50+ things I learned in college

Alright, class… it’s time for a quick recap on the last four six years.

graduation cap diploma isolated on a white background

Ahh, college… a time of growth and experimentation; when baby bird flees the nest, learning to fly on their own for the first time.  No parents, no rules.  Well, except there ARE rules.  Lots of rules.  And the dreaded “R” word.  Not rape.  The other one…  Responsibility.  Yeah, that’s it.  And there is also temptation…  (*cue dramatic music*)

There are many acceptable paths to “successfully” getting that coveted piece of paper with your name on it; you know – the one that’s still in the manilla envelope, crammed into a box in the bottom of your closet?  Point is… actually, that pretty much sums it up.

This list was originally going to be, “101+ things I learned in college”… But after I started ransacking my closet looking for old textbooks – and texting my friends to ask what the hell happened while we were in college – I decided it might be better to do the abridged version.  (bad sign?)

Anyway, enjoy this list of wisdom from a guy who went to school long enough to get his PhD, and only came out with a BA in Music Business.

Beware:  NSFW.  Mom and Dad, please don’t read this.  I swear, it’s not all true about me.  Remember, I somehow managed to survive, and I’m a wiser man because of the stupid mistakes I’ve made.  Plus, if I was the only one who’d ever done these things, the world (or, college  – at least) would be a woefully boring place.  It’s all in good fun.


In no particular order:

  1. You don’t pick your major, your major picks you.
  2. Always keep a stash of Ramen Noodles in the pantry.
  3. Cell phones like to die in the middle of the night while you sleep.  Buy a good alarm clock.
  4. Parties are great – just keep it to the weekends, champ.
  5. (Speaking of which…) Liquor before beer.
  6. (Oh yeah, and also…) don’t chase vodka with water.  Just, don’t do it.
  7. If someone challenges you to a game of Roh-Sham-Boh, just say “no” and walk away.
  8. Fraternities are for jackasses.  Yes, this makes me a bonafide jackass.  (Tell us something we didn’t know…)
  9. ^^^ I second that.  ^^^
  10. If your buddies try to talk you into stealing road signs in the middle of the night, just say…
    “Fuck yeah!”  It’s fun as shit.  It’s especially awesome if there’s an “I-69” highway in your state.  Thanks, KY Board of Transportation.
  11. It’s not funny to wipe poo on the handle of your rival fraternity’s front door and hide across the quad with binoculars until someone walks in, looks down at their hand, and then proceeds to have a public meltdown.
  12. Okay, I lied.  It’s TOTALLY HILARIOUS to do that.  But don’t do it; they call the cops for that shit (ha) and you might end up on the evening news… Hypothetically speaking.
  13. Rolling your own cigarettes is a great way to save money (and a speedier road to lung cancer), but it doesn’t help when you’re trying to convince the police officer that what you’re smoking isn’t marijuana.
  14. Don’t smoke something if you don’t know (and trust) the person that handed it to you.  Officially, I should tell you not to smoke or do drugs.  I should say that.  *cough*
  15. Classes are for losers.  And people who want to succeed in college.
  16. It’s true what they say: “smart is the new sexy” – but let’s not confuse this with “nerdy” or “geeky”.  There’s definitely a line, and I think it’s somewhere just outside the World of Warcraft.
  17. Learn to play the guitar, then do it shamelessly in public or in a local café as often as you possibly can.  Cliché as it is, chicks eat that shit up.  I’m telling you, it works!  (Do it… the rest of us need a good laugh, and talking to this airhead Political Science major was getting boring anyway.  She’ll probably end up giving you her number.  Shit, I’ll get it for you, just so you two can leave together and I don’t have to put up with either of you.  I need some sleep.)
  18. (Since we’re on the topic of getting laid…) Learn even the most elementary basics of any foreign language.  I can only speak for French, specifically… “Tu as les yeux les plus beaux que j’ai jamais vus.” = P*ssy magnet.  Alright, enough of the sexist remarks.
  19. Be very careful which “easy A” classes you choose to take.  You can get yourself into some pretty terrible situations here.  Astronomy may sound like it’s all fun and games and staring up at the sky through a paper towel roll, and then they go all Distance Modulos on you.
  20. Save your elective credits for senior year.  Just, trust me on this one; you’ll thank me later.
  21. Don’t try to have an argument with your teacher during class.  Undoubtedly, they’ll end up being right, you’ll look like an idiot, and everyone else in the class will hate you forever.
  22. Be nice to the teacher.  Their life is probably even shittier than yours… after all, they have to deal with assholes like you every day.
  23. Don’t ever falsely use the “I’ve got to go to a funeral because my family member died” excuse.  You might just happen to catch the professor in a bad mood and have to spend the rest of the day forging an obituary.
  24. (As an alternative to #23…) Most doctor’s offices have a whole pad of those Work/School release forms just sitting around (unguarded) on the secretary’s desk.  Or, if you’re not feeling all James Bond-y, you could just download one from Google.  You’re welcome.
  25. There are websites specifically designed for the purpose of rating and critiquing professors (and classes) at almost every college and university in the country, and probably in the world.  USE THEM.  I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to throw myself out of the third-story window of the Fine Arts building during my Detective Literature class, just because I love Arthur Conan Doyle and thought it would be an easy A.  (see #19)
  26. Don’t come to class and fall asleep.  That is probably the single rudest thing you could ever possibly do in class.  I would rather someone answer a phone call in the middle of a lecture and carry on a ten-minute bitch-fit with their significant other in the row behind me than see your haggard looking ass sprawled out snoring in the front row.  At least with the phone guy, the teacher will start yelling, and the rest of us will really get to see a show.  Sleepy time is for your bed, study time is for your head.  (Isn’t poetry fun?)
  27. McDonald’s is okay from time to time, but it stops being okay when everyone in the establishment (including the other customers) knows you and your order by name.
  28. (In addition…) It should not be a point of pride that your local McDonald’s names a menu item after you.  You’re going to have a heart attack before you reach thirty.  Time to slow down, cupcake.
  29. If someone offers you drugs, as a general rule of thumb you should say “no”.  Unless they can correctly pronounce AND spell the proper scientific name for the chemical, in which case they probably synthesized it in their bathtub, and it’s totally safe.  And also, you’re a moron.
  30. It’s never a good idea to take LSD and travel eight hours to a strange city so you can see a band you’ve never even heard of play a live show.
  31. (If you went ahead and did that anyway…) Stop at one hit.  The second one will make you believe you’ve forgotten your own identity and are now doomed to become a homeless person, wandering the streets of some random city for the rest of your life.
  32. Stop pouring your vodka into other drinks and taking them to class.  Everyone knows that’s not just gatorade.  We can all smell it.  You have a problem. (See #33…)
  33. If you show up to an early morning class (or any class, really) and your teacher pulls you to the side to let you know she can smell the alcohol on you, it’s time to start going to the AA meetings on campus.  They’re in the same building where they give out the free Psychotherapy sessions, probably on Thursdays after 6pm.  Look for the vomit on the sidewalk next to the one high-heel shoe, then turn around and ask someone where you are… You’ll find it.
  34. If you do something stupid – like, really stupid – it’s probably going to end up on Youtube.  Remember that, before you wear a ninja costume out in public on “National Ninja Day”.  (Yup, that’s a real thing.  Look it up.  Not now, after you finish reading the rest of the list, ya ass!)
  35. Don’t get a tattoo based on a wager of any kind.  Don’t do it.  Do not.
  36. Always check to make sure you have your credit card before you leave the bar.  It really sucks to get through the line at Taco Bell and realize, “oh shit… I forgot to close my tab.”
  37. Never eat Everclearios (Cheerios – milk + the remainder of last night’s Everclear = Yeah.  Pukey time.)
  38. If you’re drunk and you can’t tell whether or not the girl you’re with is too ugly to take home, go to the bathroom and throw up.  If she still looks like Jocelyn Wildenstein when you come back out, then you might want to order a few more rounds before you make any concrete decisions.
  39. If you get a bad grade, do not blame your professor.  It’s no one’s fault but your own, you little shit.  Shoulda put in the effort.  Funny how other people in the class made good grades, huh?
  40. Making lists is a great way to stay efficient!  (And just look at me now…)
  41. If something could be better summarized using bullet points, it’s probably a good idea to do it.  Unless that “something” is the big essay for your Business Ethics final and you stayed up all night playing footsy with your “study buddy”.  I’m betting the professor doesn’t need a concise summary of your partner’s favorite positions.  I’m also betting they’d get a kick out of reading it, and it might just brighten their day.  Still, you’ll probably get an F.  High-five, though.
  42. Taking one Political Science class does not qualify you to solve all the world’s political and social problems in a public forum – say for instance, on Facebook.  Same goes for Psychology: stop trying to psychoanalyze me before I break your freaking jaw.  No, I don’t have any anger issues.  No, my father never spanked me as a young child.  No, I would never think of murdering you with a hammer while you walk to your car later tonight.  You’re done with classes at 8?  Perfect.
  43. Speaking of all of that, guys: Do NOT take Women’s Studies classes.  Yes, the guy-to-girl ratio is outrageous.  No, not a damn one of them is going to sleep with you.  They’re all going to think the same thing I think – that you’re a sexist pig.  And let’s face it, we really are.
  44. If you have to resort to wearing a swim suit to class, it’s time to do some laundry.  Ladies, unfortunately I have to say this goes for you too… Well, some of you.  If you’re not sure, walk outside and if you hear laughter or cars smashing into one another before you make it to the end of the sidewalk, you probably ought to turn around and put on something else.  Like a giant Ham Sandwich costume.  Or a mask and cape… just say you’re preparing for a career in semi-professional wrestling.
  45. There IS such a thing as a “useless” degree.  I’m looking at you, Anthropology majors…
  46. Math classes are really, really important.  If you’re one of those people who say, “I’m going to be a business major, when am I ever going to need to do math again?” you should probably just go on and kill yourself now.  (Too mean?  Alright, fine.  But they started it, by being an idiot.)
  47. Fellas: wrap it up.  You know what I’m talking about… Nothing is worse than having that – “I think I’m pregnant because I have started yet and I’ve only been with you, and like… three other guys… but I think it’s yours because you have more money than they do and…” – conversation.  Ladies:  You just, do whatever it is you do to control your sex drive.  It’s incredible… is it like a switch, or something?  How do you just turn it off like that?  I mean, seriously – I wanna know.  Someone TELL ME!  Boobies.
  48. (Speaking of) Boobies are great.  They really are.  And you can see boobies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the internet.  Point being: stop staring at the teacher’s (or the girl sitting next to you –’s) tits for a few minutes and write down some notes, okay Horny Humperton?
  49. 90% of your education comes from outside of the classroom.  After all, they don’t teach you how to single-handedly unhook a bra strap in class.  If they do, I’m re-enrolling… like, right meow.  I’m kidding, of course.  I am ze masta of ze bra strapz.
  50. (That being said…) GO TO CLASS!  You might just figure out why it’s so damn hard to pass the midterms and finals if you’re occasionally there in between.
  51. Perhaps this list should’ve been called, “50 stupid mistakes I made in college”…  Ehh, fuck it.

That’s it!  I think… Did I leave anything out?

@johnchronikal

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About John Chronikal

John Chronikal is a blogger, storyteller, poet, artist, composer, and songwriter. He loves to drink bourbon and write things that make his poor grandmother cringe. He is a gigantic man –– his bear hugs can crush bones –– but he is a gentle giant. Give him bourbon and chocolate and he will be your bestest friend forever. View all posts by John Chronikal

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