I was an sophomore in college when Gremlin #1 was born. Time flies by so fast, that this boy (I should say, “young man”) is now going to college. College?! What? How can this be? Seems like it was just yesterday I was changing his diapers and wiping snot off his face. Haha. Seriously, I feel so old.
Gremlin #1 through the years. How time flies!
While I am happy that our boy, er…young man is moving on to get his degree, I’m anxious about how he’s going to handle college life. As an aunt, I feel like it’s my duty to give some advice, based on my own college experience. So here goes:
1) There is no way around this. You have to study, study hard and study a lot.Make sure to read your books and your notes before going to class. Professors have a habit of giving surprise quizzes and recitation.
2) Participate in class. Raise your hand, ask questions. Make sure the teacher remembers you (in a good way).
3) Submit your papers on time, and make sure the content is good (you researched very well), your grammar, spelling and punctuation is correct. Make sure to submit clean reports, not dirty ones! Do NOT copy from Wikipedia or other sites. If you are using these, cite them as your sources. Do NOT plagiarize someone else’s work.
4) ALWAYS attend your class. Attendance will always affect your grade.
5) If it is a group project, make sure to contribute and help your groupmates.
6) Be nice to your professor.
7) NEVER ever cheat in Exams. That’s just plain wrong.
B. Outside of class
1) Join an organization or two (or three). Join the official org of your course. Your orgmates will also be your classmates, so you can talk to them there, ask for any tips about your subjects, etc.
2) Grades first,before Orgs!
3) Whatever anyone says, NEVER join a fraternity. (Apologies to those who are in a fraternity. I feel that the negative news about fraternities in the Philippines just outweigh any positive ones, so I will not recommend joining one).
C. Social Life
1) Make new good friends. Some of these friends will be your friends even after college.
2) There will be kids that are “cool”, ie. Rich, pretty, “sikat”(popular). You can befriend them, but understand that their lifestyle will be different than yours. You are NOT rich like them. So be careful. If they want to gimik in a bar or resto that is expensive, and you don’t have money, don’t go. If they tell you to party with them and you have school the next day, DONT go with them.
3) There will be times you’re going to get home late, or even spend the night with your friends (because of traffic, or project work you have to finish). Always let your parents know where you are and who you’re with. You have seen the news. There are kids who meet accidents, get robbed, etc.
4) It’s inevitable that you’re going to be exposed to the following — drinking, smoking, sex(!) and drugs (well, it has to be said, right?). Please remember the following: a) You are just 16(as of this writing), even if you’re in college, you are underaged. You are not yet an adult. b) You have studied the effects of drinking, smoking and drugs and teen pregnancy. You have seen it with your own eyes. Why would you even try? c) If your “friends” insist you try them even if you have said “No”, they are NOT your friends. In which case, stay away from them.
So there it is. My “Tita’s Guide to College”. Lengthy post notwithstanding, I think college is really a great time to discover one’s self. If you make the right choices (with learning being the top priority), you can get your degree and have fun along the way. Some people view college as a license to do more of the things they did in high school, with less oversight from their parents ie. more opportunity to party, to hang out with friends.
I think you have to view college as a chance for you to show your parents that you can be a responsible adult. Understand that in graduating and getting your degree, it’s not only YOUR dreams you’re working towards, but you’ve already made your parents dreams come true. So, young man, are you ready for the really big school?”