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What makes college hard?

By a Student, Staff

If you were anything like me in high school, you believed college would be easy. You saw college students on t.v. answering just plain stupid questions incorrectly, doing dumb things, and just generically being idiots. If they were standard representatives of college students, then heck, college was going to be easy.

Or so I thought.

You know, after five years & sixty thousand dollars, I was wrong.
Now, before you go discarding my opinion from here on out, I'd like to say that I am still the most brilliant person I know. And I know a lot of people.

That being said, my ego been flexed,

College is different. In more ways than the painfully apparent obvious ones. For the most part, the classes are easy, the material mundane, the professors uninspriring. In fact, in all the ways that college is supposed to be harder, it isn't. In those ways, it is easier.

You see, in college, you will find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. You will no longer be at home, surrounded by your friends, having all your needs taken care of. People won't worry if you came home the last night, won't care if you got attacked, didn't eat anything, or didn't get any sleep. You will have to secure your own dinner, pay your own bills, .. just to name a small few.

This is what makes college difficult, and unless you have been living by yourself for a while, the amount of things you find yourself worrying about can be overwhelming. Simply, you will be on your own - and that takes a while to get adjusted to. And being on your own & taking care of yourself consumes more time and energy than you have been used to. Unless you spend all your time in your room studying (which is even worse than failing everything), you will find that the time you can actually spend on preparing for exams that don't reflect the material, doing irrelevant homework, or doing busywork projects is much reduced.

A lot of people have asked me, "what is the most useful skill to have in college?"
Without fail, I have answered,

knowing how to work the system.

Why is this?
Knowing how to work the system helps you to know when to study more, how to approach a problem, and how to deal with 'the world' in general. College is very little about the schoolwork - it is about getting used to dealing with the world.

The final nugget of advice (if there was any to begin with) I'd like to leave you with is:
Schedule your time. It is really hard to do, but schedule time during the day when you are going to do your schoolwork. Not all your time, in fact, not even most of it. Just a little. But however much you schedule (I'd recommend an hour or two), stick to it, and use it. It will help eliminate the overwhelming feeling of 'being behind'. That's the worst feeling in the world.

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