Book Review – Dean's List: 11 Habits of Highly Successful College Students

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Julie says:

    Argh. I graduated from Hopkins in May 2011, and this nicely summarizes the cause of a lot of my problems while I was there. While both my parents and three of my grandparents did go to college, their experiences were completely different than mine–painless admissions process, laid-back local state schools, living at home, training programs for specific careers, etc–the result being that I was left to navigate a world of privilege and unspoken rules pretty much on my own. Predictably, it didn’t go overly well. My day-to-day experience was social-class culture shock in so many ways, although I didn’t realize it until late in the game… public-school alumna that I was, I assumed we were all from comparable backgrounds, so there must have been something wrong with me 🙁

    My freshman and sophomore years, I spent all my time focusing on academic minutia, trying to become an “educated person” and please ridiculous professors. Then on-campus housing dried up, and although my family is solidly middle-middle-class, I still had to work 10-20 hours a week my junior and senior years to pay for my apartment. I was continually having to invent excuses and take professorial cold-shoulders when I just couldn’t get everything done. They never seemed to consider that any of us had anything to do besides schoolwork. I started to see through all the BS of academia and, increasingly disillusioned, gave up on my earlier plan to go to grad school. It was probably the one good choice I could have made, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. No more ivory towers for me.

    Now, unemployed since November (and only employed before that because of a temp pity-extension of my student job), I’m kicking myself for wasting all that time in my first half, industriously memorizing German grammar instead of getting the Computer Science or Economics second major that could have meant a job. And for focusing on short-term financial gain instead of setting myself up for the long term. I should have sucked up to professors, I should have networked and made contacts (however you do that… I’m still not sure), I should have studied abroad for a semester–cost and parental provincialism be damned– because that might have been my only chance for a long, long time to see the world. But I bought into the “educated person” thing, and then lost the money and the will to see it through, and now… it’s just me and my creative writing degree, floundering in our craptastic economy and looking back at college with 20/20 hindsight.

    I can think of other people with similar, or worse, stories. I wish Orientation had included some sort of class for non-rich kids or something… or that the whole college-industrial complex would be done away with and replaced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *