The semester is in full swing, and among the hallowed halls of higher education, we all have those thoughts that creep up on us. Did anyone notice that at the department mixer, I took two pieces of pizza? (No.) Does anyone else notice how hot our TA is? (Yes.) Does anyone have any idea how you’re meant to answer a question from a philosophy professor? (No, but “Aren’t there differing views on this question?” should get them off your back.) For the big questions that you thought no one had but you, read on….
Am I taking notes the right way?
The person to my left is writing everything down on cue cards, the person to my right is writing everything down in a notebook and then re-highlighting it, the person in front of me is—wait, is that Game of Thrones? Are they actually watching TV in a lecture? OK, focus! Do I need to develop shorthand? Do I need to write everything down? What if I don’t think something is important now so I don’t write it down, but then when the exam comes there’s like a 20-point essay question on it?
Answer: There’s no wrong way to take notes. Unless you’re the one watching Game of Thrones. If you do your readings ahead of classes you’ll know what’s important to write down, because you’ll have a better sense of what’s not included in the textbook. This will make studying a lot easier!
Am I too old to pull this off now?
Sure, rainbow tights were cool in high school…but should I still wear them here? What about backpacks with tons of buttons? My Powerpuff Girls purse? My pink Uggs?
Answer: People usually care a more about what they’re wearing than what you are. University is where you’ll develop your sense of style, so wear whatever you like. Plus this might be your last chance to rock bright-green hair or fishnet stockings, so I say go for it!
Is everyone partying/drinking/having sex but me?
This girl from Chemistry 101 added me on Facebook and she seems to go out all the time. The parties look fantastic, but I never get invited anywhere like that. And I always thought uni would be pretty much swarming with cute guys, but I haven’t met anyone yet. Am I the weird one?
Answer: No, you’re not. Research shows that the amount of sex or partying people on university/college campuses think that their peers are having is grossly overestimated. And get off Facebook—social media is the place FOMO goes to breed! If you’re worried you’re missing out, join a club or student group to meet people like you.
Should I be better with money?
I drank all my money away last weekend, so now I’ve got $4/day for the rest of the week. But I really want a cute pair of boots that I saw in the window of a shop recently. It’s OK that I put it on my VISA, right?
Answer: NO! Sorry to be No-Fun Nancy here, but university debt can cripple you for the rest of your life. Even without a student loan, a lot of students at uni rack up thousands of debt on nights out, or even through small day-to-day purchases. Build a budget and stick to it so that you don’t fall into that trap!
Should I care about my grades?
I know people who study all the time, and get straight As; I also know people who do nothing but party and get awful grades. I want to experience all that university has to offer, but I don’t want to spend four years in a library. How much of a priority should being an A+ student be to me?
Answer: I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but unless you’re on a scholarship, I say you need to live a life that makes you happy. If you’re studying relentlessly, taking challenging courses and have no time for a personal life, but you are happy—go for it. But if you’re thinking that your studies might slip from As to Bs if you take an internship that could seriously help you in the future, I think that’s a worthwhile consideration. Unless you’re going into Medicine, Law or Banking, or are thinking of doing a Master’s degree, let me tell you: not a single person has ever asked me for my GPA in an interview. People care more about what you can do for them in the real world then how much you study!
Featured Photo: The Fashion Guitar