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Lessons We Learn in College

Naptime is anytime!Some of the best lessons we may have obtained while completing our undergraduate degree (remember, the best lessons in life are those learned outside of the classroom).

Naptime is anytime!

Remember when you were that wide-eyed, incoming freshman who expected to be educated about the wonders of the world and maybe even how to change it? Fast forward four years, and things are quite different. You have a shiny degree in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and are now your age multiplied by three thousand dollars in debt. However, not all is lost. You walk away from college with knowledge and skills that will surely serve you well throughout life.

Below is a list of some of the best lessons we may have obtained while completing our undergraduate degree. (Remember, the best lessons in life are those learned outside of the classroom.)

Do not complain about your classes. You will have learnt from experience that the more you complain about the difficulty of your classes and dealing with your professors, the more likely the forces of the universe will combine to make your next semester that much more difficult (and the professors that much more crazy).

Staying awake all night is not so difficult. Since college, sleep seems to have been eliminated a great deal and a full night of rest is anything from 3 hours to 5. While the rest of mankind typically sleeps when it is dark outside and performs work and other activities between 8 am and 9 pm, your day begins at 9 pm.

Staying awake for 30 seconds in class is unheard of.  It is a systematic process and your psychology professor had a legitimate argument: humans are conditioned through stimulus-response relationships. In this case, the professor begins speaking (stimulus) and without actually using any brain power, you respond by falling asleep (response).

There are only 3 food groups. Apparently the folks at USDA have not been to college, or they would understand that nutritional guidelines as per the food pyramid are over ambitious at best. To the average college student, all that is necessary is three types of food: soda and energy drinks, coffee and anything that can be microwaved in 1 minute and 30 seconds, without having to be sent to the emergency room or requiring the presence of the fire department.

Time is pretty abstract. How can you tell a freshman from a senior? By the time they show up and leave class. As newbies, being young, naïve and containing a decent amount of energy resulted in attending class on time and managing to sit through the entire lecture. However, as with all things, time allows one to evolve in order to survive. Arriving to class on time (or even early) only happens if we really, really, really like the professor. Also, 5 minutes should be enough time to get ready for class and actually make it to the lecture hall. Anything longer and you may be trying a little too hard.

Doing homework means you can skip class. In the real world, skipping a meeting so you can complete the paperwork for it may just get you fired. In college, this is an art and a way of life. You may methodologically calculate which days the professor will take attendance, and take pride in your ability to skip the days before spring and mid-winter break, as well as the class after the midterm.

Printers break. A lot. You have a map of your campus with all the free printers marked, yet 5 minutes before the deadline of your assignment and not a single printer on campus is willing to work. Your professor also happens to be from the Vikings age and does not appreciate an emailed copy of your essay.

Textbooks have no purpose in life. By now you are convinced that textbook publishers bribing your professors into assigning ridiculously expensive editions of a book you will never use is why your professor can afford that BMW.  Most of the time your textbooks will only aid in collecting dust or take on the role of handy door stoppers.

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