June 9, 2015 (original post here)
Though I honestly enjoyed my college experience, every good must have a bad hidden in there somewhere. So I thought it’d be fun to share 12 things that I didn’t like about college. Along the way I’ll try to share certain things that may turn the negative into a positive for those of you who are going into college or who have been in college, but are looking for little hacks.
- Paying extra for parking: If you live on campus, you may or may not have this problem, but I just hated how I would have to pay extra for parking, and I wasn’t even guaranteed a decent parking spot. I wish that there was an option to add on parking to your actual tuition cost and just pay one final lump sum. When I didn’t really have a job I would have to set aside money for tuition, books, parking, and coffee. It’s already difficult to figure out how much I’d spend on books and I didn’t want to worry about paying a separate cost for my parking pass. Also, my school was dumb and even if you had a parking pass, you weren’t allowed to park in metered areas unless you paid the meter. I hated it because the metered lots/parking spots were rarely ever full or really in use, and we had an entire parking area dedicated to metered parking. I think as students, we already paid for parking, so as long as we have the pass, we should be able to park in those dang metered spots.
- Loose-leaf books: These books were a cheaper option in the book store, but what I hated was the fact that those were non-returnable. I have to keep these dumb books because the policy is: “Once they’re opened, they can’t be brought back.” I think I have about 4-5 books that are just sitting under my bed collecting dust. I also couldn’t sell them because guess what, they were using a different version for the next semester. The loose-leaf books are nice because they’re easy to study from and they’re more affordable, but I don’t want to be hanging on to them at the end of the semester. If you have the option to get an online version or share an actual textbook with a friend, then that’s definitely a better option.
- Limited class offerings: I was naive and believed that the higher I got up in college, the more options I would have when it came to the variety of classes I would get to take and the time/day I would get to take it. Things didn’t work out that way and instead I had a limited variety of classes and even more limited time/day options. The truth is, because of budget reasons and popularity reasons, there aren’t a lot of options or times. When it comes to general courses, that’s where you have all the options you want. If you’re in the same boat, you just have to make it work and plan ahead as much as possible. There may be some classes that you can take a different semester to make your schedule for the present semester work out better, and if you don’t like the classes offered, see if you could possibly take on an internship to get college credit.
- General doesn’t always work: When I was a senior in high school, I remember having a bunch of people come in and talk to us about college and what to expect. One of the things I remember from all of their presentations was how they generalized note-taking and studying. They told us the “right” way to take notes and study, and during my freshman year in college, I quickly realized that you can’t generalize these things and say they work for everybody. I’ve seen people who can just sit in the lecture halls and skim the required book and ace the exam, I’ve also seen people who will take a bunch of notes during lectures and from the required book and fail the exam. When it comes to it, you need to take the time to figure out what will work for the class you’re in. There were some classes where I would need to just write down the keywords from the lecture and then later define it on my own.
- Sometimes you don’t learn anything: This is a huge problem for me. I’ve literally sat in some classes for an entire semester and felt like I learned absolutely nothing. I’m paying for an education, but instead, I get nothing out of it. I usually learn at least one or two things from my classes and I feel like it was at least worth it, but there are some classes that you just become disappointed in and it makes you not want to show up to class. When it comes to these classes, I decide to use the class time a little more wisely. I listen to the subject we’re talking about and I do my own research on it and I look into it myself. However, if you can’t do that, then I suggest finding a way to make it interesting, pick a topic you’re learning about and think about ways you can use it in your life or how it could be applied to another area in your life.
These are just some of the general things that I disliked about college, but they didn’t really hinder my overall college experience. They were just a part of it and it became a part of college that we all had to deal with. I think that these things are what adds to the experience, which may seem a little weird, but it’s like standing in line for a ride at an amusement park. It just adds to everything.