14 May 2007

Reflections of the Student Formerly Known as a Freshman

First and foremost, I'm out of the dorms! That's the best news I've gotten since I was admitted to UGA. Though this is a happy moment, I am a little sad to be done with it. While I no longer have to put up with people loudly tromping through the hallway at all hours of the morning, I can no longer be one of those people. My days of running around Payne Hall in an all-out Lysol-spray war are over. Really, it's hard to imagine another place where such an act is allowable. And, at least over the summer, I'll miss my late night (ok, it was actually early morning) philsolphy conversations at my favorite coffee shop (the great thing about discussing ontology at three in the morning is that the coffee keeps you just awake enough to speak, so everything you say makes sense in some way).

Time has no meaning in college, except in philosophy and physics classes, and even then, it's debatable. As I said at the end of last semester, it feels like I haven't been here but a week, but at the same time, it seems like my friends have been my friends since childhood. Though the lectures seem to drag on forever, the free time flies by. Some of the friends I've made have already moved on (I hope Krista's enjoying the Peace Corps and that Amy likes working of Coca-Cola). Others are finishing up their time (Brian and Beth! Don't leave us!!!!) Still others are going to have to put up with me a little while longer (Kelly and Becca, Jason and Mike, and of course, my fellow Fres...erm...Sophmore group, and Jon (w00t for Philosophy and coffee!)).

While I can not and will not share everything I've learned in class (wait...I actually learned stuff in class???), most people have said, and now I can't help but agree, that classes are really not even half of what college is all about. Learning is no longer confined to the lecture hall.

Now, to all my pre-college readers (I actually have readers?), some advice:
  • Get to know your roommate. I regret how little time I spent talking to Alex.
  • It only takes a small question to spark a great conversation. Everything from God to grass is up for discussion. Enjoy this openness. And as I said, your education is not all about class.
  • Community is essential. You're just a number to the university itself, but to your friends, you are more than can be expressed in words.
  • Class may be optional. So is bathing. Nobody will notice skipping either occasionally, but do not make a habit out of it.
  • Get a laptop. From taking notes in class to writing a paper outside on a nice day, it is well worth the investment.
  • Dell hates you. So does Microsoft. Get used to it.
  • Textbooks are horrible monetary investments. Therefore, use them in class. Otherwise, what's the point?
  • YouTube is fun, but dangerous. Before you know it, it'll be 3 am and you'll have a test in five hours.
  • Extracurricular events are great. Concerts, recitals, lectures, and conferences - again, learning is no longer limited to class.
  • It saves nearly an hour of sleep to shower at night and go to bed in your shorts. This way, you just roll out of bed, grab a (clean?) t-shirt, sandals, and a granola bar and head to class.
  • Sleep in on Saturday mornings. Nobody else is awake anyways.
I now have thirty-five credit hours under my belt, with thirteen more this summer. Life comes quickly and won't let up. This is why college is so important. Classes and maybe a job...to my fellow students, I remind us that we'll never be this free again. Let's make the most of it.

Rock on.