10 Things No One Tells You About Post-Secondary Life
From proper sleep to your GPA—breaking down the realities of post-secondary life that they never tell you about when entering college or university.
Honesty is more helpful than lies, half-truths, and sugar-coated crap. But the latter is what way too many students hear when they ask questions about post-secondary life. Most of the time, anyway. The good news is that you can expect a whopping serving of honesty here, since you may need to hear it. But don’t hesitate to eat some sugar-coated treats as you read. By all means, go ahead.
1. You Need More Sleep Than You Think
Who would have thought that resting your brain and body is important? Well, it is. Super important. Believe it or not, you can study and socialize and still have time to sleep. You shouldn’t regard your college or university experience as an either/or type of deal. What’s the point of getting that nifty piece of paper without having awesome friends, good health, and the best time ever? Without all that, it’s just four years of relative suck. Getting proper sleep is the best way to balance your school life.
2. Your Writing Is Bad
Particularly your first drafts. But that’s okay! You should embrace it. Good writing requires great rewriting, and with enough revisions, your writing won’t suck—as much. Many students underestimate the time it takes to write something as short as a thesis. In theory, you could write a ten page research paper in three hours. However, you’ll have a better time, essay, and grade if you space out the work.
3. Your Past Doesn’t Matter
Is an embarrassing experience or a bad memory stopping you from living in the moment? You’ll just have to get over that. You can’t change the past, much less who you are, and you shouldn’t let things from the past impede on your time at post-secondary. Nobody cares how popular (or unpopular) you were in high school, anyway.
4. Getting Preoccupied With Your GPA = Hell
If you constantly obsess over your grades, you won’t get as much as you should out of your post-secondary life. Aiming to get a 4.0 GPA is one thing. Doing the work to achieve it is another.
5. You Aren’t That Subtle in Class
In a shocking turn of events, students have discovered that professors have eyes. Professors can see you texting, sleeping, or watching Netflix in class. Likewise, they can see you taking notes and listening actively, and I’m sure you can figure which they’d appreciate more.
6. You Should Do Some Things Alone
Because you have to. And you’ll probably want to, anyway. Eating alone is not so bad. And watching a movie by yourself isn’t, either. Neither is going to a concert. Like, seriously. Being alone (but not lonely) is awesome.
7. Stay (Properly) Hydrated
Dehydration sucks. You can feel drowsy, get headaches, or, in extreme cases, fall unconscious. Relying on coffee for your daily fluid intake won’t help either, since caffeine dehydrates you. Have water on hand every day and you’ll thank yourself later.
8. You Don’t Know Everything
Accepting this will help you tremendously. Repeat it if you have to. “I don’t know everything.” “I don’t know everything.” “I don’t know everything.” See? Liberating.
9. Worst-Case Scenarios Can Happen
Let me be clear: for the most part they won’t happen. But when they do, you have to be prepared to walk in pouring rain, stand in a way-too-densely-packed train, or even—wait for it—sprint to class like Andre De Grasse running from a horde of angry wasps.
10. You Are Beautiful and Intelligent
Don’t let colelge or university change that. If you’re doing what you’re supposed to, school will not only make you a better student, but a better individual.
So yeah. Don’t say that no one ever told you so. Because we just did. Don’t worry, though; as long as you keep these things in mind during your academic journey, you’ll probably be just fine.
Herminia Chow is currently attending the University of Toronto. She hopes to major in Book and Media Studies while doing a double minor in Linguistics along with Writing and Rhetoric. She is a writer, a blogger, and an avid reader of all things.