Off to an Institution of Higher Learning and still don't have a clue...

   Like many nerdfighters at this time I am preparing to leave home for an Institution of Higher Learning.  I have my locker cleaned out and even a lovely sheet of paper saying that I met (and exceeded) the requirements to earn my freedom from High School.  I walked across the stage and moved my tassel to the right.  I invited family and friends to a party to celebrate these actions and we had a grand time.

And Now, off the college.

But what does this mean?

Basicly, I am looking for any and all advice that can be offered from Nerdfighteria. And I mean ANYTHING! I can use advice on everything from study schedules and organizational tips to Dorm Room needs (and fun extras) and laundry sugestions.  Anything you would like to throw into the mix is welcome and appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Tags: Advice, College, Dorms, Fun, Needs, Organization, Studying

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Well first off going to college isn't as different as you probably think it's going to be. It's this weird combination of being an adult and being a student that sort of turns out differently depending on what you're doing. You're going to be living in a dorm. Now granted I lived in the world's shittiest dorm. It was so freaking ramshackle if it just collapsed one day I wouldn't have been surprised, also there were crackheads roaming the street outside it picking through the dumpsters sometimes.

You won't likely have a dorm that bad but dorms aren't really nice places to live and the sooner you accept that the better. They're smaller than apartments and they cost more. They have bugs and shit too, and no matter who your roommate is you're going to hate them because you'll never really be alone there if your roommate is in the dorm too.

Also I have never been inside a dorm room that was clean. Maybe I hang out with filthy people but dorm rooms are never clean. It's impossible to keep it clean I figure. As far as laundry I did that whenever I went home.

This year I'm moving into an on-campus apartment. It costs less and it's nicer than my house. Also I have my own bedroom. They function like dorms in the sense that you pay for your bedroom, not the apartment so if your roommate defaults on their lease you're okay. I even have my own bathroom. I highly recommend doing campus apartments next year.

I also did a club thing or something I guess, it wasn't really a club but it sucked. The people at the beginning of the year were cool but soon they left and new people arrived and I didn't like them. Don't expect to meet people just because you try I guess.

Also I ate badly, I didn't gain weight at first but when I came back home for the summer (which is very different from living here full-time) I lost ten pounds. I'm not sure when I gained that but I was worried I would have to spend money on new clothes and now I'm not.

I don't, what else... your classes are more work but whatever. You don't have eight hour days at school anymore and when you get used to not doing that doing that is going to seem like the worst thing ever. GPA matters now? I don't know, college is way better than high school.

The biggest difference between high school and college is you have to create your own work most of the time. A lot of your classes will consist of a paper, a midterm or two, and a final. That's it. You are responsible for doing your  readings, taking notes from the textbooks, and making your study guides. To most profs you will be a number on a sheet, especially in the bigger first year classes universities have become synonymous for.

Another thing I want to stress is I don't care how boring the lecture on cloud formation is--DO NOT SKIP. Skipping a class in university is like missing a week of high school. You will *never* understand the contents of the lecture fully. As someone who missed a lot of class due to injuries, and mental health I can promise you your grades will more than likely suffer. 

You have a decision to make about the first kegger. If you want to go to future kegs, you have to go to the first one. But only have a few drinks,  because its been my experience the first kegger of the year is always broken up by the cops and you need to be able to haul a** if you need to. 

Not all dorms are as bad as Abreo described. Ours was the second shoddiest dorm building on campus and we rarely had problems with bugs/mice. It CAN happen, but it could also happen in your house, too. You just have to be hyper vigalante about keeping your floor clear--your room and public areas like the lounge. If you spill popcorn in the middle of a Charmed marathon, pause it and go grab a broom to clean it up. No one likes walking into the lounge to check the score of the game last night and having to change their socks because the floor is sticky (true story.) 

Most RAs are super picky about how clean your room has to be, so spend a little bit of time each day cleaning your room. I'm naturally hyper-organized so this isn't a problem--I do it naturally. But basically think of the pickiest/judgemental relative and keep your room clean enough to impress them. You'll never get written up for keeping your half of the room too messy, and won't have to pay the fee for someone to come in and clean your room. If you really want to be organized, email the residence advisor and ask for a complete list of what the room includes and possibly photos so you have a better idea of what will work and what won't work 

Don't try to be best friends with your roommate or your floormate. Unfortunately girls are really good at pretending to like you, and then you never hear from them again after you move out. Out of the 20 girls I regularly talked to, only two of them will talk to me since moving out. Maybe I got the short end of the straw and didn't have the best floormates but what I'm trying to stress is make friends outside of your dorm---in classes, volunteering, clubs, the quad. You will tire of your roommate and floormates if they're your only source of company.

As far as what to pack. I can message you my packing list for this year, but my best advice is write down everything you use in a week, and compare that to a week in your school life (this might take some thinking since it's summer). I mean EVERYTHING down to tweezers and forks. Add in things you'll need but aren't using right now (coat, boots, rain coat, band-aids, cough medicine) and only bring that.

Ok.  Well this has been very helpful.  Just for the record I will be rooming in a Pod room and have 4 roommates.  One of themn seems just like me, but the other three I'm not sure of.  But on the whole the advice is helpful.

If you have no idea what you want to do, that's normal. I went into college thinking I knew what I wanted to do and when that changed, I freaked out. But a lot of people still have questions when they graduate.

If you have a problem in a class, try to talk to the teacher. Some of them can't do anything to help, but some of them genuinely like to teach so they will help out in any way they can.

If you have a problem with a roommate that cannot be ignored, try to talk to them about it say in a roommate meeting. Don't be afraid to go to the RA for mediation if you need to.

It really is helpful to study a bit every day as you go along. Cramming really sucks and can often be worse in college. See a tutor if you have to.

Joining groups helps to make friends. And if you're lucky enough to be in a program that is close, spend some time in the main building. I've made most of my close friends through the music program and it was a nice guarantee that you'll have something in common to break the ice.


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