Friday, November 11, 2011

Things No One Tells You About University (part2)

   I figured it was time to make a few more points about university life. Unfortunately, these ones are a little bit more pessimistic than those mentioned in Part1, but I feel they still hold truth.

No One Cares About Your Problems:

   I know this seems like an extremely pessimistic thing to say, and more than slightly cynical as well. But bear with me on this one. I'm not meaning to imply that your family will stop caring, or your friends back home won't give a damn about your problems. I know a lot of people have wonderful support systems at home and with their long time friends. I'm talking about your fellow students, and on occasion your professors.

   It's not as if no one cares when you have a family member pass away (as I did recently) or are feeling weighed down by the workload of school. It's more along the lines of the fact that no one has the extra energy to devote to dealing with your problems, because odds are they're going through at least as much shit as you. Think about it for a second; in high school, there was always the kids who breezed by with minimal effort and still got good grades, then there was the kids that didn't care about their grades, and then there was the people who had to work their ass off to get good grades.

   In University, almost every single student falls into the 3rd category. The courses may not be particularly challenging to some people, but even the easiest courses have a large amount of required reading, as well as major assignments worth a majority of your grade for the semester. Most of us, especially first year students, will put off the necessary research for that major paper, and put off the paper itself until we are right down to crunch time.

   I did this myself, I currently have 3 major papers and 2 fairly major ones due within the next 2 weeks. Out of all of that work, there's only a legitimate reason for me having put off 1 of the major papers. And that was because I had to schedule a meeting with my professor to ask some questions about it. The other 4 assignments could have been started, and possibly finished, weeks ago.

   Which takes me back to my point, no one is going to feel sorry for you for putting off your major papers, when they themselves are going through the exact same thing. And your professors aren't going to feel any sympathy for you either, odds are they assigned your major assignments on the first day of class, or within the first 2 weeks. Why should they feel sorry for you when you could have been working on the assignment all semester?

You Won't Magically Mature, and Neither Will Anyone Else:

   If movies are to be believed, university is one big party every night, and everyone acting like proper adults the rest of the time. Somehow, students only one summer removed from high school are magically fully responsible and capable of coping with the lack of structure and discipline. Though I suppose in movies this makes a bit more sense, because the actors playing freshman are usually 30 and full grown, fully responsible adults. As are the people writing the parts.

   After 3 years out of school, with the majority of my friends being out in the real world, with real responsibilities, I was used to being around fairly mature adults. I thought that going back to school after that hiatus would be fairly easy because after all, everyone is here by choice, and going to university is a pretty mature decision.

   I could not have been more wrong. While most university students are mature enough to realize that it's costing everyone good money to be here, they're still mostly kids fresh out of high school. So you no longer have the class clowns and assholes that ruin lectures for everybody. Instead you have people who act like well adjusted adults in class, but in a social environment are just as mature as you'd expect a 19 year old surrounded by other 19 and 20 year olds to be.

   Someone in your class may seem mature and like they have everything figured out. But odds are, if you get that person out of the school environment and into a social situation, they'll revert back to who they were in high school.

   Maybe you're the person that tries to act like you have everything under control. Deep down, you know that when you get some drinks in you, or get around your friends from high school, you're going to act exactly the way you did before you were in university.

   This isn't necessarily a bad thing, for anyone involved. But if you're like me and have been out in the real world for a few years before going back to school it's a big change. Girls act differently toward you, some parties may seem ridiculous to you. If you really think about it, try to imagine yourself going to a high school party. A lot of the time, it ends up being the same thing in university, except if everyone was at least 18.

   For me, this has mainly affected which parties I go to, and how I approach girls who appear to be younger than myself.

   It's definitely something you need to experience for yourself.

-Onward and Upward!

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