Yup, we’re already back from summer, kickstarting what seems to be an endless college education. Every year is the same routine: We get up crazy early, check in with the school and catch up with our classmates before heading to that endless class with a professor that has absolutely no sense of humor, fueling your hate against everything that has to do with the French Revolution. But see, a college education is not what your life should be all about. Life is what happens outside those boundaries, when you’re bent on your schoolbooks. As a matter of fact, life is way too short to be spending it on things we don’t like to get jobs we´ll end up hating anyways. Here are some mistakes we are all guilty of when we start college.
1. Jump as many classes as you can
The first mistake we all make when we’re back is trying to be a role model, attending all the classes, doing all the extra readings and scoring a neat 4.0 GPA. Now unless you plan on becoming a high level research scientist or a university professor, you don’t need all the BS that comes with much of your college classes. The intentions of shakespear when writing a play or the hidden meaning behind choosing Blue as the color of the hero’s uniform are never going to help you do something amazing. In college, you have to understand that everything is not useful or directly necessary, you just have to filter through the sh*t and know what you need to take in and what you need to leave off. For the classes that you know are just there to fill up your schedule and don’t relate back (in anyway) to your academic or professional path, well, jump em! I’m serious! Use last minute sparknotes and revision to get that essay done. Use that new “empty spot” to innovate meaningful stuff. Start a business, network, spend some time with the nerdy engineering students – go crazy, and see how you can build a new product that you can market later on. Hell, go learn a new language, but don’t just waste your time on BS classes.
2. Professors and administrators are not always right
Yup, they try to tell you that university faculty and staff are always right, that whatever happens you’re always at fault and that challenging someone who works at your uni is considered a crime and lack of respect. Let me tell you something: If you know you’re right and some “admin” keeps on telling you that you’re not, you goddamn stick to your position and defend your actions. Some employees in universities just think that they are immune to fault, and even when they screw up, they’ll try to make you overlook it and swallow the pill no matter what the right decision is. You don’t have to be afraid, you don’t have to shut up just because your professor said so: challenging authority when you’re right about it, is the best way to build a strong personality. If you compromise today and stay blind to the authority’s mistakes, then you’ll grow up not knowing what good moral judgement is, and with no balls to stand for what’s right.
3. Do what you like, not what’s popular
First thing you should know about college: it’s your education, your choice, not that of your family, friends or BFF. Don’t be sheep-like, following whatever the crowd goes for. You don’t have to take econ classes just because that’s the most popular major. You don’t have to enroll in history classes because your friend will be taking it. You shouldn’t major in law because that’s what your parents decided for you. Own your choices and do what you like or are passionate about. If you like photography, music, nuclear engineering or painting, then by all means, go for it! It’s better to take the risk of following your dream once than spending a lifetime regretting your decisions. Just look at how crazy the world is: half the US population are not satisfied with their jobs. Why? Because they listened to others rather than listening to their guts. Even if you make millions in invest banking, if your heart is in ballet, you’ll never be happy unless you’re on a stage. College education takes the best and most crucial years of our lives, the least we can do is make it count. Now unless you’re aware of your rights and conscious of your choices, it’ll be just like throwing 4 years down the chute. The good thing about being young is the ability to fail and get up and fail again without it being necessarily the end of the world, but it doesn’t hurt to learn from other’s mistakes and try to make your college life a smooth and enjoyable ride.
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