My 10 Favorite College Experiences

I'm feeling a little nostalgic today. So here goes my favorite experiences in college.

1. Move in weekend:  Thursday night, I spent all night packing the gazillion boxes I had, plus my aunt gave me everything from Pepto to toilet paper (you know, just in case). I was so nervous, I couldn't sleep, although I had plenty of pain killers because I had just had my tonsils removed the week before. Friday, bright and early, we took the two hour trek to college, moving in everything but the kitchen sink (because I really needed all that stuff). I hugged my mom, my grandma, my sister, and we all said goodbye like we were never going to see each other again. Like a deer in the headlights, I began setting up my new room with my best friend and new roommate. The minute I turned on my computer, everything crashed. Leading me to believe that I needed to return home the next day, so I took the 2 hour drive back to have my computer formatted.

Lesson learned: No matter how prepared you are for college, something will always go wrong (but it's okay!).

2. My first day of class: This day was so important to me because I got the phone call I will never forget. I have a very aggravating and annoying uncle who lives to bother me. Most people would be appalled at how he chooses to aggravate me. But bright and early that Monday, I got a phone call, a special phone call. He let me know how proud he was of me for being one of the first to attend college (and on my dad's side, I was the first to graduate from high school!). He wished me luck and told me he loved me. That phone call is something that I will cherish probably for the rest of my life. I'm a dork. And, I'm a sap, I know. But it was sweet (I know, Travo, you will probably never let me live down the fact that I called you sweet).

Lesson learned: Tell my loved ones how special they are and how proud I am. They may never forget it.

3. The first weekend I actually stayed at UWG: I loved living at college. I was far enough away to be semi-independent. However, since I only lived two hours from home, I could go home every weekend. I fully intended on staying at college through some weekends, I really did. But, I was really homesick, so I usually made the trip every weekend. My RA's (Resident Assistant) and my friends at college finally convinced me to stay one weekend. One of those friends was Anthony (he called the high school students who lived in the building Gnomes, and he was a great first year friend). He also convinced me to buy a Nerf gun. Now, Nerf guns were illegal in the dorm, but the first floor RA on the boys' side tended to look the other way as long as we didn't shoot him. So for about three hours, we had a Nerf fight. I don't remember much else about that weekend, but it definitely made me want to stick around for more weekends, and I started staying more often!

Lesson learned: If you're going off to college, stay a weekend or two and hang out with some friends. You might (big emphasis on the might) even study a little! But you'll definitely be glad you hung around!

4. Becoming an RA (Resident Assistant): This was my favorite for soooo many reasons! First off, I'm one of those nerdy dorks who enjoys being an RA (and I actually miss being one now that I'm out in the real world). I had some great and not so great experiences, and I learned a lot from this job. I learned a lot of skills that helped me in the "real world", like presenting things, interviewing, and resume building. I also got a lot of networking done and made some great friends along the way (most of my friends I've lost contact with, other than facebook, along the way, but they were great friends for a season or two). I wish I could tell you about all of my experiences, and maybe one day I will, but for now, let's just leave it at that.

Lesson learned: If you are not going to get a job in college, talk to your RA, you will learn some really valuable lessons!

5. Partying: Now, I didn't party like the traditional college person would and I don't recommend it. Most of the people I saw partying hardcore (remember, I was an RA) only lasted a year in college at most. However, I do think that letting loose every now and then didn't hurt. I didn't say that you had to drink, smoke, or do drugs. But, do go out and listen to some great bands at a cheap price ($2-5!), and dance a little. You're young, and you're only young once! Enjoy it (just not the night before a test)!

Lesson learned: Let loose!

6. Public Speaking with Dr. H: This was one of the best classes I ever had. Not because I learned anything in particular, but because this professor was so awesome. He was hilarious. He made class fun. Actually, one of our assignments was to find something to be crazy passionate about and go rant and yell about it on central campus (this spawned from a class discussion about this crazy preacher guy who used to come to campus and tell us all we were going to hell). Every college should have a professor like this (the fun kind). At least one. That's all I'm asking.

Lesson learned: Find out from your friends who that awesome professor is and take his or her class. It's one class, what will it kill you?

7. World religion, Ball Room Dancing, Culture, & Photography and Short Stories: These four classes were amazingly eye opening. They all sounded incredibly interesting, and was something I was interested in. I absolutely loved studying about all of these, and the experiences I had in these classes were amazing ones. I won't say they were the best, but I was intrigued and challenged in them, which put them in the top 5.

Lesson learned: Find a class that really gets you. Yeah, a class that is all about what you are all about. Even if  it doesn't relate to your major. Enjoy it, but learn from it. Don't make it an easy "A". Make it the easiest A you worked your butt off to get just because you could. A well rounded college experience is what those first two years are for.

8. That Really REALLY horrible, no good, teacher: I'm not using this as a top 10 because I'm running out of experiences. I'm naming this because it was a true learning experience. First, we are all going to encounter people that we don't like or that just seem plain evil to everyone around them. This professor was just that. She didn't show her good side to anyone. And I mean ANYONE. We all hated her. But, no matter how many complaints were made about her, we still had to have her for this one class. IF. WE. COULD. MAKE. IT. It was really and truly one of those classes. She really weeded a lot of us in the education program out, because many girls couldn't handle her. But I learned that sometimes you have those experiences with those kind of people. You have to. It's part of life. And, I also learned that there was a softer side to her once you got to know her. She just didn't have good social skills and seemed a lot meaner than she actually was.

Lesson learned: Sometimes you have to deal with mean people and sometimes those mean people aren't as mean as you'd think.

9. Going in-depth with my career choice: I did a lot of soul searching in college. I'd like to think that I'm always soul-searching. It's a good habit. But once I finally figured out what I wanted to do, at least for the next few years, I learned a lot about being a teacher. I chose a really good college for education. I had some awesome experiences and I absolutely loved planning for my own classroom. I also got to do a special internship with a local school system and learned so much through that.

Lesson learned: Pay attention to what's going on in your classes, especially ones that directly teach you about your future career. No one likes to work with an expert idiot.

10. Graduating: Although I did spend an extra year in college (only because of a special internship), I was so happy to be done, at least for a while. Walking across that stage to receive that diploma was one of the best experiences one has to offer, because it meant that I did something awesome. I was the first person in my family (on my dad's side) to graduate from college, and I am darn proud of it. I worked hard to get where I am, and I'm glad I have a diploma to show for it.

Lesson learned: You get what you work for.

Hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to post your favorite things about college!

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