Here is another expensive thing that colleges force you to do. General education courses (Gen-eds) make up the first 1.5 to 2 years of college. The main thing (to me) that these courses teach you is that everything you learn in college is not important. From gene-eds, I remember the quadratic formula from college algebra, the three types of rocks from geology, and Thomas Jefferson was a deist. These unnecessary courses will only cost thousands of dollars though…
Besides being expensive and wasteful of time, the professors of these courses will often act like they do not care about teaching lowly freshmen. The broadness of the subjects doesn’t allow them to go as intellectually in-depth with the students and the professors do not like this. If I offer one point of advice, get used to PowerPoint slides with little elaboration or explanation. PowerPoint presentations will make up 90 percent of your freshmen year.
Without trying to come across jaded, I believe that gen-eds teach you the process to succeed in college without having to learn the material. If you know how to write an essay, you don’t need to remember anything you wrote about. If you know how to study for a test, you won’t even think to remember the material you “learned.” If you learn the process and know what professors are interested in seeing from you, college can be a breeze. Maybe, I caught on early. Maybe, I’m the only one who caught on. Who knows?
Tips to Remember
- Know how to study for a test and write an essay before you come to college.
- Understand that these classes are gateways into your major so don’t mess them up that bad.
- Go to class and you’ll pass.
When I arrived at college, I was a thin 180 pounds and didn’t have to watch what I ate because the only food at my house was healthy. After my first year of college I had ballooned up to 225 pounds. It wasn’t pretty.
The reason for this was that all of the GOOD food on campus was unhealthy. If I wanted to eat something tasty, it was either Chic-fil-a, pizza or Ramen noodles. The fruit in the campus stores was often rotten. The salads looked disgusting. The pre-packaged “healthy” sandwiches were atrocious. Plus, Oklahoma State University kept bragging about how healthy our campus was (mostly because we had just banned smoking on campus). Therefore, I was a little irritated. But, my weight gain is my own fault. OSU wasn’t force feeding me greasy chicken. It was just what I chose to eat.
Now, the on-campus food prices are a complete joke and it is REQUIRED to buy a meal plan during the freshmen year. I’ve never been around any organized crime but OSU is running a racket on poor college students.
Here are some example prices of food I remember from 2008-2009 school year.
- Small bag on Tyson Chicken – slightly less than $5
- Hot ham and cheese sandwich at Student Union Grill – around $4
- 6 pack of H2OSU bottled water – $5
- 1 Ramen Noodles – 50 cents
I came to college thinking $1,000 meal plan was more than enough for four months. I was wrong and ran out mid-November and stopped buying meal plans after that.
Tips to Remember
- Don’t eat out for all meals. Restaurant food is mostly unhealthy.
- Read the labels of the food you do eat to check for fat and sodium content.
- Don’t believe that a Freshmen 15 is a life sentence.
We all know that as a freshmen you are going to break the rules in the dorm. It could be having a boyfriend/girlfriend stay in your room, drinking alcohol, burning candles or even smoking pot. I’m telling you that you probably won’t care much about the rules.
And I don’t think you should (to an extent). Unless you are dumb enough to get caught, you won’t. If you do, you will get a slap on the wrist. I’ve known people who were in trouble with residential life more than 15 times and they weren’t kicked out. That’s ridiculous!
Lastly, the dorms aren’t Animal House, but they are fun. It is where you meet friends, socialize and unite as a floor. The RA is there to help retain you at the university and wants you to have fun, just don’t get caught.
During my freshmen year, there was always some form of alcohol in my room. It was usually vodka or a good kind of beer. I was never caught with it. Also, there was a policy that did not allow girls in your room past 2 a.m. but I violated that rule as well. In college, who cares?
During my freshmen year, we got new mattresses and the old ones lined the halls for a day before they were removed. At this point, a few members of the floor decided to create fire hazards with them in the elevator landing, common room and hallway. I know this is not that big of a deal, but this is the only rule that I documented being broken…
Holy Hell! You’re moving to your dorm or fraternity/sorority house. You must not have screwed yourself in high school and you’re parents like you enough to send you to college. Well, you’re first day at college is going to be a strange and an oddly satisfying experience.
It will make you believe that there is no space whatsoever at college. Parking is bad, elevators are worse, the RA is angry because he/she can’t get a break, parents want to take pictures and think that they’re child is the only one that anyone should notice, and oh yeah, it is a good day!
But, it is a necessary day. You’ll meet some new and exciting people who will become you’re friends and you’ll look back on when you first met everybody on the first and made fun of each other at the first floor meeting.
You made it. Dorm life at 18 is difficult but some of the best times you can have with some of the best friends you will ever have. Enjoy this time.
What to remember…
- Talk to new people and make friends.
- Leave your door open.
- Be patient with your RA.
- Let your parents have their moment of being proud, yet sad.