at least one class that’s in no way related to anything you are doing ever — not just because it’s a core requirement. Get outside of your box. That’s what this time is supposed to be about. Econ kids: Does your school have a Middle Eastern, Women and Gender or African and Black Diaspora Studies program? Go to there.

24. Never join a study group with your friends. You’ll feel awesome and just like The Breakfast Club — which is apt because like The Breakfast Club, you’ll sit around and do absolutely nothing.

25. The promise of an extension is not an invitation to not do the work; however, procrastination is a valid form of getting things done. Without the fear of God (and deadlines) in me, I’d never accomplish anything. TC mark

image – Wonderlane

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