Ah, college. I remember the first day like it happened yesterday. The smell of new paint covering beer-stained dorm room walls. The RAs’ stale greetings in matching neon shirts and Sharpie’d name tags. Awkward, passing smiles from strange hallmates trailed by nervous parents. Hellish name games and forced social bonding. Little did I know that I was about to embark on four of the best and life-changing years of my life … none of which would prepare me for the real world. Like, at all. Don’t get me wrong, I got an amazing education and grew as a human and all that shit, but being in college is like being ensconced under some cushioned, wonderland bubble, where nothing you do affects the real world (except maybe flunking out) and your real goal is just … to be. Here are some of the good (and bad) things that only happen in those four freak years:
Category Archives: schooled
One of the best parts of the college experience is that you get to take your hobbies and interests really, really seriously. From your urban drum circle to art house movies to Zen Buddhism to heavy metal, college gives you the chance to dive into your passions without a hint of self-consciousness. In many cases, you also have a large group of friends who live 10 feet away and are willing to discuss the existential details of any topic til the early morning hours. This all adds up to thinking and saying, “Whoa, that’s deep” a lot. Looking back, some of the things we found super meaningful in our college days might be a bit cringeworthy now, but some of them still hold up, and either way, we’re grateful for the time we got to spend laying on the floor of our dorm rooms reciting Tool lyrics and thinking it was the most profound thing in the world. Here are some other books, movies, poetry, art, music, and scientific concepts we thought were mega deep in college… Keep reading »
I can’t say that it was ever my concrete intent to eschew college altogether, but by the time I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth (yet with inexplicable honors in Astronomy), disillusioned and perpetually anxiety-ridden, I knew with all certainty that I didn’t want to see the inside of a classroom again for as long as I could possibly manage. A gap year would suffice, I concluded, and my parents agreed. I would get an internship, do something productive with my time off, but I’d be able to clear my head, recalibrate, take better care of myself (something I’d long neglected), put some effort into figuring out what I really wanted to do with my life and career path before I invested tens of thousands of dollars of my parents’ money in something I was not certain about and would likely dislike with vehemence and not wish to participate in within a matter of weeks or months, as I had in the past with: karate, horseback riding, the violin, classes in art and screenwriting, and a handful of other hobbies and activities that I have either forgotten or conveniently blocked out. This was the logical reasoning behind my decision. Keep reading »
If you don’t want to hear a rambling soliloquy of stories that have nothing to do with you, don’t ask me about Australia. Not only will I blabber about about it for hours on end to anyone that asks (or doesn’t), I will try to strike up a conversation with any stranger in my near vicinity who has a whiff of an Australian accent. But in my defense, I just really, really loved my study abroad experience. I made friends for life, did things I thought I would never do (um, hi skydiving) and truly had some of the most epic nights I can (barely) remember. So in case I was too subtle, I recommend studying abroad. But a great experience doesn’t just start and end with a passport. Here are some things you need to do to have that “Crap, I really wish I got a green card” experience:
College life typically involves many things: parties, ultimate frisbee, deep conversations about emo bands, constant pizza consumption, and — at least in theory — lots and lots and studying. Want to know how your studying habits stack up? We came up with this handy quiz that sorts students into four types of studiers. Make sure to keep track of your answers, and don’t worry — this quiz shouldn’t require any studying to pass! Click on the gallery to get started…
Your college roommate can be your best friend or your most terrible, smelly nightmare. Colleges are supposed to hook you up with roommates you’ll at least be able to marginally get along with, but often it doesn’t exactly work out that way. I’m not sure exactly what I filled out on my freshman roommate form, but the person I ended up couldn’t have been further from me: A science major into sports. I went to bed early, she stayed up late (and often passed out in her soccer gear.) We made it through the year, but not without some fighting and some tears — and some visits from her very eccentric boyfriend from home.
I’m sure I was no peach to live with, either. She probably hated my band posters and weird art projects, and that I was constantly listening to mopey emo music. Could our dismal freshman roommate experience have been avoided? Possibly. Had we had a more comprehensive roommate questionnaire, perhaps there would have been a shocking red flag, warning our dorm room administrators that the two of us were a terrible match.
I mean, do college roommate questionnaires ask about the things you actually want to know about the person you’re going to spend the next nine months with? If they did, we think the form would look something like this (all based on our personal roommate experience)… Keep reading »
It’s a couple weeks into your European History class, and suddenly you find yourself touching up your lip gloss before taking your seat and getting all hot and bothered by the mere mention of Protestant Reformation. Hey, we’ve all been there. Here’s our breakdown of the factors that contribute to a major crush on your professor, culled from our extensive experience with the subject. Sigh. There’s just something universally irresistible about a learned man in tweed.
So you’ve bought the sheets, the desk lamp, the shoe racks, the posters that will fall off after two months, the hangers, the towels, the laptop and the notebooks. You pillaged the shit out of your local bedding supply co. and you’re feeling like a champ … or in a cloudy haze of coupons and shopping carts. Same thing. The problem is, there will alwayssss be something you forgot. And you definitely want to get that stuff while your parents’ credit card is just an arm’s length away. Here are some things you would have forgotten if it weren’t for me saving the day…