HCC: Part Three/ Life As A College Freshman!

Hello All, It's your favorite (probably not) college freshman, back to talk about college life in the little free time I do have. Today I'd like to discuss tips for college life. Obviously, going to a community college, this will differ greatly from those who go to a university. Lets get started!

First, let me start this entry by saying that there are a lot of discouraging and dishonest videos and websites out there that berate college. I'm sure there's a few that have been scared away by these. Let me start by saying, first and foremost, that a college promises nothing more to you than an education. If you EXPECT a six figure salary straight away with no experience and an art degree, you deserve to be making nothing. Yes, a college degree can make you more money than others, but it's all in how much you apply yourself, how you market yourself, and What clubs and extra activities you're in, as well as who you know. Also, these videos love to offer a lot of bullshit stats and try to play them off as fact. My favorites so far have been, "For every million you make, 80% goes to paying back your student loans." This is so far from reality it's sad. One percent of a million is 100,000. Do the math for 80. There's no way. In almost every video and website you see, watch, etc, it states that the "majority of Americans" have degrees which renders them "useless." According to, only 28% of Americans have a bachelor's degree. The majority would be 51%. Once again, bullshit. Keep in mind, the numbers get lower the higher you go with a degree. In other words, don't get scared off by people who were too stupid to graduate college and are now trying to discourage others from going. That's all this comes down to.

As far as college life goes, and to those of you who are about to start, there are a LOT of people, no matter what situation you're in, who are in your exact situation. I thought I was the only 24 year old going back to school. That's not the case. At all. If you're 18 and straight out of high school, you're golden! 19 and took a year off? Covered. 50 and going back for kicks? Yup, they're there too. Another great aspect of college is that you get a chance to meet a LOT of people. Introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. You'll be amazed at who you meet, who you become friends with, who is actually really intelligent, etc. Expand your "circle." You will make friends. And I can't stress this part enough, I know you've heard it a million times, but it is SOOOO true... You are not who you were in high school. This IS a new start. Be who YOU WANT to be. Want to be cool and popular now? Do it! Want to be smart now? You ARE in college. Want to be the player? Who doesn't? You have every opportunity to do this. Also keep in mind that your college years are more than likely the last few years where you will be constantly surrounded by new people in an environment where it's this easy to make new friends. Make the most of it.

When it comes to registering for classes, DO NOT forget: Rate My Professors. It will save you from a lot of really bad ones. I wouldn't recommend signing up for classes where the teacher "will be announced" either. Chances are you'll end up like me in my math class. I'll touch on this in a minute. The first thing you should do after choosing a major is finding the catalog for your course and seeing which classes you HAVE to take for your major. Keep an eye on how many credits you need in each area. Some majors require you have 16 hours worth of social science, some only require three. Why take a million sciences you don't need (unless you're weird like that and enjoy science)?

The professors MAKE the class. I can't stress this enough either. As far as the "to be announced" goes, this is how my math class is. I have an instructor who is a high school geometry teacher teaching beginning algebra. I was extremely good with algebra back in high school... I am failing this class. Lets put it this way, the first test she gave us, the ENTIRE class failed. I don't mean like half of us. I don't mean there were a few C's. I mean all 25 people in this class failed the first test. Every test since (which she then changed to multiple choice) has "averaged" a low C. How? She isn't a very good teacher, lets just leave it at that. On the other hand, I'm also taking psychology. I have NEVER been good with science. Actually, I've always failed science. I'm passing this class. The instructor makes it what it is. She's crazy and gets the class involved with the topics. Plus, I wouldn't know anywhere near as much about the brain as I do now. Did you know it takes an hour for your brain to prepare for a dream and that a dream only lasts about 30 mins? And this cycle repeats constantly throughout the night. There are, of course, classes that have a great professor that will never be interesting (right philosophy?). Take recommendations, use the internet, introduce yourself to new teachers, etc. I actually met my next math teacher at my job.

Activities! There are many. ESPECIALLY if you live on a university campus. Take advantage of these. They are there for you. Never tried Frisbee golf? Why not? Never played chess? No excuses now. Been wanting to learn tennis? We have courts for that. Love MMA, yup... There's classes for it. Yoga? Yup. Baseball? Yup. And this is just what my school offers. Not to mention the vast amounts of clubs. I'll be joining S.I.F.E. (Students In Free Enterprise) come the fall. Take advantage of as much as you can. You never know when the person you're meeting will be your connection to that nice office job after college. If you qualify, sign up for the honor society. My friends graduated with a bachelor's in the honors program and got their master's degree paid for. In full.

Also, know how far you want to go, and go there. No more excuses. This isn't high school where you're forced to go through a certain course. If you want to be a nurse, make it happen. Want to be a lawyer? Make it happen. MAKE it happen. This is up to YOU. And don't let anyone talk you down or tell you otherwise. If you want a liberal arts degree, who the fuck is anyone else to tell you not to get it? What can you do with it? Uh, for one thing, you can teach liberal arts... If it's a subject you enjoy that much, and you end up teaching it, it means you're doing something you love for a living... Something most detractors aren't. It is also important, however, to take a marketing class if you're going to go for the harder to sell degrees. Learn how to market yourself. It will help you along the way.

Now just some random tips as I feel like this entry is dragging: Sign up for classes on the first day you possibly can. This is when the most spots are open and the most classes are available. Make friends in your classes. You never know when you might need them for notes or to form a study group. Find a teacher you like, and excel at that class. It'll be important when you need a letter of recommendation. Look for internships as soon as possible. It'll help you when you're required to get one. If you have a job, make sure they know you're going back to school. If they're not cooperative, tell them to fuck themselves. I'd honestly suggest quitting your job if you have one. You'll quickly find out that working and going to school do not mix. Last, but certainly not least, anyone who claims they go to school full time and work full time, yeah, they're full of shit.

Until next time kids. Remember, this is cross posted on campus_l1fe and boring_people.
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    cheerful cheerful

College, Day One.

I meant to post this all yesterday, but I was EXHAUSTED. Actually, I still am. I didn't sleep. At all. I usually work nights, and one of the classes I NEEDED was only available at 8 in the am. Lucky me! As I'm passing out, my alarm goes off. But I'm skipping ahead. Lets talk about yesterday and give you all a story to laugh at all while teaching you a lesson.

YESTERDAY: I go up to my school, HCC, and I go to the building it says my class is in and go to the room at the time the schedule said. Wait for the teacher (who was late, but quickly told everyone they needed to be on time) and waited while she introduced the class. "Welcome to intro to Sociology!" I don't recall signing up for this class, but hey, what do I know anyway? I sit through the entire class and, at the end of it, I told her I didn't think I had the right class. She then sent me to the Dean's office to check my schedule. Small problem being that the Dean's office wasn't where she said it was... Nor was it anywhere else that everyone told me it was. So, I waited a good three hours (the first day the classes end stupid early!) and made my way to my second class. The door was locked, the lights were off, and no one was going to or coming from the room. It started at 6:30, so, at 6:25 I raced over to the career center to check my schedule. Sure as shit, I had the right rooms. At this point, I'm freaking the fuck out. I go up to the desk and ask the poor girl to help me find my classes. She comes over, looks at the computer, and asks a few questions.

"So, this is the building you were in?"
"Uh huh."
"And this was the room?"
"And no one was in there?"
"Nuh uh."
"Oh, I see the problem..."

Ready for the lesson?

"These classes don't start until June. Your math and reading are Tues and Thurs, but your Mon and Wed classes don't start until June."

This wouldn't have been as embarrassing IF:
A) "Check your start date" wasn't beaten into our heads during orientation.
B) She wasn't kind of cute.
C) I wasn't freaking out.

Moral of this story... ALWAYS check your start date. ALWAYS.

So, I go in today for my actual first day. I will say this now: If you're thinking about taking 14 credit hours during the summer... Don't. I wish I had listened to everybody... And all four of them don't even run together. Basically, a summer semester is sixteen weeks worth of work shoved into seven. In my reading class, I have to learn 50 words a WEEK and we have a test worth something like 25% of our final grade based on these words, and math has an entire chapter due a week. The workload is ridiculous. LUCKILY for me, the reading books and online program only cost me $60 at the used bookstore, and the math class at HCC is no longer using a book. It's all online. I do need to buy MathXL however.

Overall, the first day was... Rather uneventful. I'm glad I'm in and it feels amazing to know I've finally done it... But I'm ready to move on beyond these BS classes.

Advice I'd give kids right from the start:

-If you're taking summer classes, plan for 8 hours tops. 12 is way too much for seven weeks.
-Be prepared. Apparently you can get your books before your class.
-Learn something. I wasn't happy about having to take reading, but it is nice to know I'll be learning new words, along with study techniques.

That's all. I'll be back again sometime. Once again, this is crossposted to campus_l1fe boring_people and maniacthw. Enjoy.
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Bite me, bitch...

Broward College

I update LJ about my life as a college student quite often, so I might as well post here too.

I'm a psychology major about a month away from earning my first college degree. I've been on Broward College's South Campus for almost two years and it's a small campus, so I'm very familiar with it. It's also very familiar with me. I know a lot of people, am recognized by others still (including the campus president / deans), belong to a lot of clubs, etc. Student Life is traditionally where I've spent most of my time on campus, but I recently quit being an officer in the Honor's Society, so I wander more. Resigning was difficult, but necessary. The advisor openly disrespected me, I sent an email giving it to her ass, and it went from there. I decided I couldn't work with someone like her - unprofessional, dishonest, no integrity, etc. People used to joke about the PTK office being my second home, and that's no longer the case. Today I wound up in the library (where I learned yoga classes are offered on Thursdays and participated in one) and the cafeteria (where I ate overpriced food that wasn't exactly worth my while). I had my two all-time favorite professors which was a bonus. Albo decided to hold 15 min conferences with each student instead of holding class. She told me the research paper I b/s'ed was great and sent me on my way. I visited Castillo right after seeing her and continued giggling when I had his Stats class later. He's certifiably one of the best professors I've ever had and I adore him.

Tomorrow I have my ridiculous, 50 minute Leadership class. There will be a Peer Mentoring event after that I intend to attend. It's likely my current mentees won't show up, but I just got off the phone with a former mentee that agreed to. I'm looking forward to it. :)

I should be excited to transfer, but I'm not. People freak out about getting into certain schools, but I'm not. Maybe it hasn't hit me yet. I have the GPA and service hours to go wherever and I'm thinking about UCF. Orlando would be a nice change of pace, but there's a chance I'll stay in Broward County too. We'll see.

HCC: Part Two

The Orientation was actually pretty informative and helpful. I got my HCC email address, and learned how to register for classes, and how to get financial aid to pay for classes even after the deadline (their fault, not mine). The dude running it was cool, but the kids who were in there with me AMAZED me with how stupid or just cliche they were. We had the short dyke girl dressed like a guy with the short hair in a stupid ass 1950's hairstyle who had started taking hormones, the overweight douchebag who came in in a button down short sleeve shirt all opened to expose his undershirt with his gut all hanging out, and his 1990's Terminator sunglasses, the rest of the people in the room just came off as moronic. There was a girl who walked in wearing next to nothing with her do me eyes on everyone in the room, who wasn't even supposed to be at Orientation. Great... These are the tools I'll be surrounded by. I need to get out of here in less than two years. I learned that I only failed the reading part of my test by one question, so I'll pay the $10 and redo that part so I just have ONE pre math class I have to take. I also found out that HCC STILL has me marked as Out Of State. A little history here: When I was 18, prior to learning that my parents would fuck me out of school, I applied to HCC. While trying to get into the school (this was before I had a drivers license), I had gone in, no lie, 15 times to establish that I was in state. It was supposed to be taken care of then, as they told me. Luckily, today I finally got it all squared away as I found the ONE woman behind the counter who knows how to do her job. I'll be using here from now on.

Financial Aid is just as much a pain in the ass. I was required to fill out a shitload of info and bring it in with my 2010 tax forms. Got everything squared away. Now I just have to play the waiting game. I'll more than likely have to get deferred for the summer semester. What that means is they'll let me into class without the money (knowing that financial aid is on it's way) and you have to buy your books out of pocket. I'm not happy with this, but it's the hand I've been dealt. I'm just glad I got it all worked out today. Got all my into updated, did my orientation, and got financial aid caught up. I also grabbed a loan form so I'm not struggling through school. I'm in the final stretch as May is coming soon. This is going to be exciting. I actually can't wait to get out of HCC so I can get into one of the other schools in Florida. USF has a horrible reputation, but UCF, UF, and FSU are all here as well. I'd consider going to two of those are HCC. Anyways, it's time to wrap this up. Until next time... When I'll probably cover registering classes. See ya guys.
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    "Insects Destroy" by Pulley

Let there be light!

What up LJ, name's Mark. 24 years old, Brandon (for now), Fl. I am in the process of applying to go to Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fl (referred from now on as "HCC"). I'll be starting with the struggle of going back to school after a LONG (six years) absence from a single class. I'll be working on my first BA headed towards a business management with a minor in advertising. I hope to one day open a Halloween store and am hoping that schooling will set me on the right path. Even if it doesn't, this is good for me. This is an introduction to the community, the community owner, and a test to see how this layout works. In the coming days, I'll be recruiting new members and getting more posts up. My first few will deal with simply GETTING IN to college. Hopefully you all enjoy. I know I will!
  • Current Music
    "I Love College" by Asher Roth