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the only advice in college

Get some sleep. Your health is the most important thing. Sacrifice some sleep. Your grades matter.

Cram. It works. Don’t cram. It doesn’t work.

Sit in the front of the class—ask questions, get known, discuss. Sit in the back of the class—you’re the most comfortable there and you can listen and read.

Meet anyone, everyone, anytime, every time. Network—the more the merrier. If you’re happy with the small group of friends you have, stick with them—they’re the ones who matter.

Pick the best and toughest and/or most well-known professors. They’re the most inspirational and you’ll learn the most and probably get a better recommendation. Pick the easiest professors. Are you really stupid enough to ruin your GPA by choosing good but tough professors?

Talk to your roommate about dorm issues you’re having. They’re gonna get worse. Ignore the issues. Is the conversation really worth it?

Keep in touch with your hometown friends—they know you best and they’re an important part of you. Cultivate college friendships—you’ve changed and you’re in a new place.

Party, go out, explore the town, stay in to laugh with friends. This life is about people and about having fun—right here, right now. Study, focus, lock yourself in the library. This life is about work and planning for the future.

Start a club, get an internship, get involved. When you graduate, job interviewers will ask you what you’ve done, not be picky between your 3.0 or 3.5. Be on track with good grades, good relations with professors, and good research experience. When you graduate, grad schools you apply to want to see solid academics.

I guess the only advice in college is:

Listen to yourself. What’s your mission? What’s your purpose? What’s best for yourself? What makes you happiest? Only you know what’s best and only you are in control of your life. Stay true to yourself—but when something whispers in your ear that you might be wrong, don’t be afraid of listening to it. Change a bit, experiment, balance.

- by Nathan Chow
Boston University Class of 2009

Nathan Chow is a graduate of Boston University's College of Communication. He runs a middle school program at a community center in Boston. In his free time, he writes for his motivational blog http://lifetruthordare.com (also on Facebook) and takes photos for his freelance service http://nathanchowphoto.com (also on Facebook). He loves to read, write, dine out, eat ethnic food, run, salsa dance, play soccer, juggle, joke, laugh, and meet new people---but certainly not all at the same time.

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