By Sara Naor
College can be the time of your life and there are plenty of handbooks and lists that tell you what to expect. But they also tend to gloss over some important minor details. Here are five things people forget to tell you about college:
Naptime becomes your favorite time of the day.
To say that you lose sleep in college is an understatement. The mixture of freedom, work and intense procrastination will cause you to not only completely abandon your previous sleep schedule but to find the most obscure and uncomfortable times to sleep.
The freedom to decide when I went to bed was just absolutely liberating. For the most part my classes all started at 11 a.m. so I was able to stay up late anyway. But it was never for anything productive.
It got to the point where I would look forward to my hourly breaks between classes because it meant naptime. And the more I napped the later I stayed up. Regulating your sleep schedule is one of the most difficult things, but if you find yourself skipping classes to sleep, you should probably work on that.
Procrastination becomes an art form.
College is your opportunity to choose whatever classes you want to take. For the first time, you can completely personalize your schedule to make it work for you. So, you would think with the ability to completely revamp your learning style it would motivate you to actually do work? Wrong.
I love what I learn in class, I really do. But sometimes the amount of work that gets piled on to me is ridiculous. And I always, always find myself putting things off until the last minute because I love working right against the deadline.
For some people the added stress is necessary to get the work done. For others, the stress can break them. If you can’t handle the stress, do not procrastinate. If you are like me, then you know some of your best thoughts come at 4 a.m., six hours before the essay is due while you are on the largest sugar/caffeine high of your life.
A home cooked meal never sounded so good.
It is no secret that dorm food is the worst around, no matter what college you go to. UC Irvine kids have it a little bit easier with Mesa, Pippin and Brandywine but even those entrees get tiring after the first week or two, and the all-you-can-eat aspect does not help with that freshman 15!
When you move out of the dorms and have to fend for yourself the first time, well, let’s just say the first month is a nightmare. Some people are legitimately blessed with cooking talents. I can generally whip something tasty up, but I can never make a full meal. It is either an entrée or sides but I never remember to combine them.
Whenever I go home I relish the ability to eat my mom’s superb cooking and cringe at the thought of going out. Come to think about it, I haven’t paid my parents a visit in quite a few weeks …
A friend with a car is like finding a unicorn.
Irvine is a really fun city, if you have transportation that is. This year we were voted both the safest city in the United States as well as the best city to shop. I know I was shocked too.
Within driving distance, there are a bunch of cool hot spots for college students to enjoy themselves, generally outside the city of Irvine, as well as great shopping and eating destinations. When you have a car, you are free to explore the city as much as you want. If not, you are stuck on campus 24/7 and we all know how tedious that can get.
So if you have a friend with a car, hold on to them. And always tip your drivers; offering to split gas is much appreciated.
Getting your classes is harder than surviving the Hunger Games.
There’s 1,000 of us and only 200 get the class. I have to commend Irvine on its superb orientation program. Incoming freshmen who attend SPOP get personal assistance in choosing classes, and popular freshman classes are often set aside for a certain time period.
Once you’re out of SPOP, getting classes is a bloodbath. Freshmen get the latest sign up dates possible; those with sophomore standing become kings for a week, and those who don’t have it often get the worst time slots.
Luckily, I am a second-year with junior standing and none of my film classes are too heavily impacted, so choosing my schedule is never that hard. Don’t plan too far in advance. Know the general type of schedule you want to take and build your schedule around classes you cannot miss. If you start planning too early you will only get disheartened as spots fill up.