The do’s and do not’s in college

By on May 21, 2015
opinion

By DALEN BARLOW–

 

Every freshman comes into college knowing that this will obviously be different from high school, but not knowing what to truly expect. College is a completely different world than high school, and it can be intimidating walking into the place where your future is basically decided. When I was a freshman, all I could think about was the fact that my future would be decided within the next few years of my life, and frankly that terrified me. So what should incoming students expect when they get to college?

Firstly, every single college experience will be different and personal. In reality, there is no way to let anyone know exactly what to expect in college, but there are things that freshman should know. Here are a few things that I’ve learned and I feel as if deserve sharing.

Do think about what you want to do with your life. College is a big deal. It’s the place where people can achieve great things or graduate achieving nothing. Thinking about your future is a great idea to keep in the back of your mind. Don’t expect to sit down and decide exactly what you want to do with your life within your first few semesters. Chances are things may change; the best advice for me was to sit down and think about the things that I liked to do most. Think about the thinks you get the most joy out of, and try to focus your education around those specific things. You’d be amazed at the number of strange classes that will appeal to you.

Do take classes that you wouldn’t normally take. The great thing about college is that it’s a place where you can experiment with your likes and interest as a person. If you need to fill in that last spot for your schedule, choose a class that seems odd or different to you. If you get there and the class wasn’t what you expected, you can always drop it with no problem. But as mentioned, keep in mind there’s always a chance that you may discover a new hidden interest.

Do not be afraid to talk to your professors. This is beyond important. The ability to communicate with your professors is one of the most important assets you have here in college. Professors are there to help you and give you suggestions, so don’t hesitate to drop by their office during office hours or to schedule an appointment. You can always learn a lot from talking to a professor. They’ve gone through the same process and understand that it’s not easy. Don’t be afraid to take their advice and run with it. Some of the best bonds and networking that can come from college is between students and professors.

Do not stress about everything in college. The absolute worst thing you can do is constantly worry about everything. College is a stressful place, but it’s not always the most important thing. If you get a B or C in a class, don’t stress about it. There’s still plenty of time to change your GPA, you’re not graduating tomorrow. College is still a place to experience life, meet new people, and do things you’ve never done before. Don’t let the stress of classes, papers, and tests get in the way of all that. Try to find a healthy balance between classes and enjoying yourself, and you’ll definitely end up thanking yourself in the end.

Do not expect classes to be as easy as they were in high school. One of the biggest misconceptions is that the same leniency that was given to you in high school will be extended through college. The professors at universities are very busy and typically pretty stressed. They’re there to help, but they’re not there to give you a grade. Be prepared to work for the grades you receive in college. For the most part, professors grade fairly according to the work that you do.

Do not listen to upperclassmen that say, “You never have to go to that class!” This is a big mistake. Given, there are some lectures that you can probably miss a few times and still be fine. But trust me, once you’re two weeks behind on notes and trying to catch up before the next exam, those few extra hours of free time or sleep seem silly. Classes are held for a reason, and the best way to learn the content is directly from the professor. Always try to stay in the habit of going to class. Just remember it will makes things so much easier in the big scheme of things.

About Nick Amon

Nick Amon is the Opinion Editor for The Louisville Cardinal, all views and opinions are of his own. If you have an opinion of your own that you'd like to see in The Cardinal, email him at namon@louisvillecardinal.com

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