10 Rules for Going to College When Nobody Expected You To

These are ten things that I learned over the course of my Freshman Summer Program and I wish to share with you all

10. Be a total student

9. Resist the temptation to buy expensive stuff

8. Handle the family crises that pressures students like you to leave school… The best thing you can do for your family is to be the one who got a college education.

7. Don’t worry too much about the high cost of tuition.

6. Study harder in college.

5. You will become lonely or homesick… Don’t question whether you belong—You do!

4. Get to know others of different racial, ethnic, or social background.

3. Ignore career confusion

2. You are much more than a future employee so don’t think like one. Study what you love.

  1. Remember where you came from and who helped you get this far.

Personal comments:

#10 did not make sense to me at first. I already thought I was a “total student” before I got here and that’s why I got into UCLA in the first place. But now I know what that means. There are people here that are just here to be here. It really takes away the experience of higher education away from them and sometimes the others around them.

#9 is true. I was already frugal in the first place, but there are a lot of people impulse buying for no reason whatsoever. Sure it is nice to treat yourself, but make sure you are 100% set before you begin to spend the money.

#8 is hard because not everyone has the same formula for family/home crises. Beware of the “sophomore slumps” is what I was told. Usually affecting students that were never expected to go to college in the first place, the sophomore slumps is something that will cause the student to go back to the home, drop out, or take a break from college. Ultimately, this can slow down or end the student’s college career.

#7 is something that I wish I could touch on. I am grateful to be able to go to school with everything paid off. I see students now who are in trouble because they cannot pay their housing. (Note: Tuition and fees are SEPARATE from housing. When you pay tuition and fees, you are paying to attend college. Then you pay to live on campus. Two separate transactions and two very expensive bills.) However, there are multiple ways to get over that. Scholarships. Just apply to as many as you can. I applied to a TON and only got one that I’m using for college and I have a full ride.

#6 is something I agree with but also disagree with. Yes study harder. Spend more time studying. Know the information. Studying may have not been your thing in high school, but please do it. It helps. I disagree with study harder because it is really about studying smarter. If you work best in a group then study in a group. Same goes for studying in a lounge, coffee shop, grass area, library. You are in college. You can go to these places, set your stuff down, and study. Do what you need to do to be successful here.

#5 is different for everyone. I live only an hour away from home, made friends before coming here, and made even more friends through the summer program. So if you are coming in not knowing anyone, then be open to making a few. Usually when you meet one person, you meet a lot more. I made friends in the Freshman Summer Program. They all have their own roommates. I met their roommates and their friends. Even on this huge campus, I can safely say that I know over a good 200 people. Even if they are not close, they are still support and may even be there for you when you really need someone. On the other hand, there are out-of-state students who miss their families and friends; I can only imagine how it must feel for them to be so far away from home.

#4 is something that will naturally happen if you let it happen. Yes as minorities or under-represented students you have all the freedom in the world to join the student groups catering to your specific desires. Just take into account that you want to branch out a bit. On my floor in FSP, there were minorities as far as the eye could see. Once I got to my floor, I was the only black male on the south side of my floor and there is only one other black female. That is two black students out of a total of eighty on my floor. And that is okay. I do not complain because I have met people from India, Vietnam, Japan, China, Guatemala, El Salvador, etc…. Just be open to accepting others and their culture and you will be fine.

#3 is something I cannot yet touch on. I did not get it at first, but some may know what this means.

#2 is true and cannot argue it. There are people majoring in things that would make you think “What on Earth are they going to do with a degree in that?”. the answer is: “Anything they want”. College is a place to better yourself. Sure there are people like me wanting to study neuroscience or psychobiology which may make you think, “Oh… he’s just in it for the money.” Yes and no. I thoroughly enjoy studying the brain AND making a lot of money. So I am killing two birds with one stone… one large stone… one boulder… and the birds are pterodactyls… and I have no arms… *mind explodes*

Lastly, #1. Remember people that supported you. Remember people that wrote your letters of rec. Remember people that talked to you after school about family problems. Remember them all. Remember the people that took you too school. Remember that one teacher that said you could do it. Remember everyone that has ever been there for you. I could not thank anyone and everyone enough for being there for me. Every student is a product of their environment. You are now an extension of them out in the world doing things they may have once dreamed to do. Remember them.

I do not own this list. All rights belong to the researchers that presented this information. Will remove if told to do so.


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