Alec WeaverMarch 15, 2012 6:34 PM EDT
I realize that there are many naive soon-to-be college freshmen who believe that college is going to be similar to this or perhaps they think that it will be more like this, if this is your outlook on the college experience, well then to you I say; good luck. You have no idea the grim, meat-hook realities that are in store for you. If you think college is just one big party then I'll tell you right now, I would like 2 Dorito Tacos and a medium Mountain Dew and I'd also like to pay for the car behind me. So, sit back and allow me to educate you on the realistic college experience. Now, my college experience has been great and in my short time here at the University of Kansas I have noticed three patterns for the college experience. We will call them "The Alec", "The Jeff" and "The TJ".
The Alec Experience
You wake up early; you've planned it this way. After you get ready, you make for the elevator greeting those on your floor with a detached cordiality. Walking out the front door you breathe in the air and allow its various properties to dictate an initial mood for the day. You go to your two or three classes, and then stroll back to your dorm room enjoying the weather in whatever form it might have taken for the day. Once inside, you complete your assignments at you leisure and then settle in for some relaxing reading. Perhaps you watch the television for a while or listen to music. If the mood should strike, you might even take a nap. At night, you might sit in deep contemplative thought as the blinds cast shadows across the room, cutting the lights of your city into beautiful jeweled slices. Finally, when your eyelids grow heavy it is time for you to go to bed and start the cycle over again.
Pro: LOTS of free time
Con: a constant, dull paranoia that you are forgetting to do something important
The Jeff Experience
You are well rounded in your course choices, well-paced throughout the day with a few classes a week that are in the evening. You can appreciate when you are given leisure time, because you do homework for the most part outside of class. You have a routine, one that is full of rituals and patterns not easily disrupted. This allows for you to have a rigidity that is good for productivity, and the one thing that you cannot be faulted for is your productivity. In essence, you time is used sparingly and wisely. You never over-exert yourself, but when the time comes to work you do not slack or procrastinate and you always produce quality. You keep an open ear to opportunities on and off campus, whether they be for leisure or for more professional interests. The evenings are your time to play. You spend them talking with your far away girlfriend or on the computer, coding or playing games. You go to sleep satisfied that you have once again completed another productive day and await the one to come after.
Pro: you have an excellent balance between your social, professional and romantic lives.
Cons: when one of your lives conflicts with the other, you must make tough decisions as to which holds priority
The TJ Experience
You wake up before the sun almost every day. It's a rush to get out the door in time. So much to do in so little time. You day is a blur of class after class, all of them high level. You jockey between study groups and projects, both with people you find rather loathsome. This is what you do day in and day out. You free time is spent in labs, doing homework or studying. You have a test; it seems like, almost every other day. The pressure is always on and you have to juggle your life. One wrong move and it all comes crashing down. Life isn't all work, there has to be more to it right? Absolutely. You work hard and so when it finally comes time to play you can relax, let loose and enjoy time with friends. However, these sweet times are fleeting and more often than not, your social life and work life is so close together that you don't even have time to eat. Sometimes you don't even see the person you live with for twenty four hours. It's all part of the job though, and rest assured that when you finally get in late at night, you won't have any trouble sleeping.
Pros: when you graduate, you will probably have a more secure job and better starting salary than your friends.
Cons: it's all you can do to keep from going completely postal