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A lot of readers will relate to this question I recently got about the classic college experience:
In high school, I was excited about college. I was excited to get away from home. I thought I’d get the chance to hang out with friends more and have some fun but I never got to that.
All through the first few semesters I was nervous I’d screw up. I buckled down and focused on keeping my grades up in the new environment. I didn’t want to go home with my head between my knees. It was time to buckle down.
Every semester after that I was always distracted by some course. It was Calculus or Calc II or Calc III (because I’m apparently a glutton for punishment.) I would have to spend every free second studying or resting because I was so stressed out the whole time.
My last semesters I was interning and worrying about getting a job.
Now I’m looking back and wondering what the hell I did. Where was my college life? I could have swore I would have noticed people around me doing tons of fun stuff. I figured then I’d join in. It never happened. I never saw any super exciting parties. Sure… I had a few parties but they were nothing like what I imagined (and I was too much of a dweeb to appreciate them anyway.)
I’m now a senior. School is almost over. I’m looking back and realizing I never let myself have a college experience. I’m disappointed. I want to throw caution to the wind and find something exciting to do before I graduate but I don’t know where to start.
Sure… Go have fun. Throw caution to the wind (as long as you’re cautious about it.)
Seriously, caution is a good thing. Perhaps you have a wee bit too much of it but don’t lose sight of how useful it can be. I know a few cautionary tales of high school and college graduates “throwing caution to the wind.” They end with a lost scholarships, no job prospects, and one legally mandated public service sentence.
Too much caution can lead you to miss opportunities but before going into that, I think this might help.
There Is No Such Thing As The Classic College Experience
College in movies is mostly bullshit.
Sure… you’ll find the occasional drunken rager but it’s not what you’ll see in movies. (And it’s sure as hell not that common.) I’ve been to a couple. Have you ever noticed that grown ups don’t throw those kinds of parties? They have plenty of money. Many have the time to do it on weekends. They don’t do it because they come to realize something…
Yes… I get the short term charm but what you’re ultimately getting is a bunch of drunks hitting on the other drunks while dancing poorly. It reeks of BO, alcohol, and weed. The music’s too loud to have a real conversation. Okay… so none of you know how to manage your alcohol consumption responsibly… I get it already.
Movies will show tons of people having fun together. Those moments are few and far between. Sure… if you get drunk and/or high, it might feel that way. That’s not the party. That’s the alcohol and drugs. Do it with a couple friends for the same experience.
(I’m not condoning or condemning drugs and alcohol. I am, however, condemning the usual college party.)
Movies aren’t real. The classic college experience doesn’t exist. It’s an idea that’s sold to students. Personally, I think it’s just a slimey marketing campaign. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t have it.
You should have some extraordinary experiences. Be open to new experiences. Have fun with friends. You’ll have your mind blown in ways you never imagined. It just won’t be anything like you imagined it.
Your Life Is The College Experience
Don’t worry about living up to some insane standard of college experiences.
I can remember staying up late in my friend’s dorm room. We just talked about stupid and crazy ideas. We insulted each other. Over the whole night, we did nothing particularly exciting. This memory will stick with me better than any of the parties I attended. Maybe it’s just me but that’s kinda the point.
Every person has a different personality. What one person enjoys, another person dreads.
You’ve gone through almost 4 years of college. I’d bet you’ve done what your personality cares about. If you’re a partier then you’d have partied. If you’re laid back then you’d have spent plenty of time chillin’. Are you responsible? Then you probably have lived your life responsibly. (Of course, none of these categories are exclusive.)
Personalities do behaviors they prefer. It would be an extraordinary feat to never fall into your natural patterns over 4 years.
I’m not sure if this applies to you but realizing this has helped me immensely.
Who Are You?
You probably shouldn’t be ashamed of who you are. In the same way, you shouldn’t be ashamed of the results of actions that were inevitable based on who you are.
For years I hated that I couldn’t make small talk.
Eventually, I learned how to make small talk. I became pretty darn good at it. I could make a friend out of a stranger with this skill.
But something important didn’t change…
I was still introverted.
I was skilled but I still hated small talk.
There may be reasons to be ashamed of this but quite frankly, I think life is too short to care.
The college experience may exist for some people. Are you the kind of person that would really appreciate it? If you’ve spent 4 years avoiding it then I’m willing to bet the answer is no.
Don’t be ashamed of a life that’s the result of who you are. You don’t have to live up to anyone else’s standards. Most of those standards are BS anyway. Here is the most important point of all:
Someone else who had the exact college experience you’re dreaming about is probably dreaming they had your college experience. Partiers wish they buckled down. Responsible people wish they partied. There is always something to wish for.
Actually… most important point two:
Throw caution to the wind until it comes down to risking a court appearance.
JJ will know what I’m talking about. According to him, picking up trash gets boring fast.
Accelerated Learning Secrets First Written About In Shakespeare’s Times Reemerging And Being Conclusively Proven In Today’s Academic Journals
Professors Karpicke of Purdue University and Roediger, III of Washington University published an incredible paper that is making waves in the top rungs of Academia.
Colleges have taken pride in their ability to train the next generation of students for decades now. By subjecting their students to intimidating reading, long and immense lectures, and rigorous and unforgiving testing, they claim to have properly trained their graduates.
But modern research methods are calling those very claims into question.
You see… what these professors have discovered (and more are joining them every day) is shaking the very foundations of academia – all of the endless hours of studying, reading books, taking notes, and listening to endless lectures… doesn’t really teach students all that much – not even preparing them for the very tests they’re using.
The exact things that colleges and many professors have been encouraging are hindering students’ abilities to learn by occupying their time with ineffective methodologies.
Effective learning isn’t rocket science either….
“Francis Bacon wrote about these effective study strategies in the 1500’s – and the research is proving that we should have been listening to the preachers of this all along,” says Aaron Richardson, founder of Smart Student Secrets, a decade old, religiously followed, website dedicated to reintroducing these strategies to modern students.
“The reality is, the average university spends 4 years lecturing a student on what they could master in 6 months or less – if they used effective strategies.”
Confronting Mr. Richardson, I grilled him on the academic defenses of our country’s historic and prestigious Universities.
R: Doesn’t the work separate the wheat from the chaff? Give them work and those that best do it are better BECAUSE they worked harder to do it. The hard work itself is the target.
A: Assuming the wheat is the people that mindlessly follow directions and don’t have better things to do with their time… sure. But I’m advocating for the creative thinkers that are willing to challenge the status quo. They’re the wheat I’m giving my tools to.
R: But colleges say your strategies help you score higher on tests but not “understand” the material in a deeper way. Any response?
A: First thing, in academia, you’re judged on your ability to pass tests and answer questions – they have no other way. By their own standards, their strategies are worse.
Second, mull on any idea for a few years longer and you’ll have a deeper understanding of it. That’s the easy part. You do it every time you take a shower. The hard part is learning enough of the component parts to be able to mull it over. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can understand it deeper.
And one more thing…
I don’t really care if they criticize because the data speaks for itself. I advocate for the data their own studies are proving. They may be able to hide the truth for a while but it’s getting out and the longer they hold out, the worse it’s going to look for them – not me.
R: Mr. Richardson you have recently published a guide outlining his effective strategies in detail. It’s called, “How To Study Happier,” and has a 4 star review from students and some reviews making some pretty impressive claims. Right?
A: I’ve dedicated my life to helping students that are like the kid I used to be. And I guarantee that my book can help you get better grades – and if you’re not 100% satisfied with the changes then I’ll refund it completely. Show me one college that will do that for you!
R: So… Mr. Richardson, I’ve heard you’ve been taking some heat from academia over your claims.
A: For legal reasons, I have to keep my mouth shut on this one. All I can say is that I can’t guarantee my content will stay available much longer. Get it now or prices will be higher for legal reasons (if I can even keep the book available.)
Now is the time to click on the link I’ll add below, fill in the boxes, and get your copy today if you’re interested.
Get your copy of How To Study Happier