I’m not dead yet! pt. 2
Hello, friends. I think its high time for a new post, since I’ve been almost non-existant on here for months now. This is going to be an actual post, actual writing, and no cheap jokes or music cop-outs (okay, maybe a few. I am what I am, after all). I’m pretty excited. It feels good to be back in the saddle.
As anyone who knows me in real life could tell you, my little bro (hereafter called “Little Riggs”) is coming to the University of Michigan next year, specifically the College of Engineering. First of all, let me just say that I’m incredibly proud of him. I’d lean down and ruffle his hair, but he’s taller than me.
I figured I’d take this opportunity to explore a couple things that I’ve learned so far. Some of these are lessons I’ve personally learned and some of them are lessons that I’ve learned by watching my friends, learning from their mistakes so I don’t repeat them.
Anyways, here we go. This one’s for you, Little Riggs!
- Put in the time. This is a great life lesson, but I’m talking specifically with college work. Homework in classes like physics and calculus take a long time time to do. Sometimes there are ways to do it quicker (ahemWOLFRAMALPHAahem), which you will be sorely tempted to use. Don’t do it. They won’t let you use Wolfram on the exam, and the exam is worth a lot more than the homework.
- Get involved. It’s really boring sitting around in your dorm all day, and video games only numb you to that. Especially your freshman year, get out and join some clubs. You don’t even need to stay in them, the point is meeting new people and finding out what you love. My first semester I didn’t do this, telling myself I was focusing on school, and I regret it to this day.
- Find a good group of friends. During orientation and Welcome Week people are going to be flocking together the way only freshmen can. Nobody knows anybody else, and everyone wants to. This results in groups being formed because of convenience rather than mutual interest. Use this time to bounce between a couple groups of friends and find one that you’ll be happy to stick around with for the whole four years.
- Go to office hours. Let me say it again: GO TO OFFICE HOURS. Especially freshman year you’re going to be in classes with hundreds of kids. If you never meet with the prof you’ll be just a number to them. Also, since professors tend to be experts in their field, they can probably help you with any homework questions you could have. Plus they’re normally pretty cool people.
- Find a right balance with your social life. I’ve seen (and experienced) both extremes here: partying too much, and not partying enough. You’re at college, you need to have fun…but not too much. If your tuition money is being used to party then those are some REALLY expensive Natty Lights.
- Last but not least: be yourself. This is your time to shine, don’t let anyone or anything influence you to go in a way that you don’t want to go. You are laying the foundations for your life right now: don’t mess it up, but don’t lay the groundwork for a life you don’t want to live either.
I have so much more that I could say about this, obviously, but homework calls. Little Riggs, you’re going to do just fine. You got this. I can’t wait to see you grow up.