There was a moment sometime during the weekend before finals week that I looked up from the copious U.N.-related documents assigned by my Intro to Human Rights professor that I had somehow failed to read during the semester and realized: “Holy shit my first year of college is basically over.”
I thought back to about a year before and tried to remember what I thought finishing my freshman year would feel like. I guess I thought I’d be far more sophisticated, secure and grown up in general. In reality — at least at that moment at time —I just felt a hell of a lot more stressed. But the truth is, I learned a lot over the past year, even if that transformation manifested in a number of small ways rather than one grand overhaul of my childish naivete.
So here are just a few pieces of advice for rising freshmen from somebody who just finished being one. Keep reading »
Hey, college students: If your life plans include getting an actual job, you may want to avoid the stars of the Daily Beast‘s “most useless” majors list. Majors are ranked in terms of employment, taking into account unemployment rates among recent and experienced grads, earnings, and likely job growth this decade. The list contains a few surprises—sure, fine arts won’t get you far, but neither will hospitality management. Read more…
College. The four, for some of us five, greatest of our glory years. You’re not a girl, yet not quite a debt-ridden woman (yes, I just made a Britney Spears reference, didn’t you know … she’s back! So it’s okay.) You’ll take a lot of memories with you from the journey from duckling Freshman to swan Senior, but there will also be some regrets. Some of those regrets are going to haunt you for the rest of your life, or until you get a good paying job, which in this economy might mean the rest of your life. And of those regrets, potentially chief among them are not having sex in places you wish you would have. Once you graduate, these passion possibilities are past their expiration date. They’re gone … gone … gone. So here’s your Uncle Dude trying to make sure you have the most fulfilling experience you can. Here are 11 places you should have sex before you graduate … Read more …
A new study from the University of Illinois should make college students very happy: apparently drinking a couple beers before a test may improve your performance. Researchers administered a brain teaser quiz to a group of 40 men. Study participants who had two drinks before the test –either two pints of beer or two medium glasses of wine–were able to solve 40 percent more brain teasers than the sober participants, and they solved them considerably faster. The researchers say this is because alcohol hinders analytical thinking and opens your mind to creative problem solving. Tipsy test-takers also spend less time second-guessing themselves. Study co-author Jennifer Wiley is quick to point out that these results do not apply to binge drinking, though: “We tested what happens when people are slightly merry — not when people drink to extremes.” So there you have it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get slightly merry and take some online IQ tests. [MSN]
For years, I’ve mostly defined myself in terms of my almost single-minded focus on my ambitions and goals. However, I wasn’t always like that. I don’t know when (probably sometime in middle school or early high school) but, at some point, I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to achieve all of the goals that plenty of people seemed to enjoy telling me were unachievable, I would have to be completely devoted to making those dreams a reality, especially as a woman. Admittedly, I never felt discriminated against at school based on my gender or felt denied anything because I’m a girl. Yet it always seemed to me that boys were taken more seriously than girls. Toughness came easily to them; it was expected of them. As a girl, I had to choose between being seen as sweet and funny or smart and driven. I felt like an either/or situation, despite my identification with aspects of both. I knowingly chose to try to achieve my goals, academic and otherwise, which, in my opinion, left me appearing “serious” and unfeminine.
I spent the first semester of college carrying on this persona. In a sense it paid off: I got great grades. And yet, in order to achieve those grades, I felt I had completely blocked myself off from other important college experiences. I realized that I should be happier about my academic accomplishment. Instead, I just felt hollow, like I was missing out on something more. Keep reading »
There are lots of things one should not do in college, such as eat ramen noodles for every meal 16 weeks straight, but that does not stop most of us from doing it anyway. Several colleges are trying to put the kibosh on at least one at-times ill-advised decision: a ban on professors banging their students. The New York Post reported this weekend that the City University of New York (CUNY) has proposed a tightening of its sexual harassment policy to ban sexual relationships between professors and “students for whom they have professional responsibility.” Teacher/student hookups are currently “strongly discouraged” in the policy, but the faculty senate and legal counsel both say they should be banned. Columbia University, also in New York, is finalizing a similar ban on professor/student relationships this month. Keep reading »
I love Dan Savage for a number of reasons. Among them, the “It Gets Better” campaign and the dumb but true advice that “every relationship fails until the one that doesn’t.” Aside from that, I love Dan because he offers smart, non-judgmental advice about sex and relationships, but will totally tell his readers if they’re doing something stupid (see also: DTMFA). So I’m really excited to see Dan in action — so to speak — on the new MTV show “Savage U.” “Savage U” follows Dan and producer Lauren Hutchins0n as they travel around college campuses answering embarrassing and need-to-know questions. You might not be in college, but chances are, you still want to know if a guy can tell if you’re faking an orgasm, right? (Debuts April 3 at 11 p.m. EST.) [MTV]
When I thought about what my college experience would be like as a high schooler, I never for a second even slightly entertained the faintest thought of joining a sorority. As a self-identified feminist, as someone who thought Chapstick was a full face of makeup, and as someone who had about as much interest in enduring mosh pits of grinding frat boys as she did in microbial taxonomy (read: none) I had zero interest in what I, frankly, saw as an antiquated, possibly even anti-feminist and insulting tradition. Which is why when I pressed “send” on my Columbia University sorority recruitment application last December, nobody was more surprised than I was. Keep reading »
Taking the morning-after pill in a timely fashion has been one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to reproductive rights. Emergency contraception (which prevents ovulation so an egg cannot be fertilized, as well as thins the lining of the uterus so a fertilized egg cannot be implanted) is most effective if taken within five days of unprotected sex — but the sooner the better. Even though EC, in theory, became more accessible when the FDA announced it could be sold over-the-counter to women age 17 and up, that did not play out in reality. Women who live in rural areas, as well as women who live anyplace where a pharmacist can cite a so-called conscience clause and tell her “no, not dispensing that!”, still have to do a lot of frantic scrambling at an already stressful time.
But one college in Pennsylvania has a brilliant idea on how to make EC more accessible when it is needed most: Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, put a vending machine filled with Plan B in the health center. Keep reading »
When I initially began the college application process, I had absolutely no interest in attending a single sex institution. In fact, I knew exactly what I wanted in a school. I wanted to go to a small liberal arts college in New York City that was full of intelligent, impassioned and driven students; dedicated professors who would take a personal interest in their students rather than put them on the backburner in favor of their own research or hand them over to TAs; an amazing alumni network with plentiful internship opportunities; an excellent women’s studies department; and an emphasis on writing across the board. And that school is Barnard College — a school that also happens to be single sex. Keep reading »