Monday, September 5, 2011

Why Leonardo DiCaprio's Acting Career Is Synonymous For A Three Day Weekend In College

Everyone looks forward to days off. Generally because it means no school (or work), which we all love, right?
Right. Until the weekend is a giant expanse of time to fill. Because it is.
You see, there are varying levels of time. There's the Sitting In Trig time, which is slower than anything you've ever seen before. There's Mom Time, which has been scientifically proven to be in a different time zone, varying from 1-3 hours behind. There's Theater Time, which is always early. There's Toddler Time, which only refers to NOW (this is similar to Food Time, which usually occurs when people are hungry, and involve somebody wanting food NOW). There's Awkward Time, which is agonizingly slow, because you are stuck in a completely awkward conversation. These will last days in your time, five minutes in regular time. Lastly, there is College Time. This is almost as slow as Awkward Time (not quite as slow as Sitting In Trig Time though), but because it lasts an entire semester, it seems like an endless black hole of time.
We've all been here a little over a week, and we all swear we've been here three months. At least. Each day here is worth about four or five days. Those are the regular school days. The weekend is worth a month in and of itself.
Which is great, because you will feel like you will have time to do absolutely everything. Yes, you can go to class. And go out to dinner. And go to a party afterwards. And then late-night food after that. And then go back to your dorm and watch a movie. And then hang out for an hour. And then go do homework. Yes, College Time is similar to Dog Years. So, for the most part, it's wonderful. You have time to do absolutely everything (including writing blogs that no one reads because you enjoy hearing yourself talk. Or write. Or type. Same thing.) and you won't be rushing around. Unlike high school time (especially Senior Time, which means it will ALWAYS be one in the morning, and you will ALWAYS have a term paper due the next day, and time will ALWAYS go by much too quickly), you'll have the freedom of free time and relaxation. So your entire day feels productive and not at all stressful. There's even time for naps. It's like heaven, for all of you high schoolers out there reading this.
And then you have a three day weekend. The things we longed for in elementary school, in junior high, in high school. But then when you take a three day weekend and convert it into College Time, you get an infinite slate of NOTHING. It's like living in limbo in Inception. You saw how crazy Leonardo DiCaprio's wife went up in there? Yeah, exactly. It's like living in a building with zombies who stare at the wall with empty stares and repeat the same thing over and over again: "I don't want to read. I don't want to study. I don't want to do homework." Speaking of, doesn't that remind you of another one of Leo's movies? Shutter Island. Yeah, picture Shutter Island. That's kind of what an extra day off is like in College Time. A cross between Shutter Island and limbo in Inception. If you add in a boat, you've got themes from every significant Leonardo DiCaprio movie ever made. (No, The Aviator doesn't count.) You don't know if anything's real anymore, you don't know if your roommate is secretly trying to figure out if you killed your family, you don't know if you're dreaming, you don't know if the people around you are figments of your subconscious, you don't know if you're going to die a horrific death drowning after the love of your life promises never to let go and then LETS GO. (Come to think of it, it was raining today, so the water/drowning thoughts could occur, so Titanic really does figure in here. Thus, Leo's acting career = college three day weekend.)
On top of that, because it is raining today (And yeah, it's early September. I should be wearing shorts right now, not jeans and a sweater. And BOOTS.), we all feel like it's November or something, solidifying the thought that we've been here several months, and are now stuck in some weird limbo time.
In short, I'm terrified that I'm going to show up to class tomorrow and find Leonardo DiCaprio spinning a top at the front of my class.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekend #1 or L.O.S.E.R.

They can tell you all they want at orientation, but once a party school, always a party school. And this will never be more evident than on the weekends. Weekends, by the way, start on Thursday nights, not Friday nights, like high school. Most people have classes Monday-Thursday, and maybe one or two classes on Friday, which can get canceled. So yeah, partying starts early.

Now, if you're like me, and you're not really sure how to handle yourself in the midst of all this, it's okay. You do not have to be a loner and chill out in your dorm every single night because you're scared to go out and get yourself into shenanigans that you're not ready to handle. Feel free to go out, hang out with friends, and always think of LOSER.

L- Limits
Everyone's got some. Know them. If you are not a drinker, if you're not into the drug scene, then don't be. If you're not a parties, then don't. If you can't stay up late, then don't. If you have financial limits, please acknowledge them. If you don't drink,don't do drugs, don't party, don't stay out late, feel free to tell the people who are trying to get you to do otherwise. They'll probably try to get you to just give it a try, but if you seriously don't want to, just tell them, and they'll let it go. No one wants to force anyone else into doing something that makes anyone else uncomfortable. That's not what college is for. It's for meeting people who are different from yourself, not changing people to be more like you.

O- Outgoing
People like it when you're outgoing. Regardless of whether or not you are completely nervous or feeling awkward (because trust me, my life is a constant stage of awkward), just try to fight past it and be friendly. Say hi to everyone. No, seriously, EVERYONE. I think I've said hello to every single person I walk by in the hall. Hopefully, you'll know most of their names, otherwise that awkward moment in the bathroom when it's just you and what's-her-name will be really awkward (Yes, this is the situation offered by RA who is trying to get everyone to know each other better.). Just trust me on that one. It won't be awkward if you start a conversation with someone you don't know, because that's just how it is. If you're in line for Mexican food at one in the morning, and the line's out the door (because it will be), you CAN talk to the person behind you and complain about how long the line is, even if you've never met them before. It's just one of those things that people do. Talk to people. Always. Example: I just walked over to the bathroom, and said some variation of hello to about five people. Regardless of whether or not you know them, do it. Here are some common forms of "hello's" said in the hall: "Hey," "Hi," "'Sup," "You going to the game," "I hate these doors," "I hate swipe cards," "Bathrooms are really far away," "I left my towel in my room, dangit," and "Why don't we ever have soap in the bathrooms?" Yeah. Some of those are only valid in certain areas (Anything regarding doors/swipe cards, at entrances and exits, anything regarding food around mealtimes, anything regarding a game or outing on that same night, and anything regarding bathrooms, soap, towels, shower shoes, and water temperatures in or around the bathroom.)

S- Share
Here's a biggie. Sharing is caring. No one likes free stuff more than college kids, and if it comes from a friend, it's even better. I'm not saying give away all you've got, but offer something if you've got it. If you're a baker, and have got to bake, make something and share with the floor. It helps in making friends to go party (or not) with. If you're all hanging out and someone's in the mood for a game, suggest a card game or board game you've got in your dorm and bring it out. There are nights that you just hang out and chill, and games are just the thing to do.

E- Evaluate
Evaluate the situation. Just because you don't go crazy every night doesn't mean you can't have fun. Hang out with people you meet, and if they start suggesting stuff that seems a little sketchy to you, just stop and think. Evaluate the situation. Think of consequences, think of pros and cons. Figure out whether or not it makes you uncomfortable in the sense that this is just a new thing that you're not used to or in the sense that this is really something you can't do. If it's the first, go ahead and give it a shot, after thinking it through. If it's the second, bow out. No one's going to hold it against you. I promise. And if they do, they're not worth the time.

R- Respect
This goes both ways. Respect the people you meet. Respect that their own lives and their decisions are just that- their own. So if they do something you don't approve of, stay out of it. It's not your call. If you don't approve of it, take yourself out of the situation and head elsewhere. But don't lecture people for finding their own way in college. And the other aspect of that is something that we don't usually think will be true, but turns out to be so. Usually, people will respect you and your decisions and way of life, especially if you just let them be. If I tell someone that I'm not a drinker, I don't do drugs, and I'm pretty new to the whole aspect of late-night shenanigans, they're pretty cool with it. You might get teased a bit- in the same way your friends back home would if you didn't feel like joining in- but they're not going to be rude about it. For the most part, everyone here respects other's decisions and lives and realizes that not everyone is the same. Don't be afraid to stay who you are.

So there's the model for living in dorms, especially during the weekends. Whenever you're thinking of going out and partying, just think LOSER. But please don't say it outloud when you're thinking through it. Because that's what people will start thinking you are.

A couple of notes:

Don't do drugs. Don't drink. It's illegal, kiddos. Don't do it.

For those of you that are getting ready to go to or apply to colleges, let me know if you've got any specific questions or comments that you'd like me to address, and I'll write a post. For all you seniors out there, that includes the application process, choosing a school, and figuring out how to get ready for the move. Just comment on here, send me a Facebook message, or shoot me a text. I'll make sure to write something up. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day #6 or Frehman 15 Means You Will Only Sleep 15 Minutes Every Night

Here's a few more pointers for you guys- just in case you were hankering for some more.

For those of you who haven't schedule your classes, make sure to note WHEN they are. Particularly in conjunction with one another. Now, I'm not implying that any of you will be registering for two classes at the same time (unless you've managed to get your hands on Hermione's Time Turner, in which case, feel free to FedEx that to me ASAP). But the "ten minutes walking time" you think is enough to get you to classes will NOT be enough. Sure, you'll have a couple back-to-back classes that are conveniently in the buildings next door to each other, but for the most part, the schedule kings of the world will probably make you sprint across campus. Now, don't be afraid to do that half-walk, half-sprint-for-your-life thing that we do when we're trying not to be late while simultaneously trying not to look like an idiot. You will look like an idiot, so just sprint. At least you won't be late.
And if you think it makes you look like a total Freshman, well, you're right. But it's not the sprinting to class that makes you look like one. It's the fact that you're sprinting to class because you didn't know to think ahead and not schedule all of your classes like this.

When you have class at 9:00, don't show up at 9:00. Use what I've learned as Theater Time. "If you're early, you're on time. If you're on time, you're late. And if you're late, you're dead." Pretty much also college time. A 9:00 class usually means the professor starts at 9:00, so if you want a seat, get there ten minutes early, I'd say. And again, keep track of your scheduling. If you have a 9:00 class, want to get there ten minutes early, and don't leave your dorm until 8:45, you're dumb. It doesn't take five minutes to walk to class, I'm pretty sure. More like an hour and a half.

Have a doodle pad with you. I'm serious. I don't know if you're like me, but if I'm not doing something, I get bored very quickly. And for the first week, 85% of teachers decide to go over the syllabus they assigned as reading over the summer. It will take the full hour of class- multiple days. You will be talked AT, and not even in the lecture notes kind of a way. In the I-know-you-just-read-this-but-let's-do-this-again kind of a way. Not because the teachers don't have anything to teach you or anything- they've got plenty of material. They just HAVE to go over all of this stuff in detail, so we as students can't come back halfway through the semester and try and argue our way out of something that was clearly written in the syllabus we all signed. They're probably not in love with the syllabus either, but they've got to do it. So back to the point. A doodle pad. Don't let it distract you; just mindlessly use it. It'll help keep you awake and at least a couple neurons firing as your teacher talks about how cheating is usually frowned upon for the umpteenth time.

Lastly, just know that you will be tired. You will be running around all day, you'll be doing homework in the afternoon, and then you'll go out with friends. I don't care if it's the beginning of school, and you've got barely any homework, and it's only 7:00, and you were planning on going to bed early. You won't. You will probably go to bed anytime between 11:30 and 1:30. Count on it. You will be up all night looking at Cracked articles (am I the only one obsessed with this website?), Skyping anyone you remotely know online, dredging up status updates on FaceBook from a week ago for a reason you've yet to identify, or just wandering around the dorms at night because, well, let's face it, you live in a Freshman dorm, and there will always be shenanigans going down. Count on it. All I'm saying is invest in a stock in Starbucks and get some great undereye concealer, because the Freshman 15 stands for the fifteen minutes of sleep you will get each night.

Days #1-5 or Already Procrastinating

Welcome to this new blog, for the five (if I'm lucky) people reading this! This is essentially a blog for anyone who's looking to start college soon, who's already in college and wants to see what college is like in other places, or who's just being nosy when I post these things on FaceBook (here's looking at you, Mom!). Above all things, it's a place for me to talk endlessly and not receive any dirty looks for my inability to simply hush up.

For those of you that don't know me, I'm Bree, and I'm just starting school at SDSU, living on campus in the dorms. I live about six hours away, but I have the magic ability to apparate home anytime I want to. Oh wait. I was late to my Apparation class so I'm not quite sure how to do that yet...

Okay, so since I just settled in here after a few days (I moved in Friday, it's now Tuesday. Or Wednesday morning.), I've only now had time (or willingness) to write. But here's a little pointers for those of you still checked in.

During your first few days here, you will...

1. Introduce yourself so often, your own name won't sound right anymore. And you'll introduce yourself to people you will NEVER see again. But let it slide, because some of them, you will. They'll be your roommate, or your floormate, or the girl standing next to you in line for Chipotle (YES!), or the guy who's sitting next to you in your Anthro class. So just roll with it. All those introductions will catch on eventually, and it'll all work out.

2. Syllabi (Spellcheck informs me that this IS the plural form) are no longer 2-3 pages filled with happy messages. They are 682 pages long and filled with discouraging remarks and crazy expectations. Okay, so they're fifteen pages and filled with teachers (Professors, actually. Make sure you call them as such.) who BEG you not to be late (which IS discouraging to someone whose internal clock is in a different time zone naturally) and schedules for the semester. But yeah, same thing really.

3. You will do a LOT of walking. And I don't mean a lot of walking like you don't have a car, so you walk to the store and it takes twenty minutes each way (which I've already done here). I mean like, you will spend more daytime hours walking than sitting. Especially if you live on a campus that is built on a series of 62 hills. Okay, well, maybe three or four, but you try walking it all day and tell me it doesn't FEEL like 62. Because of this, you will (I am hoping!) have gorgeous legs by the end of the year. My roommate and I are convinced that we will LOSE the Freshman 15 due to all the walking.

4. You could cover up your entire dorm room wall with flyers. People are out there, handing out flyers like the Apocalypse is on its way, and you will get suckered into taking 95% of them. And then you will stuff them in your bag. Every time I see someone handing out flyers, I think of a Mitch Hedberg quote when he says, "Whenever someone hands me a flyer, it's like they're saying, 'Here, you throw this away.'" Which it SO feels like most of the time. But before you throw it away, read it. Occasionally, you'll find something actually semi-decent and find your niche. At the very least, since it's the beginning of the year, 115% of the organizations on your campus will be handing out free things, most of which will be food. Speaking of...

5. College kids love food. We all though high school kids (especially those boys) could put away food like it was going out of style. But college kids take it to the extreme. It seems to be the number one motivating factor in dragging people off their butts (And remember, we only get to sit for about 2 hours during the day, during lectures. All other times, we're walking up massive hills to our classes.) is food. Please take advantage of this. If you're in a club or organization, offer food on your flyers. If you're starting a study group, order pizza. If you're trying to coerce your floormates into being friends with you, bake brownies. Trust me on that last one.

6. Plans will always be tentative. I learned that today. My roommate and I were on our way to the gym for Zumba, when we were accosted by a dozen of our floormates, who demanded we stop and go to dinner with them. We consented, gathered additional members, and crossed the bridge to campus, flocking together like the regiment of hungry Freshies we were. Later, we stopped by one dorm room for a Pretty Little Liars viewing, and then turned up for a massive Tosh Tuesday party (Yes, Daniel Tosh. Yes, Tosh.0.). And what were our plans originally? The gym.

7. If you leave your door open, people will walk in and out of your dorm. Just expect it. An open door means someone has the right and the obligation to walk in and talk to you. This is a good thing, especially when you're first starting out. Because after all those awkward introductions (Remember how I told you those would come up?), you'll be done, and you'll have met someone. And this IS a someone you'll run into again, since, after all, they do live with you.

8. Get spirited! When your school has events, go! You'll feel a sense of pride in your school- or, if you don't, you'll find like-minded people. Trust me, they're easy to spot. Just find one kid rolling his eyes at the pep rally, and you'll know you'll get along. And you'll know he only came because he was handed a flyer that mentioned free food. And if the school is too big to focus on, think smaller. Our dorm is one of the most actively spirited groups I've seen here, especially so early on. We've got a FaceBook page going so we can be social with one another and show our floor pride (My floor, if you're asking, is THE best floor in this hall. Hands down.). So no matter how big the group, you can find a way to get involved and show pride.

9. Don't get overwhelmed by everything. I swear by Evernote, which lets me make lists and schedules to my little OCD heart's content, and it helps. There's hundreds of clubs and organizations on campus- not to mention jobs, classes, study groups, and churches. Organize your time, and think about what's best for YOU. Don't let people sway you with fancy promises and shiny looking booths. (Do let them sway you with food.)

10. Lastly, please realize that the disease you felt you'd recover from at this point, Senioritis, will still be showing its symptoms as you begin your Freshman year. Especially when all you want to do is go to the gym, or a frat party, or 7-11 for slushees, or a Tosh Tuesday party, or to find whoever it was that pulled the fire alarm at three in the morning, because they are going down. Once the activities wind down and everyone showers up and heads back to their dorms, you'll sit on your bed and realize that, no, you haven't done the reading for tomorrow, and your room looks messy as ever, and your bag is completely unorganized, and you have 5 unread posts on FaceBook. And then, because you're (presumably) from this generation, you will choose FaceBook, and continue to use it until 1 AM. And then eventually, you'll find it to be 1:19 and realize that you're writing a blog post instead of sleeping since you plan on waking up in five hours. You thought you had learned after almost falling asleep in your Anthro class (because reading articles all night was MUCH more intriguing than sleeping), but obviously not. So now, concerned, you quickly hit "Publish" on this blog as you realize the tenses in this blog are totally varying and probably grammatically incorrect. And then you blame it on sleep deprivation.