Campus life is definitely a very different experience than home life. Instead of having mom harp on you to get up and go to school or to clean your room, you make the calls. But don’t let this new freedom go to your head! Here are some campus life choices to AVOID making so you stay on track with school and make mom proud.
1. Skip that early a.m. class.
Sometimes, it is nice to sleep in. Sometimes, you’re too hung over not to sleep in. But you’re in college now, so put on your big kid pants and go to that 7:30am class! Even if your professor does not take attendance, you will fall behind if you skip it. Beyond that, someone is paying for you to go to that class, whether it is your dad now or you later.
Even if it is a class that you cannot figure out why it is important to you and your degree, you are enrolled in it. If you simply cannot get up in time to attend this class, talk to your advisor about dropping it before campus life wins, and try to take it again at a later time next semester. If this is not an option, just go!
2. Go to class in your PJs.
This campus life temptation may seem harmless, but do not be fooled! Though you could roll out of bed ten minutes before class starts and shuffle across the quad to Psych 101, you should actually try to get up with enough time to get ready and shovel in some cereal. You will be more alert and get more out of class, and you will be ready for the rest of your day.
Also, professors do deserve some respect, since they are masters of their chosen discipline who chose to teach this discipline to you instead of uncovering life’s mysteries. Please look like you want to be there by putting on daytime clothes.
3. Never do homework.
You have been told to do your homework since you were in kindergarten. Since college is a continuation of that educational journey, you still need to do your homework! Now, more than ever, homework will make or break you. College is next level education, and you will for sure fall behind if you neglect your extracurricular obligations.
Campus life has a lot of distractions, but it also has some major perks. Get together a study group if you fall behind in your homework or in class. Lots of people will be game, and you will get to hang out with them while bettering your educational standing.
4. Drink and/or do drugs all the time.
Mixing Jack Daniels with Coca Cola in a large McDonald’s cup and taking it with you to class is NOT a good idea, and it ranks right up there with smoking a blunt while you walk across the quad to class. Please do not fall in to these campus life temptations. It can sometimes seem like there is no authority around, since you live in a building full of people your age who are doing all kinds of crazy stuff, but it is not true.
If you manage to evade the Campus Police, who have a collection of your peers’ confiscated bongs on display in their headquarters, you are still making very risky life choices. It is easy to think you are only doing it for now, but it will quickly become a thing you are doing all the time. Then you will say goodbye to campus life, to a college degree, and to a desirable future. If nothing else, just try to have fun in moderation.
5. Hang a bunch of art in your room.
Who doesn’t love dorm decorations? Campus life provides a huge freedom of expression, so of course you want to hang on your wall that poster you just bought of a topless chick. Who cares? But wait, there are some things to consider! How you hang your art can be the difference between a bittersweet goodbye to campus life and a totally bitter bill for dorm damages.
Command Strips will probably rip off some of the wall, so just say no. Tack for posters may stain or gum up your walls. Nails are an obvious thing to avoid. So, try tape. You can ball it up behind that poster and it’ll look great. If you do have framed pictures, try Command Strips, but be crazy careful when removing them so you can end your campus life on a good note.
6. Never go to class.
This is a serious campus life temptation. No one is making you go to class, so why go? Well, you will definitely get kicked off campus and out of college if you make this poor choice. This is kind of a common mistake, but absolutely a really bad one. Whether you are going to your classes or not, you are still paying for them, and you won’t see that money again. Beyond that, you are probably failing all of those classes, which is tanking your GPA.
If college is something you are not sure of or are being forced into (some parents give no choice, I know), seriously talk with your parents about it before making that commitment. It is way better to never sign up than to sign up but never go.
7. Stay with your friends in their room.
Okay, campus life is SO cool because you are surrounded by your friends all of the time. You can go for a stroll and drop in on Tina, Barb, and Krissy, oh, and there’s Carla going to her Civics class! Your roommate sucks and you are being forced to live with her, but Tina, Barb, and Krissy said you can stay with them, so you make a pillow bed on their floor and have an all out slumber party that turns into a week long sleep over that you just never left. That escalated, and now you are happy, but you are breaking a living rule. The Resident Assistant got tips and complaints and found you out. Now you’re in trouble.
To avoid all of this, just do not make this choice. It may seem okay, but it is against campus life rules. If your roommate is that bad, submit a room transfer request form and talk to your RA about it. If nothing else, try getting to know your roommate better or avoid her, whichever works best.
8. Have your bf/gf move in.
Now you are in college and life is good. You feel almost like an adult, and you have met someone unlike anyone else you have ever known. You have to be with them always, and every second away is torture. Campus life seems to have a solution to this agony: have them move in to your room. FREEZE. This is a terrible choice. Campus life is fun and can seem to give you everything you want and need, but it does have restrictions. Whether your dorm is co-ed or not, and whether you believe your someone would fit in or not, eventually, they will get caught.
Whether it is door tricks to leave it open for them, questionable noises you two make at odd hours, or your roommate’s complaints, you will get caught and the repercussions can vary. If you two truly feel you need to live together, look for a place to rent together away from campus life, perhaps with additional roommates to cut down on costs. If it must be, make it so, the right way.
9. Eat excessively in the Cafeteria.
Campus life usually means meal plans, and meal plans can mean a lot of food. Cafeterias may not have restrictions on how much food you can get per meal. In other words, you can eat ’til you puke and no one will say anything about it. Suddenly, your pants don’t fit and your favorite night out outfit doesn’t flatter you quite as much as usual.
To curb this campus life temptation, try monitoring how much you eat. Maybe limit yourself to four food items per meal. And this includes ice cream, of course.
10. Throw a party in your room.
Your friends are all here, and you are in charge! Time to get crazy, like in the movies! This could actually be a real campus life option. Sometimes RA’s will look the other way and let this happen, but not often, if at all. Talk to them about it casually and indirectly, not letting on that you actually want to do this. If you find they are okay with it, proceed to suggest and to plan with them. If they are not okay with it, though, erase the idea from your brain.
Very probably, it is a bad idea and a campus life don’t to throw a party in your dorm room, so do not get your hopes up. But if you adamantly desire to make this a reality, do not do so without RA consultation.