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Thread: College life

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default College life

    So, being 'Murican and a high schooler with some pretty decent scores in high school life and standardized testing, I'm going through the generic college applications process. I'm pretty sure I'll get in somewhere, so I wanted to know from people who know better: what do I expect in the enrollment and moving-to-college process? Any tips? Any ideas as to what I should take and what I should buy in preparation?

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    Default Re: College life

    I just moved to college this year, and here's some advice that I read, accompanied by some of my own.
    1. Buy lots of socks and underwear. Chances are, you won't be doing laundry all that often.
    2. Buy a printer. Your school may offer free printing at the library or it might not, but having your own is just incredibly useful.
    3. Get to know your school's study rooms, because it's often easier to quit procrastinating and force yourself to work in a foreign space outside your dorm room.

    If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.
    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Because stormin' through the forest, movin' rocks, bashin' doors and killin' monsters is true D&D.

    Leave that social and political **** to Game of Thrones and the Five Rings.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Understood, sounds reasonable too. If I'm living a few hours from home, how much stuff should I carry of my own? Few packing boxes worth or will a suitcase or two do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    Understood, sounds reasonable too. If I'm living a few hours from home, how much stuff should I carry of my own? Few packing boxes worth or will a suitcase or two do?
    A suitcase or two will definitely do it, especially if you buy some stuff once you're there.
    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Because stormin' through the forest, movin' rocks, bashin' doors and killin' monsters is true D&D.

    Leave that social and political **** to Game of Thrones and the Five Rings.
    Playing as the Gwitna Coalition in Empires! 4- A Community World Building Game that's always recruiting.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    So, being 'Murican and a high schooler with some pretty decent scores in high school life and standardized testing, I'm going through the generic college applications process. I'm pretty sure I'll get in somewhere, so I wanted to know from people who know better: what do I expect in the enrollment and moving-to-college process? Any tips? Any ideas as to what I should take and what I should buy in preparation?
    In my opinion, if your a person who likes to go out and do things, spend the first part of the semester getting a feel for what your workload is going to be like before comitting to too manh social activities. I personally have a problem with the "Welcome Week" done at my University, as I feel like it gives the wrong impressions to fresh from home students.

    Also, try and establish work groups in courses. Ideally, this is a group of classmates that share multiple courses with you. This can give you an easy time to establish a good group for any group projects, as well as for asistance on assignments.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    So, being 'Murican and a high schooler with some pretty decent scores in high school life and standardized testing, I'm going through the generic college applications process. I'm pretty sure I'll get in somewhere, so I wanted to know from people who know better: what do I expect in the enrollment and moving-to-college process? Any tips? Any ideas as to what I should take and what I should buy in preparation?
    It depends on where you'll be headed as well as if you'll be staying in a dorm, residence, etc.

    Hope you know how to cook stuff other than ramen and know how to do your own laundry.
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    Another thing- Since you're on this forum, you probably enjoy playing tabletop RPGs. A good way to find a group is to sort of mention the fact that you play in casual conversation. If people don't react, then they don't know anything about it, but fairly often they will mention that they play or know of a group that does.
    Quote Originally Posted by mephnick View Post
    Because stormin' through the forest, movin' rocks, bashin' doors and killin' monsters is true D&D.

    Leave that social and political **** to Game of Thrones and the Five Rings.
    Playing as the Gwitna Coalition in Empires! 4- A Community World Building Game that's always recruiting.

    Avatar by Gengy

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikemical View Post
    It depends on where you'll be headed as well as if you'll be staying in a dorm, residence, etc.

    Hope you know how to cook stuff other than ramen and know how to do your own laundry.
    Dorm, 100%. Love my parents but relative freedom is nice to see.

    I've taken a bunch of cooking classes in high school and know the basics of cooking some stuff, but what kind of stuff should I be considering as my staple? If it helps, the school I'm most likely to go is in the Wisconsin area
    Quote Originally Posted by Potato_Priest View Post
    Another thing- Since you're on this forum, you probably enjoy playing tabletop RPGs. A good way to find a group is to sort of mention the fact that you play in casual conversation. If people don't react, then they don't know anything about it, but fairly often they will mention that they play or know of a group that does.
    Nah, I'm a jock, I come here to bully you nerds.
    /s

    Thanks for the advice! I'm not sure what kind of clubs the school has for it, so I think I'll have to go with what you've suggested to find my share of tabletop gaming friends.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    So, being 'Murican and a high schooler with some pretty decent scores in high school life and standardized testing, I'm going through the generic college applications process. I'm pretty sure I'll get in somewhere, so I wanted to know from people who know better: what do I expect in the enrollment and moving-to-college process? Any tips? Any ideas as to what I should take and what I should buy in preparation?
    You will save upwards of $30,000 if you take two years at community college first, and your classes will be better because the class size is smaller.
    Now if everyone could please "Sig" something along the lines of "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)", I think that would be good progress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Also, try and establish work groups in courses. Ideally, this is a group of classmates that share multiple courses with you. This can give you an easy time to establish a good group for any group projects, as well as for asistance on assignments.
    If the course structure allows for it, this is very important. It makes your life much better. It's also a way to be informed about how things actually function, which rights you have, whom you should contact if teachers or offices aren't doing their job...

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    Default Re: College life

    I sent this as a PM to another user on here, and I don't think they would mind if I shared, since nothing is unique to them.

    Always get to class early. If you're ever late, the temptation to skip is much stronger, and that can build on itself very easily.

    On the first day, that goes double; you get to pick your seat, which most people just stay in the rest of the semester. Sitting up front has a lot of advantages. You're more recognizable to the professor, which helps if you need their help for anything. Also, it makes you realize that you're more recognizable, and you'll subconsciously pay more attention. Also, nobody's in your way, and you can see the boards perfectly. Lastly, when class is over, if you have any questions for the professor, you'll almost always not have to wait on other students who do as well.

    Only if you're able to handle it, do as many morning classes as you can. While everyone else is sleeping in, you're getting your classes done. While everyone else is at classes, you're getting your studying done. When the studious people are studying, you can help them and get bonus studying done or help out others that need it and make better friends and stronger connections. Conversely, when the non-studious people are partying, you have all your stuff done already, and can party. It's college, have fun with it.

    The fancier the school, the more you want to make friends with the people who do the best in class. See if they have a study group, or if they're willing to help if you're struggling. It never hurts to have friends in high places, and that increases your odds of it. Don't discount the value of networking.

    Everyone will tell you to do the work, for some classes every hour of lecture needs 3 hours of study, etc etc. What they don't tell you is that, similar to how magic and advanced technology are indistinguishable, so are natural inclination and hard work. If you don't feel like you are good at a subject, spend more time on it. If you excel at something, don't just blow it off because of that.

    For the love of god, don't ever cheat. Academia takes that more seriously than you can imagine, and it's not worth the risk. BUT! If you can, game the system. Take every advantage you can get. For instance, let's say you need a Calculus and Pre-Cal class as requirements for your major, and you don't care about electives. Let's say your uni offers Pre-Cal Algebra, Pre-Cal Algebra with Trig, and Trig. All will help you with Calculus, and if you take all three (even though you only need the Pre-Cal with Trig), you'll basically be going over mostly the same information in three classes, which makes them all easier, and gives you three times the A's that only taking one would give you, without significantly increasing your study load.

    Ignore people who say to take electives or other classes to help round you out, especially if you're thinking about doing grad school. They don't look to see if you took classes to round you out. They look at your GPA. Given how much your degree is gonna cost, classes that count for nothing but hours are better used to help knock your grade up then to learn the very basics about something you'll forget in a year anyway.

    This may sound silly, but totally take Ballroom Dancing if they offer it. You'll get to meet new people better than in a Pre-Cal class, for instance, and later on in life, if you ever want to try to impress a date, you know ballroom dancing, and that's kind of awesome.

    Oh, one more thing. Get into the fanciest school you can and ace all your classes, so you can hook up your good silver dragon friend with a job sometime if ever in need.
    I'M A DADDY!

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: College life

    Studying wise:
    Don't cram for midterms/finals, or at least make sure to keep exercising, eating and sleeping. You won't get any benefit to studying for 12 hours straight, sleeping for 2 and then going to take a test, you're much better off getting a good night's sleep and a few hours of studying. Sleep deprivation has similar effects on the brain/cognition to intoxication, if you wouldn't show up for a test drunk, don't show up sleep deprived either.

    Study groups can be good, but if they have the wrong people in them, they won't be productive.

    Get stuff started early if you have larger blocks of time between assignment and due date.

    Many of my math and computer science classes had recommended problem sets that were never collected (basically homework that was never due), be sure to do these, they help you learn the material and often are very closely related to what shows up on tests.

    Social wise:
    Check out events hosted by the different clubs on campus, if it's a good group of people, stick with the club/group/team/whatever, if it isn't, don't be afraid to walk away from it.

    Peer pressure stops when you say yes.

    Peer pressure stops when you're out of earshot/communication with a group.

    One of the previous two is much healthier than the other, you can figure out which.

    Medical wise:
    Google medical amnesty laws for your area, I went to University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and grew up in MN, so I don't know exactly how WI has the laws set up, but take people to the hospital if they need it! There should be some degree of legal protection for intoxicated minors/illegal substances if you are taking them to the ER. Note that I'm not a legal scholar of any sort and I believe board rules prohibit me from giving legal advice beyond saying you should look up the medical amnesty laws. They are really good to know. (I've helped bring people to the hospital from parties before, be the person helping take them there, not the semi-conscious idiot getting taken there.)

    Drink/smoke/inject/other responsibly if you do it at all. (Again, you don't have to do any of these.)

    I am not advocating breaking any laws, but if you choose to do so, do it safely.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: College life

    Okay, I'm a limey, but here's my uni advice:
    -Make sure you're competent at cooking. Not just 'knows the basics', but enough to buy whatever's cheap and cook it. A tin of tomatoes, some pasta, and fresh vegetables is cheap and filling*.
    -Make sure you have an alarm that can get you up. Then wake up at the very least half an hour before your first lecture, ideally at the same time every day. Work out how much time it takes to get to your lecture, of you live on campus give yourself five more minutes travel time, otherwise take the less of double or an extra half hour at minimum.
    -Parties are fine. A party every day is not. Know your limits, don't stay out too late, and don't do anything stupid when you're drunk (that's legal when you're just going to uni in America, right?).
    -With regards to drinking, if you do so moderation is key. Blah blah, I won't lecture you but of someone seems to be having problems help them.
    -Check out your chaplaincy, some are really religious and some just attempt to provide students with a place to chill out (I was the most religious regular at mine by my this year).
    -It is not funny to set the fire alarm off. Especially at three in the morning. Especially during exam time. Especially of it's in the middle of winter. Especially if somebody set the body alarm off at two o'clock.
    -Hide your clean cutlery in your room.
    -Keep your pans washed, is the one way I set off the fire alarm.
    -Everybody wants microwaves, but what's more useful is an electric kettle. With a decent power supply they boil Easter quickly, great for when you need to fill a thermos for your 9 o'clock lecture in a hurry.
    -Most halls (I think dorms are the American equivalent) ban playing music out loud late at night. Most do not ban vacuuming your room at seven o'clock in the morning. If you hear the latter somebody's probably done the former.
    -Set aside one afternoon or weekend a week. This is where you'll do all your housework tasks. I used the following order when in halls: put washing on, dust surfaces, clean desk, hoover floor, move washing into tumble drier, clean bathroom, mop bathroom, empty bin, put washing away. You may not have a bathroom you're responsible for and may be responsible for your kitchen area, make you're own list.
    -On that note, lists! Every day when you wake up (or the night before) make a list of what you need to do today, add to it and cross items off during the day as required. This will vastly increase your productivity.
    -When studying take breaks. This is hard, try not to break a state of flow but don't let boredom make you take them every five minutes.
    -If you are going to be watching videos in your room, entertainment, educational, or especially woman with extra chromosome, get headphones.
    -Eating an entire jar of picked beyond sounds like a good idea, and it is. The following are not: drinking an entire bottle of vodka in one sitting before going to the club, putting wheelie bins on cars, jumping in lakes or ponds, inviting sexist speakers to society events, buying rockets to events just so you can walk out when Katie Hopkins appears, chatting to the cure French girl. These all happened during my time at university, although I only personally did the last (there's even a couple of news stories around about the Hall emptying when Katie Hopkins appeared).




    * I realise that ingredients can be relatively more expensive in some pasta of America, I could probably get three or four portions for £10, and I have to east double ones. I tended to go for a bit more and only get two portions, but it was still cheaper than the canteen.
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    Default Re: College life

    I went to college for two years, the first year in which scholarships paid my way, the second the college (whose name I legally can't disclose) "paid" me to attend, provided I continued to play a certain sport. This meant that the second year I didn't have to study at all, so 1)I partied a lot 2) I was able to take a step back and really analyze college. I've also ended up pulling in six figures, and made my first million by the age of 23, without the need for a degree. Hence, I do have some credit to my following advice. However, being male, I can't give accurate advice if OP is a female, because college treats them differently, but some of it still holds true.


    The Bad:
    1) College is a government cash cow. You spend approxiamately 5 years (the average time taken in the USA to complete a 4-year degree) and receive a piece of paper that for most of the population, isn't going to amount to much (unless you study to become a doctor/lawyer/something that truly requires the training, and then actually do the profession you studied for) as well as be +$100,000 US Dollars in debt. This means when you leave college, you probably won't be any traveling the world, having fun, etc. You'll need to get employed so you can pay for something that's price has risen way faster than inflation, for no apparent reason except that people are willing to pay for it.

    2) Your college degree doesn't mean jack in 90% of jobs, and in the 10% it does matter (doctor/lawyer) it only really matters when you first seek employment anyway. An that is only if you don't have someone on the inside helping get you employed. If you have good connections, it will do even less.

    The Good:
    1) The average american male has 3 choice out of high school. A) College
    B) Enlistment
    C) Minimum-wage job, probably in your home town meaning you'll still be living with your parents.

    If you are female add:
    D) Sex work

    Of course, you can always start you own business, travel the world, get into crime, etc. but 95% of the people at my 5 year high school reunion chose one of those three/four options. Of the four, college is IMO the best for average joe (though sex work, if you can put up with people judging you and not develop of drug addiction, can set you up for life in ~10-20 years depending on your lifestyle and how money savvy you are).

    2)While the education normally isn't worth it, the social experience is provided you capitalize on your oppurtunity. This means:
    A) Building a broad, strong network of connection in many fields.
    B) Devoloping your self-confidence
    C) (If you are a male) Learning how to and getting laid... a lot


    Top Tips:
    1) Don't pay much for college.

    Unless you are become a doctor/lawyer/etc. where your actually school matters, going to an in-state state university, preferably with a decent football/basketball team. Why? Because a large college is easier, both the work-load and being able to cheat, and in-state tuition is much cheaper.

    Get as many scholarships as you can. If you are decent at a sport, see if you can get a sport scholarship. Academic scholarship are easy to get, and if you are Caucasian, it doesn't hurt to answer the question "what race do you most align yourself with" on your application with a minority group, provided you look somewhat like you could be. (Make sure you check the wording of the question. Also, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as sound legal advice. This is just what worked for me.) If you are able to align yourself with minority enough to pass college interviews, you will probably gain some scholarship from this, although they will not say it because of you race. If you ever have any troubles with this, threaten them with a lawsuit. (When I told the college that I wouldn't be attending after my first year, they found out I was Caucasian and not Native America, and threaten to sue me for misleading information leading to extra funding that I didn't deserve. The next day, I walked in with one of my dad's friends, who was suited up with a briefcase, claiming to be a lawyer. He told them that we where going to counter-she for discrimination, because scholarships granted on race alone was exactly that. The bought it, and agreed to settle by giving me my next year all-expenses paid if I continued to play football for them.)

    2) If you are good at a sport, join the team.

    You may get a scholarship, and if you are a male, you have just become a whole lot more desirable with the female populus of your social via the social status you've gained. If you are of minority descent, you have to stick to main-stream sports to get the full effect (I'm not being racist, it's just the way it is). If you're a good-looking white guy, you can join teams such as tennis or lacrosse, but football/basketball is still the best way to go. Plus the team atmosphere really gives you a chance to make good friends, which is a massive bonus.

    3) If you can't/don't want to join a sports team, join a cool frat.

    Greek life is great life bro-man Honestly, if you are decent with people (not the fat frat bro that will eat anything) and you join a cool frat (not the nerd-frat or a minority frat) you are going to get a lot of party invites, a lot of friends, and a lot of the P. To tell if a frat is cool or not, go to there rush events at the start of the year, and see which one has the most hot chicks (I know, I probably sound sexist AF, but these are the facts). The one with the most hot chicks are the coolest. Being a cool guy in a cool frat means mega-bucks for your social status!

    Personally, I played football and rushed a frat, which was good especially in the second year when I had a lot of free time other kids where devoting to studying. However, I was never top of my class in college, because a lot of time was spent socializing. (although, as long as your passing you classes, you are doing enough, (doctors/lawyers exempt from this))

    4) Get Laid

    This does a hell of a lot for your self-esteem, plus college is one place in the world where average joe with average game can get laid like Casinova. Take advantage of this, it will do you a world of good.

    5) Realize Social Status is King

    If college had a currency, it would be social status. And the cool guys who hang with others cool guys are the millionaires. And everything in college cost. Want to be invited to a lot of parties, you need the status. Want to get the cute blonde in the corner, status helps. Want someone to make a distaction while you cheat on a test, people will do that if your cool. And the best thing about being cool is that it's easy.

    Coolness = Giving more status to a person/situation than you take + Not getting taken advatage of + How easy you make getting what you want look

    If you need more help with this, check out websites like GoodLookingLoseror Girlschase. (I'm not affiliated so I can't speak for all their content, but the boys tend to know what they are talking about)

    6) Don't Spend to Much Time Gaming

    Playing Madden on a Tuesday afternoon with your frat bros is a great way to recover from a four-day bender. However, spending every weekend in your room playing some MMO is a could way to waste your opportunity. Moderation is key. Also, think about stepping away from table top gaming for a while, or keeping it on the down-low. I get called 'a cool guy/have a cool life' or whatever, so people are sometimes surprise that I play D&D. However, I don't get all nerdy with people who don't game, and so people don't give a crap and still think I'm cool. That's in the real world. In college, kids are ruthless, and most of college is made up of people fighting for mid-social status roles, who will look for any opportunity to bring you down. And sadly, D&D isn't cool, so it will hit your social status pretty hard. That doesn't mean be ***** to the guys/gals that chose to game, the coolest guys are only ***** to guys that are ***** to them first, but I would recommend spending you time in college trying out different interests, and returning to table top gaming afterwards.

    7) Don't Judge (especially chicks)

    Learn this now. Chicks love sex. Guys loves sex. Chicks slut-shame other chicks, so they themselves can get better boyfriends, by remove competition. Guys who can't get any slut-shame chicks. It's sad that even in college girls don't get the freedom guys get when it comes to sex (I'm not a feminist, I think the pay-gap is bull-hockey, but this is the truth.) Instead, help girls explore their bodies, and do it discreetly. Even if you bang the hottest chick in school, don't go spreading it. If you're a guy who kiss-and-tells, you won't be doing much kissing.

    7) AND THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF COLLEGE

    If you're a guy, never get into a monogamous relationship. Trust me. I don't care if the school's hottest cheerleader wants to date you. By all means, bang her for as long as she'll stick around waiting for you to get committed, but don't get monogamous. Ever.

    If you a girl, date the college's starting QB, and keep your sexploits discreet (I know you won't listen to me, and you're still going to tell your friends, because let's face it, sex is fun to talk about) But I can't tell you how many times I've seen a girl's BFF this week be 'that B*tch' next week.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Toro; 2017-12-09 at 07:51 PM.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    -Parties are fine. A party every day is not. Know your limits, don't stay out too late, and don't do anything stupid when you're drunk (that's legal when you're just going to uni in America, right?).
    Drinking is perfectly legal at age 21.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    -It is not funny to set the fire alarm off. Especially at three in the morning. Especially during exam time. Especially of it's in the middle of winter. Especially if somebody set the body alarm off at two o'clock.
    Setting off the fire alarm, however, is VERY illegal, unless there's an actual fire. The fire department wholeheartedly agrees with you that it is not funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    -Hide your clean cutlery in your room.
    -Keep your pans washed, is the one way I set off the fire alarm.
    I think you may have an unrealistic idea of the average American college dorm room.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    -Eating an entire jar of picked beyond sounds like a good idea, and it is. The following are not: drinking an entire bottle of vodka in one sitting before going to the club, putting wheelie bins on cars, jumping in lakes or ponds, inviting sexist speakers to society events, buying rockets to events just so you can walk out when Katie Hopkins appears, chatting to the cure French girl. These all happened during my time at university, although I only personally did the last (there's even a couple of news stories around about the Hall emptying when Katie Hopkins appeared).
    What's a Katie Hopkins? And what's wrong with chatting to the cute French girl?
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    Applying the swarm rules and vampire template to a group of babies strikes me as incredibly funny.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Toro View Post
    Very long post
    This is a perfect summary of why I think the American education system is a load of bull. I'm not blaming Toro or anything he said, I blame the system.

    Here's my own contribution, though since it's from a European perspective I'm not sure how useful will it be:

    1. College/uni is the time of life when you will have more free time than ever before - or after. This makes it very tempting to be lazy and party all night or play video games all day every day. Don't give into that temptation. Do your work, at least a little work, and more than a few days before deadlines. Otherwise you'll find yourself in for a rude awakening.

    2. Building a rapport with lecturers is important. If you have questions regarding some subject, ask them after class. Most lecturers have specific hours for meeting with students (once again, might be a non-American thing) and 90% of the time no one's interested so visiting will make you look like you truly care. On the other hand the 10% (usually when projects are due or exams are near) is incredibly crowded so best do your business earlier if you can afford it. If lecturers know who you are and know you are trying to learn something, you'll find soon enough that...

    3. Everything can be negotiated. Deadlines are not set in stone. Grades you receive can be changed. All of that depends only on the lecturers' goodwill, and that goodwill is the higher the more you look like someone who cares about the subject matter and wants to seriously learn something in class as opposed to attending it just to pass.

    4. Learn where you can go if things don't run smoothly. Fellow students causing trouble - smoking in dorms, loud music late at night? There's an office where you can go complain, you just need to know it exists and do it. Many unis also offer healthcare options for their students, physical or psychological. Once again, knowing the US this is unlikely for American colleges but it won't hurt to check.

    5. Let's face it, so many lecturers like to pretend like their class is the only important thing you're having this semester and you'll need to study 8 hours for every 1 hour of lecture. You need to recognize which classes really will require more work, and which you can afford to spend less effort at. Don't ignore them altogether but don't think about doing all at the same time. You'll get overwhelmed. It's much better to compartmentalize and think of tasks that await you in small, easy to digest chunks. This is good advice for everything in life by the way, not just college.

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    OP, if you go to school for sports, listen to Toro. If you go to school for literally anything else, ignore practically everything he said.
    I'M A DADDY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebum2002 View Post
    It would be nice to just change the title of this thread to be "stuff about Jedi"
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    Applying the swarm rules and vampire template to a group of babies strikes me as incredibly funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    So, being 'Murican and a high schooler with some pretty decent scores in high school life and standardized testing, I'm going through the generic college applications process. I'm pretty sure I'll get in somewhere, so I wanted to know from people who know better: what do I expect in the enrollment and moving-to-college process? Any tips? Any ideas as to what I should take and what I should buy in preparation?
    So, one thing I wish I'd had a better understanding of when I applied to college Many Years Ago is that colleges come in kinds and are very different from each other. Broadly, colleges come in flavors such as "community college", "state flagship university", "compass direction state university" (usually these used be state colleges/normal schools that decided to upscale into "universities" at some point), "small liberal arts college" (SLAC), and religious schools, which have a lot of overlap with SLACs but some are bigger and more university-like and not all SLACs are religious. There are also narrow-focus schools for some specific areas of study. If possible, go tour some different kinds of schools to see ways in which they are different and develop an opinion about waht might be a good fit for you. Also, figure out some things you might want to major in and learn which schools have those majors (no school has every possible major, and different schools have different majors to choose from). Don't rule out a private school immediately just because it's expensive - most of them offer lots of scholarships to the students they particularly want to attract and not all students pay full price. If you find one (or a few) that you think would be a good fit but out of reach financially, apply anyway! Don't go if you can't afford it, but if they offer you a decent scholarship you may be able to go there for cheaper than a state school so it's worth applying if it's where you'd rather be.

    If you are considering a religious school, you should find out what religion they are and how they "live" that religion as a school in terms of campus life and student expectations. I'm not going to get into any specifics on this board beyond just saying that I've seen several cases of someone not really thinking about the school they chose being a religious school until they got there and then they ran into one or more issues with the student code of conduct and were surprised by something or other being allowed/expected/prohibited/required/whatever. Codes of conduct are usually online, so you can see what you're getting into before you apply.

    I ended up going to a small Liberal Arts College with regionally-decent reputation that gave me a scholarship. My "college experience" was very, very different than someone who went to a giant state university. Most of my classes had under 30 students in them and were taught by tenure-track professors even when I was a freshman. Our departments were small and it was quite possible to get to know your professors pretty well. (This is both good and bad - my initial "advisor" was one of two faculty members in my area of study and we did not get along well because he "didn't believe in learning disabilities" and thought it was a matter of laziness/effort. I eventually showed him differently when I was one of 7 students in a class he taught while I was a sophomore and he got to see that I found "easy" things hard but "hard" things easy and thus was not simply lazy or stupid but rather "different", but I still avoided taking classes from him when possible all four years of undergrad.) I had most of my professors for more than one class and many of them knew my name when they'd run into me in the department offices. I was also easily able to "walk on" to the various competition teams I was interested in because of school size. (I participated in three different math or computer science competitions my senior year just because I found it kind of amusing to do so as a communication major and because I had friends who were doing some of them. I did pretty well by my school's standards on one of them, and my name is probably still on a plaque in the math department hallway as a result.)

    If you go to a large state university and need to take a math class of calculus or lower, find out if credits transfer easily from the local community college. It will probably have smaller classes with more teaching-focused instructors, and cost less as well. Many large state universities either have their math graduate students teach those classes or run them as giant lectures. In my state lower division math credits transfer pretty well so this is a safe bet, at least the last time I paid attention. Your state may vary and you should check local conditions. Classes above calculus may be worth taking at your actual university, particularly if they are taught by tenure-track faculty so you can start to build relationships. (If you don't need anything above calc for your major or minor, you can ignore the "taking classes above calculus on campus" part unless you just like taking math classes for fun.)

    Don't get in over your head with activities right away. It's easy to sign up for everything that looks interesting and then not have time for it all. Learn how to cook simple things that don't need much equipment, since you probably won't have a place to store lots of pots and pans. (I had to share a kitchen with the rest of my dorm, so I kept one pot with a lid and one sheet pan in my dorm room closet, and basically cooked everything using one or both of those.)

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    You will save upwards of $30,000 if you take two years at community college first, and your classes will be better because the class size is smaller.
    As good as that sounds, most of my applications have already gone, and most of them are fairly expensive. Parents are paying, since I can't take out loans, so I really wish I had heard this advice in junior year of high school.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    If the course structure allows for it, this is very important. It makes your life much better. It's also a way to be informed about how things actually function, which rights you have, whom you should contact if teachers or offices aren't doing their job...
    If I'm one of those kids who ends up talking a lot if they're with a group of people, should I just try and study on my own instead, or should I go anyways and try to make sure I keep shut?
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I sent this as a PM to another user on here, and I don't think they would mind if I shared, since nothing is unique to them.

    Always get to class early. If you're ever late, the temptation to skip is much stronger, and that can build on itself very easily.

    On the first day, that goes double; you get to pick your seat, which most people just stay in the rest of the semester. Sitting up front has a lot of advantages. You're more recognizable to the professor, which helps if you need their help for anything. Also, it makes you realize that you're more recognizable, and you'll subconsciously pay more attention. Also, nobody's in your way, and you can see the boards perfectly. Lastly, when class is over, if you have any questions for the professor, you'll almost always not have to wait on other students who do as well.

    Only if you're able to handle it, do as many morning classes as you can. While everyone else is sleeping in, you're getting your classes done. While everyone else is at classes, you're getting your studying done. When the studious people are studying, you can help them and get bonus studying done or help out others that need it and make better friends and stronger connections. Conversely, when the non-studious people are partying, you have all your stuff done already, and can party. It's college, have fun with it.

    The fancier the school, the more you want to make friends with the people who do the best in class. See if they have a study group, or if they're willing to help if you're struggling. It never hurts to have friends in high places, and that increases your odds of it. Don't discount the value of networking.

    Everyone will tell you to do the work, for some classes every hour of lecture needs 3 hours of study, etc etc. What they don't tell you is that, similar to how magic and advanced technology are indistinguishable, so are natural inclination and hard work. If you don't feel like you are good at a subject, spend more time on it. If you excel at something, don't just blow it off because of that.

    For the love of god, don't ever cheat. Academia takes that more seriously than you can imagine, and it's not worth the risk. BUT! If you can, game the system. Take every advantage you can get. For instance, let's say you need a Calculus and Pre-Cal class as requirements for your major, and you don't care about electives. Let's say your uni offers Pre-Cal Algebra, Pre-Cal Algebra with Trig, and Trig. All will help you with Calculus, and if you take all three (even though you only need the Pre-Cal with Trig), you'll basically be going over mostly the same information in three classes, which makes them all easier, and gives you three times the A's that only taking one would give you, without significantly increasing your study load.

    Ignore people who say to take electives or other classes to help round you out, especially if you're thinking about doing grad school. They don't look to see if you took classes to round you out. They look at your GPA. Given how much your degree is gonna cost, classes that count for nothing but hours are better used to help knock your grade up then to learn the very basics about something you'll forget in a year anyway.

    This may sound silly, but totally take Ballroom Dancing if they offer it. You'll get to meet new people better than in a Pre-Cal class, for instance, and later on in life, if you ever want to try to impress a date, you know ballroom dancing, and that's kind of awesome.

    Oh, one more thing. Get into the fanciest school you can and ace all your classes, so you can hook up your good silver dragon friend with a job sometime if ever in need.
    Thank you (for the advice and for thinking I had the balls to cheat )! Unfortunately, I'll be polisci into military and possibly law, so in 60% of my futures I can only hook you up with another box on the same alleyway as me
    Quote Originally Posted by Astral Avenger View Post
    Studying wise:
    Don't cram for midterms/finals, or at least make sure to keep exercising, eating and sleeping. You won't get any benefit to studying for 12 hours straight, sleeping for 2 and then going to take a test, you're much better off getting a good night's sleep and a few hours of studying. Sleep deprivation has similar effects on the brain/cognition to intoxication, if you wouldn't show up for a test drunk, don't show up sleep deprived either.

    Study groups can be good, but if they have the wrong people in them, they won't be productive.

    Get stuff started early if you have larger blocks of time between assignment and due date.

    Many of my math and computer science classes had recommended problem sets that were never collected (basically homework that was never due), be sure to do these, they help you learn the material and often are very closely related to what shows up on tests.

    Social wise:
    Check out events hosted by the different clubs on campus, if it's a good group of people, stick with the club/group/team/whatever, if it isn't, don't be afraid to walk away from it.

    Peer pressure stops when you say yes.

    Peer pressure stops when you're out of earshot/communication with a group.

    One of the previous two is much healthier than the other, you can figure out which.

    Medical wise:
    Google medical amnesty laws for your area, I went to University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and grew up in MN, so I don't know exactly how WI has the laws set up, but take people to the hospital if they need it! There should be some degree of legal protection for intoxicated minors/illegal substances if you are taking them to the ER. Note that I'm not a legal scholar of any sort and I believe board rules prohibit me from giving legal advice beyond saying you should look up the medical amnesty laws. They are really good to know. (I've helped bring people to the hospital from parties before, be the person helping take them there, not the semi-conscious idiot getting taken there.)

    Drink/smoke/inject/other responsibly if you do it at all. (Again, you don't have to do any of these.)

    I am not advocating breaking any laws, but if you choose to do so, do it safely.
    Thank you! I'm not a drinker, but I'm sure even I can fall prey to that stuff, especially with dares. As for social events, should I look into Greek Life? I'm really extroverted and really enjoy hanging out with people but I've only heard bad things about Greek life recently, even if it looks fun as heck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Okay, I'm a limey, but here's my uni advice:
    -Make sure you're competent at cooking. Not just 'knows the basics', but enough to buy whatever's cheap and cook it. A tin of tomatoes, some pasta, and fresh vegetables is cheap and filling*.
    -Make sure you have an alarm that can get you up. Then wake up at the very least half an hour before your first lecture, ideally at the same time every day. Work out how much time it takes to get to your lecture, of you live on campus give yourself five more minutes travel time, otherwise take the less of double or an extra half hour at minimum.
    -Parties are fine. A party every day is not. Know your limits, don't stay out too late, and don't do anything stupid when you're drunk (that's legal when you're just going to uni in America, right?).
    -With regards to drinking, if you do so moderation is key. Blah blah, I won't lecture you but of someone seems to be having problems help them.
    -Check out your chaplaincy, some are really religious and some just attempt to provide students with a place to chill out (I was the most religious regular at mine by my this year).
    -It is not funny to set the fire alarm off. Especially at three in the morning. Especially during exam time. Especially of it's in the middle of winter. Especially if somebody set the body alarm off at two o'clock.
    -Hide your clean cutlery in your room.
    -Keep your pans washed, is the one way I set off the fire alarm.
    -Everybody wants microwaves, but what's more useful is an electric kettle. With a decent power supply they boil Easter quickly, great for when you need to fill a thermos for your 9 o'clock lecture in a hurry.
    -Most halls (I think dorms are the American equivalent) ban playing music out loud late at night. Most do not ban vacuuming your room at seven o'clock in the morning. If you hear the latter somebody's probably done the former.
    -Set aside one afternoon or weekend a week. This is where you'll do all your housework tasks. I used the following order when in halls: put washing on, dust surfaces, clean desk, hoover floor, move washing into tumble drier, clean bathroom, mop bathroom, empty bin, put washing away. You may not have a bathroom you're responsible for and may be responsible for your kitchen area, make you're own list.
    -On that note, lists! Every day when you wake up (or the night before) make a list of what you need to do today, add to it and cross items off during the day as required. This will vastly increase your productivity.
    -When studying take breaks. This is hard, try not to break a state of flow but don't let boredom make you take them every five minutes.
    -If you are going to be watching videos in your room, entertainment, educational, or especially woman with extra chromosome, get headphones.
    -Eating an entire jar of picked beyond sounds like a good idea, and it is. The following are not: drinking an entire bottle of vodka in one sitting before going to the club, putting wheelie bins on cars, jumping in lakes or ponds, inviting sexist speakers to society events, buying rockets to events just so you can walk out when Katie Hopkins appears, chatting to the cure French girl. These all happened during my time at university, although I only personally did the last (there's even a couple of news stories around about the Hall emptying when Katie Hopkins appeared).




    * I realise that ingredients can be relatively more expensive in some pasta of America, I could probably get three or four portions for £10, and I have to east double ones. I tended to go for a bit more and only get two portions, but it was still cheaper than the canteen.
    Thank you! Most of the advice still applies, and up here in beautiful Wisco, pasta is pretty dang cheap. Thankfully, I know how to cook pasta, but it's really calorie-high things, so I'll probably have to start looking into learning more.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    As good as that sounds, most of my applications have already gone, and most of them are fairly expensive. Parents are paying, since I can't take out loans, so I really wish I had heard this advice in junior year of high school.
    I hear you there. Advisors in high school suck, they never give you real advice.
    Now if everyone could please "Sig" something along the lines of "Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking)", I think that would be good progress.

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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Toro View Post
    I went to college for two years, the first year in which scholarships paid my way, the second the college (whose name I legally can't disclose) "paid" me to attend, provided I continued to play a certain sport. This meant that the second year I didn't have to study at all, so 1)I partied a lot 2) I was able to take a step back and really analyze college. I've also ended up pulling in six figures, and made my first million by the age of 23, without the need for a degree. Hence, I do have some credit to my following advice. However, being male, I can't give accurate advice if OP is a female, because college treats them differently, but some of it still holds true.


    The Bad:
    1) College is a government cash cow. You spend approxiamately 5 years (the average time taken in the USA to complete a 4-year degree) and receive a piece of paper that for most of the population, isn't going to amount to much (unless you study to become a doctor/lawyer/something that truly requires the training, and then actually do the profession you studied for) as well as be +$100,000 US Dollars in debt. This means when you leave college, you probably won't be any traveling the world, having fun, etc. You'll need to get employed so you can pay for something that's price has risen way faster than inflation, for no apparent reason except that people are willing to pay for it.

    2) Your college degree doesn't mean jack in 90% of jobs, and in the 10% it does matter (doctor/lawyer) it only really matters when you first seek employment anyway. An that is only if you don't have someone on the inside helping get you employed. If you have good connections, it will do even less.

    The Good:
    1) The average american male has 3 choice out of high school. A) College
    B) Enlistment
    C) Minimum-wage job, probably in your home town meaning you'll still be living with your parents.

    If you are female add:
    D) Sex work

    Of course, you can always start you own business, travel the world, get into crime, etc. but 95% of the people at my 5 year high school reunion chose one of those three/four options. Of the four, college is IMO the best for average joe (though sex work, if you can put up with people judging you and not develop of drug addiction, can set you up for life in ~10-20 years depending on your lifestyle and how money savvy you are).

    2)While the education normally isn't worth it, the social experience is provided you capitalize on your oppurtunity. This means:
    A) Building a broad, strong network of connection in many fields.
    B) Devoloping your self-confidence
    C) (If you are a male) Learning how to and getting laid... a lot


    Top Tips:
    1) Don't pay much for college.

    Unless you are become a doctor/lawyer/etc. where your actually school matters, going to an in-state state university, preferably with a decent football/basketball team. Why? Because a large college is easier, both the work-load and being able to cheat, and in-state tuition is much cheaper.

    Get as many scholarships as you can. If you are decent at a sport, see if you can get a sport scholarship. Academic scholarship are easy to get, and if you are Caucasian, it doesn't hurt to answer the question "what race do you most align yourself with" on your application with a minority group, provided you look somewhat like you could be. (Make sure you check the wording of the question. Also, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as sound legal advice. This is just what worked for me.) If you are able to align yourself with minority enough to pass college interviews, you will probably gain some scholarship from this, although they will not say it because of you race. If you ever have any troubles with this, threaten them with a lawsuit. (When I told the college that I wouldn't be attending after my first year, they found out I was Caucasian and not Native America, and threaten to sue me for misleading information leading to extra funding that I didn't deserve. The next day, I walked in with one of my dad's friends, who was suited up with a briefcase, claiming to be a lawyer. He told them that we where going to counter-she for discrimination, because scholarships granted on race alone was exactly that. The bought it, and agreed to settle by giving me my next year all-expenses paid if I continued to play football for them.)

    2) If you are good at a sport, join the team.

    You may get a scholarship, and if you are a male, you have just become a whole lot more desirable with the female populus of your social via the social status you've gained. If you are of minority descent, you have to stick to main-stream sports to get the full effect (I'm not being racist, it's just the way it is). If you're a good-looking white guy, you can join teams such as tennis or lacrosse, but football/basketball is still the best way to go. Plus the team atmosphere really gives you a chance to make good friends, which is a massive bonus.

    3) If you can't/don't want to join a sports team, join a cool frat.

    Greek life is great life bro-man Honestly, if you are decent with people (not the fat frat bro that will eat anything) and you join a cool frat (not the nerd-frat or a minority frat) you are going to get a lot of party invites, a lot of friends, and a lot of the P. To tell if a frat is cool or not, go to there rush events at the start of the year, and see which one has the most hot chicks (I know, I probably sound sexist AF, but these are the facts). The one with the most hot chicks are the coolest. Being a cool guy in a cool frat means mega-bucks for your social status!

    Personally, I played football and rushed a frat, which was good especially in the second year when I had a lot of free time other kids where devoting to studying. However, I was never top of my class in college, because a lot of time was spent socializing. (although, as long as your passing you classes, you are doing enough, (doctors/lawyers exempt from this))

    4) Get Laid

    This does a hell of a lot for your self-esteem, plus college is one place in the world where average joe with average game can get laid like Casinova. Take advantage of this, it will do you a world of good.

    5) Realize Social Status is King

    If college had a currency, it would be social status. And the cool guys who hang with others cool guys are the millionaires. And everything in college cost. Want to be invited to a lot of parties, you need the status. Want to get the cute blonde in the corner, status helps. Want someone to make a distaction while you cheat on a test, people will do that if your cool. And the best thing about being cool is that it's easy.

    Coolness = Giving more status to a person/situation than you take + Not getting taken advatage of + How easy you make getting what you want look

    If you need more help with this, check out websites like GoodLookingLoseror Girlschase. (I'm not affiliated so I can't speak for all their content, but the boys tend to know what they are talking about)

    6) Don't Spend to Much Time Gaming

    Playing Madden on a Tuesday afternoon with your frat bros is a great way to recover from a four-day bender. However, spending every weekend in your room playing some MMO is a could way to waste your opportunity. Moderation is key. Also, think about stepping away from table top gaming for a while, or keeping it on the down-low. I get called 'a cool guy/have a cool life' or whatever, so people are sometimes surprise that I play D&D. However, I don't get all nerdy with people who don't game, and so people don't give a crap and still think I'm cool. That's in the real world. In college, kids are ruthless, and most of college is made up of people fighting for mid-social status roles, who will look for any opportunity to bring you down. And sadly, D&D isn't cool, so it will hit your social status pretty hard. That doesn't mean be ***** to the guys/gals that chose to game, the coolest guys are only ***** to guys that are ***** to them first, but I would recommend spending you time in college trying out different interests, and returning to table top gaming afterwards.

    7) Don't Judge (especially chicks)

    Learn this now. Chicks love sex. Guys loves sex. Chicks slut-shame other chicks, so they themselves can get better boyfriends, by remove competition. Guys who can't get any slut-shame chicks. It's sad that even in college girls don't get the freedom guys get when it comes to sex (I'm not a feminist, I think the pay-gap is bull-hockey, but this is the truth.) Instead, help girls explore their bodies, and do it discreetly. Even if you bang the hottest chick in school, don't go spreading it. If you're a guy who kiss-and-tells, you won't be doing much kissing.

    7) AND THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF COLLEGE

    If you're a guy, never get into a monogamous relationship. Trust me. I don't care if the school's hottest cheerleader wants to date you. By all means, bang her for as long as she'll stick around waiting for you to get committed, but don't get monogamous. Ever.

    If you a girl, date the college's starting QB, and keep your sexploits discreet (I know you won't listen to me, and you're still going to tell your friends, because let's face it, sex is fun to talk about) But I can't tell you how many times I've seen a girl's BFF this week be 'that B*tch' next week.

    Hope this helps.
    First, congrats on having the life I totally want to have, but unfortunately my chances of track or XC scholarships got thrown out the window with my last season ending on an injury, so some of this isn't applicable though I plan on changing that much as possible. On a more on topic note, my parents have agreed to pay for my college since I have no other options (no SSN, no FAFSA), which they can handle for a decently priced college (in state and places below 35k a year). Honestly, I won't lie, there was a significant ego issue in my choices of college, especially since I'd convinced myself I'd be making connections the entire time. As for your seven phrases of advice, I gather its not actually too different from high school in the social format then? Because then I should do just fine, especially if I keep my mouth shut about nerding out online . Also, thanks for the advice on Greek life even more so than the other advice, you've given the final push in my decision to do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Drinking is perfectly legal at age 21.

    Setting off the fire alarm, however, is VERY illegal, unless there's an actual fire. The fire department wholeheartedly agrees with you that it is not funny.

    I think you may have an unrealistic idea of the average American college dorm room.

    What's a Katie Hopkins? And what's wrong with chatting to the cute French girl?
    Having lived in Boston in a majority Chinese immigrant student apartment building once upon a time, I whole heartedly agree on the fire alarm. And so do my poor feet, walking through the snow every second week at 3 AM. Also, same questions on the Katie Hopkins and cute French girl. (Though I make a fair bit of "haha the French" jokes so I presume that's issue number 1! Mostly jk)
    Quote Originally Posted by tensai_oni View Post
    This is a perfect summary of why I think the American education system is a load of bull. I'm not blaming Toro or anything he said, I blame the system.

    Here's my own contribution, though since it's from a European perspective I'm not sure how useful will it be:

    1. College/uni is the time of life when you will have more free time than ever before - or after. This makes it very tempting to be lazy and party all night or play video games all day every day. Don't give into that temptation. Do your work, at least a little work, and more than a few days before deadlines. Otherwise you'll find yourself in for a rude awakening.

    2. Building a rapport with lecturers is important. If you have questions regarding some subject, ask them after class. Most lecturers have specific hours for meeting with students (once again, might be a non-American thing) and 90% of the time no one's interested so visiting will make you look like you truly care. On the other hand the 10% (usually when projects are due or exams are near) is incredibly crowded so best do your business earlier if you can afford it. If lecturers know who you are and know you are trying to learn something, you'll find soon enough that...

    3. Everything can be negotiated. Deadlines are not set in stone. Grades you receive can be changed. All of that depends only on the lecturers' goodwill, and that goodwill is the higher the more you look like someone who cares about the subject matter and wants to seriously learn something in class as opposed to attending it just to pass.

    4. Learn where you can go if things don't run smoothly. Fellow students causing trouble - smoking in dorms, loud music late at night? There's an office where you can go complain, you just need to know it exists and do it. Many unis also offer healthcare options for their students, physical or psychological. Once again, knowing the US this is unlikely for American colleges but it won't hurt to check.

    5. Let's face it, so many lecturers like to pretend like their class is the only important thing you're having this semester and you'll need to study 8 hours for every 1 hour of lecture. You need to recognize which classes really will require more work, and which you can afford to spend less effort at. Don't ignore them altogether but don't think about doing all at the same time. You'll get overwhelmed. It's much better to compartmentalize and think of tasks that await you in small, easy to digest chunks. This is good advice for everything in life by the way, not just college.
    Thank you! One question is, what do I do with a professor who doesn't care in an important/hard class? Mainly something I ask out of fear of the horror stories I've heard about researchers being forced to teach but can't really teach at all.
    (Also, all the college campuses I've been on offer medical and good student healthcare, if that redeems any bit of our healthcare system)


    Also, thanks everyone for the large amounts of advice coming in! I'll do my best to heed it all!

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: College life

    I never interacted with greek life beyond having a handful of my friends be involved. Mostly heard them complaining about pledge week and various drama happening in the fraternity/sorority, so I don't have the best impression of them.

    I'm also very introverted, so having community from the climbing wall and Nordic team was plenty for me, but to each their own.

    With drinking, most people will respect you saying that you dont drink/not drinking, but some *beep* will try and pressure you into drinking, dont be friends with those people, they're the worst people. People offering a beer or something when you walk in is being polite, trying to spike your drink or get you to drink more than you want is a good way to figure out who you should stop interacting with.
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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Toro View Post
    1) The average american male has 3 choice out of high school. A) College
    B) Enlistment
    C) Minimum-wage job, probably in your home town meaning you'll still be living with your parents...
    .
    Well there is another alternative.

    A skilled trade apprenticeship.

    I strongly recommend the book: “Shop Class as Soulcraft”, if that's an option for you.

    To find employment, what (years ago) worked for me was the:

    California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association

    To quote their site:

    "A union apprenticeship is an excellent career choice if you like to work with your hands; are willing to serve an apprenticeship for up to five years, depending on the trade you select; have dexterity, mechanical ability, problem-solving skills and the ability to work collaboratively with a team; want to earn a living wage and good benefits; and want the opportunity to advance in your career"

    Note: Sitting around reading books sounds like heaven to me (and judging by the college textbooks my wife kept they're some good ones), but I have a higher income than my brother, who did go to college, and even my co-workers who did go to college regard me as more educated (one called me "the professor" but I think he basically majored in basketball and hanging out).

    But be warned, "blue collar" physically ages you faster than "white collar" work.

    -Good luck
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Astral Avenger View Post
    I never interacted with greek life beyond having a handful of my friends be involved. Mostly heard them complaining about pledge week and various drama happening in the fraternity/sorority, so I don't have the best impression of them.

    I'm also very introverted, so having community from the climbing wall and Nordic team was plenty for me, but to each their own.

    With drinking, most people will respect you saying that you dont drink/not drinking, but some *beep* will try and pressure you into drinking, dont be friends with those people, they're the worst people. People offering a beer or something when you walk in is being polite, trying to spike your drink or get you to drink more than you want is a good way to figure out who you should stop interacting with.
    Thanks! That's pretty good advice for more than just college, too!
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    .
    Well there is another alternative.

    A skilled trade apprenticeship.

    I strongly recommend the book: “Shop Class as Soulcraft”, if that's an option for you.

    To find employment, what (years ago) worked for me was the:

    California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association

    To quote their site:

    "A union apprenticeship is an excellent career choice if you like to work with your hands; are willing to serve an apprenticeship for up to five years, depending on the trade you select; have dexterity, mechanical ability, problem-solving skills and the ability to work collaboratively with a team; want to earn a living wage and good benefits; and want the opportunity to advance in your career"

    Note: Sitting around reading books sounds like heaven to me (and judging by the college textbooks my wife kept they're some good ones), but I have a higher income than my brother, who did go to college, and even my co-workers who did go to college regard me as more educated (one called me "the professor" but I think he basically majored in basketball and hanging out).

    But be warned, "blue collar" physically ages you faster than "white collar" work.

    -Good luck
    Unfortunately, not an option. I'm not only Asian, but an immigrant, so I have to go to college for... a great variety of sub-reasons that I'd rather not disclose for purposes of identity, if you don't mind. Still, I have more than once argued with my parents about how viable apprenticeships are, so thank you for the suggestion too!

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFederalist View Post
    Thank you! One question is, what do I do with a professor who doesn't care in an important/hard class? Mainly something I ask out of fear of the horror stories I've heard about researchers being forced to teach but can't really teach at all.
    (Also, all the college campuses I've been on offer medical and good student healthcare, if that redeems any bit of our healthcare system)


    Also, thanks everyone for the large amounts of advice coming in! I'll do my best to heed it all!
    You tend to get those professors more at research universities. The side effect of this is those universities tend to have TA's.

    TA's are, generally speaking, your friend. (I was one.) They're generally not handling as many students as the professor is. They're also still taking classes, and as such tend to be more realistic.

    Office hours are good, but most TA's will work another time out if you can't make it. That said - if you schedule a time outside of normal office hours, SHOW UP. Nothing annoyed me more than trekking into campus for a meeting, only to have the student blow it off with no explanation and no apology. If a student did that twice, no more meetings.

    If you're having trouble, go early. A lot of students don't show up until before midterms or finals. One, this means the TA has less time for you individually. Two, the longer you let it go the harder it is to fix problems, rather than helping you get a better ground early. Three, it just looks better. Email is an option for minor issues, but don't leave it to the last minute.

    Keep in mind the TA probably does know if you've been showing up to class and doing your homework. It won't look good if you haven't. If there's a genuine problem, explain and ask for help early. A student that emailed me and explained why they couldn't make it would generally get the benefit of the doubt, unless they pulled it a LOT or had a dumb excuse (and even those I'd take once). If you have disability accommodations, everyone's also required to abide by them, but the lack of official accommodations doesn't mean an individual can't offer them.

    Never, ever ask to have your grade changed unless you have a reason based on your work or the course, though. It's just annoying, and it will probably make the teacher hate you. That said, really, in the vast majority of fields, no one cares all that much if you didn't get straight A's.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Socially speaking, there's still a lot of high school attitudes, but that tends to change through the years. By senior year, I realized how little I cared who was dating/kissing/sexing who, what parties anyone was going to, who drank or didn't drink, who said what about who, and all that. Which is good, because once you get out of college the people who still talk like that are not looked on favorably.

    Different people do different things socially. I know a lot of people who met their significant other in college and are now married and settled down with them. That said, a lot of people don't. And likely you won't keep up with very many of your college friends past college, maybe just a very few people you really clicked with. So if it's not your things socially, don't stress.

    If you can, I'd look for a part-time, on-campus job. But given any non-citizen status, I would run this by the university's advisers first - many of them have a department that deals with such things. Immigration law and work can be really complicated.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: College life

    One possibility to look into, depending on your college and choice of major, is something called cooperative education. It's a fairly common type of program where various companies coordinate with the college to offer entry level temporary jobs in the industry you're studying to work for to students as part of your education. You take classes for a semester, you go work for a semester, you come back to classes again, and keep alternating for a while. It takes a bit longer to graduate because of all the semesters where you're not taking classes, but that's typically reduced a lot by including summer in the rotation and you'll have practical and relevant experience to put on your résumé as well as academics, and that can make a big difference to employers when you graduate. Depending on the job you may also get paid a substantial amount of money in your work semesters, which can go a long way toward mitigating education loan debt. If you really impress your employer you might even have a permanent job offer waiting for you on graduation. Also, practical and relevant job experience. It really is educational, and will be useful for more than getting employer attention.

    And now, a brief warning story:
    In my first semester of college, all the introductory courses I was taking did not challenge me. At all. I could just about sleep through them and have no trouble on the tests. That semester taught me that I could skip class a substantial amount of the time without it affecting how I did in the class very much. I spent the rest of my college time all the way through graduation struggling to reverse that bad habit. The later courses were not nearly so non-challenging, and habitually skipping class caused me major problems with my grades.

    If your classes seem easy, take them seriously anyway, at least enough to go to class, pay attention, and do your work promptly. It's fine to spend extra time on partying and games, but first make sure that it really is extra time. Being in that habit will be important later when you get to the harder classes.
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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Drinking is perfectly legal at age 21.
    Which I find weird, I was drinking legally with meals in restaurants since I was 16, and pubs since I was 18. My point was literally 'even if you're underage you or a friend will drink, if you do moderation, if it's a friend make sure to look pot for them.

    Setting off the fire alarm, however, is VERY illegal, unless there's an actual fire. The fire department wholeheartedly agrees with you that it is not funny.
    Oh, it's illegal over here as well. But the drink first years don't realise that. Or the drink third years.

    I think you may have an unrealistic idea of the average American college dorm room.
    Messy as heck, hasn't been cleaned in three months, has developed three new species of intelligent mould that have started their own society? If not, then certainly. My point was cutlery goes missing, I always ended up with one knife and one fork by the third month, which I'd recover when Is the last to move out, if I was lucky. Ended up with all the teaspoons the others left though (they would have been thrown out otherwise).

    What's a Katie Hopkins? And what's wrong with chatting to the cute French girl?
    Katie Hopkins it's a journalist over here known for being rather offensive to those who aren't white conservative Brits. My university had a relatively high proportion of foreign students and a large but relatively inactive number of socialist students. [color="white "]And talking to the cure French girl is why I'm currently trying to learn French. [/color]


    OP, a note. If you don't have sex at university there's nothing wrong with that. It's considered standard to many people, bit of you don't want to or just don't have the opportunity, that's completely fine. I spent five years at university, my girlfriend's (for a certain value of relationship) doing her sixth, and we're both still virgins.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Which I find weird, I was drinking legally with meals in restaurants since I was 16, and pubs since I was 18. My point was literally 'even if you're underage you or a friend will drink, if you do moderation, if it's a friend make sure to look pot for them.



    Oh, it's illegal over here as well. But the drink first years don't realise that. Or the drink third years.



    Messy as heck, hasn't been cleaned in three months, has developed three new species of intelligent mould that have started their own society? If not, then certainly. My point was cutlery goes missing, I always ended up with one knife and one fork by the third month, which I'd recover when Is the last to move out, if I was lucky. Ended up with all the teaspoons the others left though (they would have been thrown out otherwise).



    Katie Hopkins it's a journalist over here known for being rather offensive to those who aren't white conservative Brits. My university had a relatively high proportion of foreign students and a large but relatively inactive number of socialist students. [color="white "]And talking to the cure French girl is why I'm currently trying to learn French. [/color]


    OP, a note. If you don't have sex at university there's nothing wrong with that. It's considered standard to many people, bit of you don't want to or just don't have the opportunity, that's completely fine. I spent five years at university, my girlfriend's (for a certain value of relationship) doing her sixth, and we're both still virgins.
    My point about the dorm room wasn't the quality so much as the quantity. Mine was a little larger than my closet back on my parents house. Enough room for two beds, two desks, two tiny closets, and a window. Some places have nicer dorms, of course, but I think that is relatively standard.

    Also, is the cute French girl the same as the girlfriend? I'm intrigued now. How did it go? Details, man!
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: College life

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    You tend to get those professors more at research universities. The side effect of this is those universities tend to have TA's.

    TA's are, generally speaking, your friend. (I was one.) They're generally not handling as many students as the professor is. They're also still taking classes, and as such tend to be more realistic.

    Office hours are good, but most TA's will work another time out if you can't make it. That said - if you schedule a time outside of normal office hours, SHOW UP. Nothing annoyed me more than trekking into campus for a meeting, only to have the student blow it off with no explanation and no apology. If a student did that twice, no more meetings.

    If you're having trouble, go early. A lot of students don't show up until before midterms or finals. One, this means the TA has less time for you individually. Two, the longer you let it go the harder it is to fix problems, rather than helping you get a better ground early. Three, it just looks better. Email is an option for minor issues, but don't leave it to the last minute.

    Keep in mind the TA probably does know if you've been showing up to class and doing your homework. It won't look good if you haven't. If there's a genuine problem, explain and ask for help early. A student that emailed me and explained why they couldn't make it would generally get the benefit of the doubt, unless they pulled it a LOT or had a dumb excuse (and even those I'd take once). If you have disability accommodations, everyone's also required to abide by them, but the lack of official accommodations doesn't mean an individual can't offer them.

    Never, ever ask to have your grade changed unless you have a reason based on your work or the course, though. It's just annoying, and it will probably make the teacher hate you. That said, really, in the vast majority of fields, no one cares all that much if you didn't get straight A's.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Socially speaking, there's still a lot of high school attitudes, but that tends to change through the years. By senior year, I realized how little I cared who was dating/kissing/sexing who, what parties anyone was going to, who drank or didn't drink, who said what about who, and all that. Which is good, because once you get out of college the people who still talk like that are not looked on favorably.

    Different people do different things socially. I know a lot of people who met their significant other in college and are now married and settled down with them. That said, a lot of people don't. And likely you won't keep up with very many of your college friends past college, maybe just a very few people you really clicked with. So if it's not your things socially, don't stress.

    If you can, I'd look for a part-time, on-campus job. But given any non-citizen status, I would run this by the university's advisers first - many of them have a department that deals with such things. Immigration law and work can be really complicated.
    Aye, understood! Work will be a guaranteed no-no unless something changes, and I have no intention of making the IRS mad, so at least that means more study or partay time. Sorry to throw so many questions, but any tips on finding who the best TAs are? I've heard from others that I've gotta figure out which ones are cool and which ones might be less cool, to use a more forum appropriate word from what I was originally told.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
    One possibility to look into, depending on your college and choice of major, is something called cooperative education. It's a fairly common type of program where various companies coordinate with the college to offer entry level temporary jobs in the industry you're studying to work for to students as part of your education. You take classes for a semester, you go work for a semester, you come back to classes again, and keep alternating for a while. It takes a bit longer to graduate because of all the semesters where you're not taking classes, but that's typically reduced a lot by including summer in the rotation and you'll have practical and relevant experience to put on your résumé as well as academics, and that can make a big difference to employers when you graduate. Depending on the job you may also get paid a substantial amount of money in your work semesters, which can go a long way toward mitigating education loan debt. If you really impress your employer you might even have a permanent job offer waiting for you on graduation. Also, practical and relevant job experience. It really is educational, and will be useful for more than getting employer attention.

    And now, a brief warning story:
    In my first semester of college, all the introductory courses I was taking did not challenge me. At all. I could just about sleep through them and have no trouble on the tests. That semester taught me that I could skip class a substantial amount of the time without it affecting how I did in the class very much. I spent the rest of my college time all the way through graduation struggling to reverse that bad habit. The later courses were not nearly so non-challenging, and habitually skipping class caused me major problems with my grades.

    If your classes seem easy, take them seriously anyway, at least enough to go to class, pay attention, and do your work promptly. It's fine to spend extra time on partying and games, but first make sure that it really is extra time. Being in that habit will be important later when you get to the harder classes.
    Aye, my grades are pretty high because I've found high school pretty easy, so I know that my study habits are worse than a chairs, so I plan on fixing that by freshman year, even if I have easy classes. AFAIK, life ain't easy, so I want to be able to actually be ready for stuff that gets thrown at me. As for cooperative education, I think I've heard of that! I definitely will look into it, though I figure they're just gonna have to forgo on the "paying me" part.
    [QUOTE=Anonymouswizard;22650490]Which I find weird, I was drinking legally with meals in restaurants since I was 16, and pubs since I was 18. My point was literally 'even if you're underage you or a friend will drink, if you do moderation, if it's a friend make sure to look pot for them.



    Oh, it's illegal over here as well. But the drink first years don't realise that. Or the drink third years.



    Messy as heck, hasn't been cleaned in three months, has developed three new species of intelligent mould that have started their own society? If not, then certainly. My point was cutlery goes missing, I always ended up with one knife and one fork by the third month, which I'd recover when Is the last to move out, if I was lucky. Ended up with all the teaspoons the others left though (they would have been thrown out otherwise).



    Katie Hopkins it's a journalist over here known for being rather offensive to those who aren't white conservative Brits. My university had a relatively high proportion of foreign students and a large but relatively inactive number of socialist students. [color="white "]And talking to the cure French girl is why I'm currently trying to learn French. [/color]
    *immediately hopes for French transfer students*
    In any case, there's a chance I get my own dorm, alone, what precautions do I take to make sure I can live alone? I haven't ever done anything without at least two other people staying with me, so I'm at a total loss for living alone. This is a broad question, but I genuinely haven 0 idea what living alone is like.

    OP, a note. If you don't have sex at university there's nothing wrong with that. It's considered standard to many people, bit of you don't want to or just don't have the opportunity, that's completely fine. I spent five years at university, my girlfriend's (for a certain value of relationship) doing her sixth, and we're both still virgins.
    Oops.
    Quote Originally Posted by giidi View Post
    college life - the best thing in the world)
    Heyoooooo! I'll chalk one more up to the "college is fun af" side. That means it's winning over the "college is really hard" side by 6 people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    My point about the dorm room wasn't the quality so much as the quantity. Mine was a little larger than my closet back on my parents house. Enough room for two beds, two desks, two tiny closets, and a window. Some places have nicer dorms, of course, but I think that is relatively standard.

    Also, is the cute French girl the same as the girlfriend? I'm intrigued now. How did it go? Details, man!
    That is one really big closet, jeez.

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: College life

    If I'm one of those kids who ends up talking a lot if they're with a group of people, should I just try and study on my own instead, or should I go anyways and try to make sure I keep shut?
    I'd suggest you do it anyway, learning how to work in a group is the most important thing. However, it's true that there are different kinds of work. Translations and active exercises work very well in a group. But there also is "hard study", like mnemonic stuff, or working on a paper, which you can/must do alone. In this case it's up to you to understand if the presence of others makes you work better or worse. It also depends on the people you work with, I have seen that some students are very effective at saying "guys, let's stop fooling around and get back to work."

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