Thursday, September 07, 2006

More College Thoughts

I keep finding myself thinking about my college experience. Maybe it’s because Jay goes to one everyday. Maybe it’s because, now that both universities have resumed, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a college student.

So here’s a question:

If you could travel back in time and talk to youself as you were entering college, what advice would you give? If you had a chance to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Of course I won’t ask without also answering. If I could talk to Mary Beth the college freshman I think I would tell her not to major in music. For some reason I had this crazy idea that I already had to know what I wanted to be when I grew up before I even stepped on campus. I was good at music, so I figured I should major in it. But in doing so, I missed out on the true liberal arts experience since the music curriculum was pretty straightforward and left little opportunity to take classes in other areas. So if I were to do it again, I think I would have majored in religion or history, or maybe Russian studies (That was my minor. Now it’s offered as a major). But a lot of my good friendships were made within the school of music, so that’s a hard call.

So anyway, what advice would you give if you could travel back in time and talk to your freshman self? What would you do differently, if anything?

11 comments:

Jennifer said...

Wow, what a great question! The advice I would give myself is this:

1) Major in anthropology because you love it. Don’t major in Journalism because you’re good at it and everyone assumes that’s what you will do.

2) Do not transfer to that lunatic Bible college. Stay at Miami.

3) Do not go home with every boy who gives you the time of day.

4) Eat something.

anna said...

Seeing how I didn't become a Freshman in College until much later in life I'll share what I wish I could go back and tell myself the fall of my Junior year of High School.....

1. Listen to your math teacher and go take a look at the all male technical school in Indiana that is opening it's doors to females. Listen to her when she says you have the grades for it and that you could actually get some scholorships. (Yeah it was Rose, yeah I was dumb)

2. Don't listen to your guidance counselor who keeps telling you you'd make a great elementary teacher and that technical schools are for men.

3. Stop looking at only Christian Colleges. They aren't offering anything you'd actually be interested in, especially at that time in my life.

There's alot more I'd tell myself but I wont get into it here.

As for when I was actually a freshman in college I'd tell myself to actually do the homework at school instead of napping and then trying to do it at home with a 4 year old. Oh and I'd tell myself to stop being self conscience and pull out the paper bag lunches the dorm kids were throwing away and walk them over to the homeless kids on 6th street one block away. I always had the thought but never did it.

TLS said...

What a great question...hmm...

1. Have fun
2. Don't take yourself so seriously
3. Don't do pre-med b/c you think that's what "smart" people do
4. Travel
5. Take fun summer jobs that do not involve children

Jenny said...

With apologies to AndreaBT who faithfully reads my blog and may wander here too, #1 is, don't room with your best friend from church camp.
#2, Freshman Jenny, is no, THAT is not the Rose guy you ought to be going out with. Neither is THAT. (You're going to have to wait another year.)
#3 shut up, relax, you're doing fine.

I loved college. I really loved it. There were times, not so much, but it was a glorious experience. And Andrea and I managed to repair things the next year. I wouldn't want to go back, but I do like to remember and bask in the "glory days" sometimes...

Mary Beth said...

As I'm thinking more and reading responses...

Freshman Mary Beth should have socialized more. While it was good that she was adamantly opposed to getting completely wasted on whatever cheap alcohol freshmen could get hold of, it probably wouldn't have been the end of the world for her to be in the same room with it.

martha said...

Sallie Mae is not your friend, little Martha.

Kat E said...

Wow, this is tough. My first reactions are "don't go to a tiny, fairly conservative school filled with upper middle class snobs and a huge greek system" and "you don't need to join a sorority to fit in, they are stupid and will bring out everything petty in you and drive you to an eating disorder". But then again, I don't think I would want to trade they way some of these things shaped me into who I am, and of course I cherish the friends I made. And I probably wouldn't have been able to spend that life-changing semester in Paris. One thing I definitely would have NOT done, looking back (because of the cring-inducing embarrassment it causes me to think about it now): tell my athiest biology professor that "just because you don't believe in hell doesn't mean you won't end up there if there is one." Yeah, that was me then. Can you believe THAT??

Mary Beth said...

What great answers!

TLS--I have the high school corollary to that: Don't take Latin in high school because it'll help when you go to med school, which is what you will do because that's what the "smart" people do.

Ritz--I have similar thoughts about choosing a school. But if it hadn't been for my choice I wouldn't have found Jay and there woudl be no Joshua. And your cringe-inducing statement to your bio professor sounds like something I would've said! I didn't know you had it in you! :)

Laura said...

What an interesting question. I've actually thought about this before, and I often come around to the fact that I would probably tell the younger me to look at other colleges. I'm not sure DPU was the best fit for me, especially socially. But on the flip side, I wouldn't trade the friends I made there for anything, and I really wonder if I would be where I am in my life if I hadn't had the experiences that I had there. And I know that I wouldn't trade my life now for anything I could change back then. So in the long run, I may just tell her, “Do what you think is best; these four years aren't the best of your life. Those are yet to come.”

TLS said...

I DID take Latin in high school...four years of it!!

The Thief said...

Let's see. My advice would have been:
either do more self-promotion soccer wise, or plan to play club soccer from the outset

find Christian friends first (oops)

figure out how to study before Junior year

find out that engineering is not my friend (if I had started out as a German major, I probably would have gotten the chance to study abroad, and besides, then I could have used some of my electives on courses I actually might have elected to take)

just because I can get into a fraternity party is no reason why I should do so

don't take college relationships so seriously.