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  College Life 101
By Darra Clark
iHigh.com College Columnist

News Story 36103 Image Hey ladies and gents, sorry it's been ever so long since I've written, but as I'm certain that you all miss my college wisdom terribly by now, I've decided to bless you with some of my new learnin'.

First off, wow, college goes sooo quickly. I can hardly believe I'm almost done with my second semester (let me tell you, though, my work ethic quit right after midterms). The worst part of so much happening in life is that, without a parent or anyone to remind you, it becomes really easy to forget that you're at college primarily to learn. While that learning comes in many forms, it's important to remember the book-oriented, GPA-earning, scholarship-keeping type.

Probably the most important thing to keep in mind is balance. Otherwise, you end up as a flaming ball of stress, like yours truly. It's possible to get a 4.0 (which I should have this semester, assuming the gods don't smite me with finals) and have a fulfilling social life...What's not so possible, however, is getting a 4.0 and getting drunk and stoned off out of your gourd every night. I think that the whole drinking scene is probably the thing I've found most appalling about college (our student handbook specifically outlaws beer funnels, for example). The problem, of course, is that drinking becomes a really hard behavior to regulate (at least from what I can tell). There are people, occasionally, who can drink on the weekends and then be ridiculously good students during the week, but the best advice I can possibly offer is to not start. Drinking and drugs have done some awful things to some of the kids I've seen around here, and they're actually really easily available, so therefore, Darra in all of her wisdom says: DON'T.

As cheerful as that is, I think I'll now touch on some of the happier things about college...in fact, I'll tell you guys all about my dorm room and roommate (still remembering very distinctly being afraid of trying to live with some total stranger from Nevada). Well, as it turns out, the roommate to whom I was assigned ended up staying in Nevada, so I let a friend of a friend, who had the literal roommate from hell, move into my room...And hence, the beautiful, lovely, organized Brandi Jo became my roommate. People like to tell horror stories about roommates, but I've never had to experience it. Bran, luckily for me, is a very forthright, mature individual, so what few issues we do have (like how long the boyfriends can stay or who's going to take out the trash) we talk about and fix. And should you start out with a roommate who vomits all over the room and doesn't clean it (like Bran's original roommate), you don't have to suffer in silence. Complain. Long and loud. Tell the res-life people "I paid for a room where my stuff and I can be secure...Fix this now." There are always a few people who go through the first semester sans roommate, their assigned roomies having decided, for whatever reason, to not show up.

Other fun stuff to be aware of about college...communal showers. Though this is supposedly one of the worst aspects, I've never had a problem with it. Our showers are always relatively clean (possibly because we're all OCD women), and I can count on my left hand the number of times I've had to wait for a shower...actually, I can count on my left pinky. True, it can be a bit of a pain to drag your stuff, room to shower, shower to room, every day, but you have an excuse to buy one of those neat shower caddies (I have a pretty bright orange one from Bed, Bath, and Beyond (corporate plug!) that was only $6. The occasional disputes we have had on my floor tend to be resolved rather easily by, gasp, acting like adults and talking it out.

So what, ladies and gentlemen, is my overarching thesis? Um...I guess I'm trying to tell you that college is the first time in your life that you can enjoy the privileges of adulthood, but you also need to be responsible like an adult. It's fun to party, and no, your mom's not there to tell you to clean up after yourself in the shower, but a 1.75 GPA and angry floor mates should inspire some semblance of adult behavior.

Article provided by iHigh.com

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