The following is not an exhaustive list but a list of useful tips for first-year college students. They were compiled from experiences from college students, recent college graduates, and drug-addicts.
Tip #1 – Try Illegal Drugs
Do not wait until your senior year to start experimenting with illegal drugs because if you are planning to apply to government agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, you are doomed. They disqualify candidates who have used illegal drugs within the last 12 months of their application. So please, if you are going to try them, try them now (that is if you have not already done so when you were an infant).
If you are ever accused of using illegal drugs and you try to defend your decision by directing authorities to my website, please do not do that. I plan to run for office one day and I do not want to be held accountable for giving bad advice to young adults.
This tip is not recommended for you to use if you plan to apply for an internship the summer between your first year and sophomore year because some companies conduct drug tests.
So really, just try illegal drugs at a very young age so that it can fully excrete out of your body by the time you look for jobs.
On the other hand, maybe you should just not use illegal drugs. Yes, this should really be the tip.
Tip #2 – Ask for Extensions
High school teachers gave us rigid deadlines. They were homework deadlines, paper deadlines, lab deadlines, college application deadlines, recommendation letter deadlines; the list continues. These deadlines were usually set in stone and high school teachers seldom gave extensions because 1) they think that we’re just trying to cheat our way out of the system 2) they secretly want to torture us as if having five core subjects, extracurricular activities and romantic relationships weren’t enough to occupy our lives 3) they don’t have anything else better to do than to receive our works on the same day and immediately grade them.
In college, most professors actually want us to learn instead of not submitting an assignment or half-assing it. They also understand that we take other classes and that college classes are generally more challenging than high school classes.
One method that I find most effective when asking for extensions is to list all the deadlines in your courses as soon as you receive the syllabus. If you see overlapping deadlines or deadlines that are significantly close to one another, e-mail your professors immediately and ask for extensions.
By doing so, it shows that you are responsible and that you are not a procrastinator because you did not ask for extensions a few days before the deadline (or even worse, the day of the deadline).
Tip #3 – Changing Majors Is Really Not that Big of a Deal (Unless You’re Doing it During the Last Semester of Your Senior Year)
High school students have a misconception that once they declare their major, it will be an almost impossible or painful process to change it. This is not true, unless you are changing your major from dance to chemistry. However, if you do change it from dance to chemistry, it’s not the end of the world.
It’s never too late.
A friend of mine wrote on her college essay that she wanted to major in Economics because she wanted to become a lawyer specializing in business law. Then, during her first year, she declared her major as Psychology. After taking a few classes in Psychology, she realized that she doesn’t want to take so many research classes, which was required by the major. Therefore, she changed her major to Policy Analysis during her sophomore year. Then after taking a core course in Policy Analysis, she hated it and then changed her major to Decision Science. Then during her senior year, she discovered that she was no longer interested in law school. Now she’s a self-proclaimed writer focusing on topics such as alcoholic beverages and cosmetic surgeries.
Whatever you choose to major in does not dictate what your actual career will be. Whatever you learn in college is supposed to broaden your perspective, develop your reasoning abilities, and strengthen your creativity skills.
Tip #4 – Get a Summer Internship, It’s Your Ticket to a Full Time Job
Having internship experiences will set you apart from other job applicants once you’re hunting for a full-time job or even just hunting for your next internship.
Please choose internships based on your interest and based on your potential career path. Once you get the internship, learn as much as you can. If your responsibilities involve getting coffee and taking lunch orders, don’t just stick to that, do things beyond them.
There are no small roles, there are only “small” people. Talk to the people that you’re interning for, get to know the industry, develop good relationships with them, and find out everything you can about the industry. You can either ask for new responsibilities and more challenging roles, or you can twirl your fingers and waste time.
Please don’t have the mind set that interns do “bitch work” because if that’s the only attitude that you have then guess what? You’re really just going to be a female dog instead of making the most out of the opportunity.
Tip #5 – Make a Lot of Friends, Freshman Year is When Everyone is Really Sociable
A friend of mine told me that during your first year in college everyone is trying to find a “group.” So meet as many people as you can. Use the school’s bathrooms as many times as you can in a day so you can strike up conversations with people while releasing body fluids and excesses. Stand by the printer at your school’s computer rooms so you can meet people who print things.
Eventually people will start to form their own “groups” or “cliques.” By then, it’ll be harder for you to make new friends because people will already be in their own comfort zones.
Tip #6 – Get to Know Your Teachers and Have Them Get to Know You as Well
College isn’t like high school where classes usually consist of 25 people or fewer. Professors don’t just teach, they also do research. They are probably not going to remember your name so don’t count on them to remember your academic achievements in their classes.
Therefore, whenever you have a class that has a small number of students, start conversations with professors. Make sure they remember you and get to know you on a personal level. During a point in your college career, you’re going to need recommendations from professors. You might need them for a scholarship application, internship opportunity or just for fun like wasting their time to write you one.
Of course, if you’re going to ask for a recommendation based on the last reason, don’t. It might come back to bite you in the ass when the professor asks you to write the recommendation yourself and s/he will just execute it.
Tip #7 – Keep Copies of Your Work
Professors are not like computers that keep records of all your work and be able to retrieve them at any time. If they write you recommendations, they would want evidence to support their writing. Save copies of your work in case your professor needs them to remember what an amazing student you were. Of course, give them your most competent works, not the ones that you received F’s on.