Though college tours may dispense valuable perils of wisdom to help you decide where to spend a chunk of your future, much information can only be gleaned from the college experience itself. Check out the following nine things you should know about college that you can’t learn from the tour:
Riding College Buses To Class Is Worse Than Driving During Rush Hour
Universities often market their modes of public transportation to be among their best “free” services, as school officials claim students will be able to commute back-and-forth to various locations with little to no hassle.
But, come the first day of the semester, you’ll find how much of a lie that statement really is; riding school-sponsored buses can unintentionally turn you into a contortionist. Twisting and turning your body to adjust to the overflow of fellow passengers until you invade a stranger's personal space is not the best way to travel.
Textbooks Make For Good Decorations
Nothing supports the myth of college being a “scam” more than the silly process of acquiring textbooks. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find the books you need via Amazon or Chegg, both of which boast much lower prices in comparison to campus bookstores. But then again, professors will sometimes make “custom” textbooks or require new editions of books, which are only available at the school’s official bookstore.
Chances are, you even won’t fully utilize the $100-400 you spent on textbooks for the semester, however that $200 microeconomics textbook will/does complement your desk exquisitely. Aside from being nice dorm decor, textbooks can also double as coffee table coasters, makeshift dumbbells, paperweights and pillows.
So hey, maybe you are getting your money's worth.
No One Reads The School Newspaper
The school paper, while important for staying abreast the current events of the university, is inherently useless, as no one honestly reads it "day-in and day-out." It's like the dictionary — vital to life, yet no one actually cares enough to read it. Skimming through the daily collegiate paper can kill time while you wait for your bus to come and then into the recycle bin it goes. The school newspaper only exists for journalism majors to help them boost their résumés.
The Weekends Are Used For Recovery... And Netflix
Given the hustle-and-bustle of the workweek, we tend to believe that weekends are primetime for studying and completing academic assignments. But, we’re wrong. Typically, Friday nights are reserved for partying and socializing (AKA heavy drinking and/or various other drug-related activities). So come Saturday morning, you will most likely wake up hungover only to stay in bed to catch up on the sleep of which you were deprived from earlier in the week.
Thus, you won’t be fully functioning until noon, at best. Then, you’ll spend your afternoon trying to catch up on TV shows from the past week or surfing the Internet to illegally download newly released movies. Come nighttime, you are ready to party again. So, when does the work get done? Answer: in the late hours of Sunday night, when you're supposed to be sleeping to restore energy for your 9 am Monday lecture.
On-the-Job Experience Is More Valuable Than Your GPA
Hopefully, you’ll have one cool, seasoned professor, who has had extensive experience in your desired field, who will tell you that what really matters is on-the-job experience and that no one cares about GPA after you’ve landed your first job. By now, you’ve probably heard that to make it in life, it’s more about whom you know rather than what you know. A large and understated requirement of college is networking; selling yourself is major for positioning yourself well for a successful future.
Employers want people who are sociable and fun to be around, who add a creative and unique element to the workplace. While grades are important in the progression of your collegiate tenure, remember to network as well. Make a conscious effort to apply for numerous internships to find out what you like and dislike.
Three-Hour Classes Will Turn You Into 'The Walking Dead'
What’s worse than listening to a monotone 70-year-old for an hour and a half? Listening to a monotone 70-year-old for three hours. Seriously, three-hour classes should be illegal. By scheduling a 3-hour lecture, colleges are basically asking students to send duck-faced selfies to their friends via Snapchat the whole time. By the end of lecture, you’ll be half-asleep and ready to gouge out your eyes and puncture your eardrums.
You Find A Significant Other
I haven’t discovered one yet, but hey, I digress...
Hit The Gym Vigorously To Counteract The Effects Of Dining Hall Food
When you went on the campus tour back in high school, everything looked grand and over-the-top, including that state-of-the-art dining facility that proudly served Chinese, Mexican, Italian and American cuisines in conjunction with a salad bar and a deli area. While these selections are vast, they are also highly dangerous to your waistline.
We all want to eat healthy, but how often does that really happen? It’s possible to stick to salad for only so long. It’s an ongoing struggle to stay away from the fast-food pleasures that the dining halls offer. The cafeteria provides unlimited food, whenever, and it’s made on the spot. Make a mental note every now and then to hit the treadmill to avoid gaining a double chin and jellyrolls.
Random Roommates Work 50 Percent Of The Time
Obviously, not everyone in life will be your friend. People have different personalities, different motives and come from different backgrounds. But still, you wish your random college roommate will be an intriguing, friendly person who shares the same interests as you. 50 percent of the time, you’ll become best friends with this random stranger and create memories that you will share for a lifetime.
The other 50 percent of the time, you won’t be able to wait until May, when you're able to run for the hills and cease all interaction with your former roomie. Random roommates are a gamble — for all you know, you’ll be paired with a serial killer, a socially-awkward book worm, a night owl who keeps the light on when you're trying to sleep or a "rager" who lives by the phrase "turn down for what?"
Photo credit: Shutterstock