With Maddie graduating high school in a few days, I was thinking about what I should get her friends. I don’t have any extra money, so I can’t give them cash (what they all really want). Instead I complied a list of advice for these soon-to-be college freshmen.
Courtney’s Outstanding Advice for how to Survive College (and Excel!!!)
- No matter how prepared you think you are for college, no matter how great of a high school you attended, no matter how many community college classes you took, YOU ARE NOT PREPARED. Be ready to have your ass kicked the first year.
- Be prepared to study WAY more than you ever did in high school. Think of it this way: however much time you spent studying in high school to get an A grade will undoubtedly get you a C grade in college– if you’re lucky.
- When studying, turn off all devices (especially notifications on your computer). All that does is distract you. Don’t listen to music that you know the words to. Don’t study in groups unless you can stay focused and not wander off on social life tangents.
- Stay healthy. Get a good night’s sleep. Eat well. If you get sick in college, it’s like a rollercoaster of trying to get better. So, take your vitamins, wash your hands, and don’t even think of going into dorm showers without flip flops on.
- Try something new once a week. Step out of your comfort zone. Join a club! Take dance lessons!
- Learn how to balance partying with school. College will be the time of your life. I promise you this. And you should get out there and socialize. Go to parties, drink alcohol, smoke some pot. But stay away from any hard drugs. Do not get caught up in them. And know your limits. If you have a test the day after a raging party, you’re going to feel like shit and perform badly if you party too hard. Balance. That’s the key. And always, always, always use the buddy system.
- Get to know at least 10 people who are different from you—race, religion, ethnicity, interests, political sidings. You live in a world with 7.5 billion people. Do you best not to be blind to only people who reflect you and your values.
- Go to your professor’s office hours more than once. If confused, ask for help. Make sure they know your name. Trust me, it will go a long way when it comes down to final grades.
- Date a lot. Don’t just settle for one boy or girl. Get out there. Figure out what you like and don’t like in a partner. But also know that you control your body and what you want to do with it. Don’t ever do anything because someone else wants to. Do what you want to. You are the narrator of your own story. Not someone else. P.S. Always use protection.
- Grades matter, but you know what matters even more: intellectual curiosity. I don’t care if you hate a class with a passion, you can still learn something. If you get a C in a class, but you learned so much then that’s what matters—not the grade. If you get an A in a class but don’t remember shit, that’s a complete and total bummer. Learn as much as you can. Fill your brain. Don’t just memorize and then forget. No one will ever ask you once you graduate what your GPA was, but they will ask you intellectual questions, and you should be able to answer them.