Monday, August 4, 2014

5 Things I wish I knew my Freshman Year of College

Hubby and I sat around this weekend filling out two job applications (for him) for some awesome positions that opened up in Texas. We have lived in Arizona, Nevada and Kentucky. It’s only fitting that we someday add “Texas” to the list, don’t ya think? After all “we don’t live in pussy states,” dear Husband likes to say.  

During the application process, we come to Education. We look up above my computer where I’ve hung our diplomas in two beautiful frames. Our black tassels hang down over the corners of each one. Both diplomas have the words “with Distinction” (meaning we graduated with above a 3.5 gpa.) The application asks for his college, major and year graduated. Nowhere did it ask for a gpa. Nowhere could he use his bragging rights about graduating “with distinction.” In fact, none of my jobs after college asked for my gpa; only confirmation that I did graduate.

It was then that we realized that our gpa’s really didn’t do much for us after graduation. Aside from a few scholarships during college, I can confidently say that my life probably wouldn’t be much different if my diploma didn’t have that tiny little line of text below “Bachelor of Arts.” In high sight, the mental breakdown I suffered after receiving a “C” in my Biology 100 class was completely unnecessary.

So that’s what led me to write up this post. Here it goes …

5 Things I wish I knew my Freshman Year of College

1. Declare your minor asap. This really F-ed me. I had already taken two classes for my Marketing minor before declaring it. The year I went to declare it, UNR stopped offering it as a minor because the Business School was so damn over filled. The classes that I had already taken then became my electives, which I was saving for more interesting classes. Yeah. That sucked.

2. Consider sign language as a foreign language. My major required four semesters of a foreign language. I ended up taking French because I did in high school. Only after my third semester did I find out that I could have taken sign language. As a mother, that really would have come in handy because babies can learn to sign before they can talk.

3. Take your worst subject first. I struggled in math and science in high school and then again in college. Luckily, the journalism program only required math 120. I got a B. I took this the first semester of college so that I could draw on some of the information I learned in high school. It helped quite a bit.

4. Research the professor. I enjoyed almost all of my professors. Even the hard ones helped me walk away with a great deal of knowledge. But I will say this: take a few classes from younger professors who are currently working in your field of study. I had professors who had been out of the advertising business for over 20 years. They were really helpful with developing concepts, but struggled with current technology. I ended up learning more about graphic design after I graduated than I did in school.

5. Have fun. Not too much. That comes later. I had a lot of fun in college. But the best time of my life was after I graduate. Sure, I had a 40 hour work week, but there was no homework after 5 p.m. Weekend weren’t spent studying for exams anymore and I actually had money to go buy things because I was being paid for my time. So I encourage students to have a good time, but go to college for the degree. Don’t let the booze, boys (or girls) and parities get the in the way of why you’re there.

My big brother & I at our graduation.


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