Great post Ben! Thanks for sharing all the great tips!
“College is the best time of your life. When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk every night?”
Q&A with Beckett West who stars as JACK
Where did you go to college, and what did you study?
Humber College, Toronto, Canada for Acting for Film & Television
As a child, what did you want to be when you “grew up.”
Actor/Astronaut/Lawyer/Pro Wrestler/Rapper/and Actor again (in that order)
Now that you’re closer to being a grown-up, what do you want to be?
I want to be a lost boy so that I don’t have to answer questions about “growing up”.
What’s your best piece of advice for someone trying to get through college?
Keep the snooze button further then arms reach in the morning.
Getting Involved & How it Makes or Breaks the College Experience
By Benjamin Miele
When high school seniors apply for college, their main concern is usually one of the following:
1) Where are my friends going?
2) Where is the best program for my eventual career?
3) Where are the best parties at?
Involvement on campus is rarely a factor for anyone, even those students who were extremely involved in high school. I believe the reason that holds true is because students initially see college as the place to either get a degree or get drunk. There is not really any emphasis made on any end of the spectrum regarding student involvement. There may be factoids sprinkled on prospective students at a campus tour or on their website, but it doesn’t resonate with the student.
So why is involvement so important? You don’t pay tuition and fees to join a club or organization; you pay to get a degree and move onto a career. Involvement is so important because it provides you with real-world experience in a college atmosphere. It allows you to network with other students that share common interests or aspirations. It provides a strong foundation for you to work with once you graduate. Finally, it gives your college experience meaning beyond the classroom or the parties. Looking back at your college education, being able to say you made a positive impact on your campus community is going to be a much more powerful statement than saying that you went to classes then got plastered four nights a week.
Here are five ways for you to get involved on campus. Try and use one of these suggestions as a gateway to greater involvement in your campus:
1) Join a club or organization: The easiest way to find your place on campus is to find an organization or club that shares your interests. If you are unsure if there is a club for something you enjoy, go to your student involvement or student union office and ask. If not, there is a great leadership opportunity for you: create a club! Creating a club is great both in the now and future: gain crucial leadership experience by being a club founder for now and be able to display and talk about that experience with prospective employers in the future!
2) Do some community service: Most campuses have a community service office where they offer a variety of volunteering opportunities for students. Use your time to build relationships with others who like to give their time for a common good. More and more campuses are also offering alternative break trips, where you travel with students from your campus to domestic and international locations and spend part of your winter, spring, or summer break volunteering with their local community. Alternative break trips are a great way to give back and expand your horizons as well!
3) Look at some intramurals: For students who don’t want to make a year commitment with a club but want to do something fun, take a look at what your campus offers for intramurals. Depending on your campus, intramural offerings can run several weeks to months in a wide variety of sports and recreational activities. The best part is you are taking part in something fun while meeting others who enjoy playing the same sport or activity.
4) Join Greek Life: Many of you could be asking “didn’t he say that college isn’t about partying?” Well I did. However, Greek Life has this huge misconception that it’s a platform to get to the best parties on your campus. Only those who have taken part in the Greek system can truly attest to how beneficial it is throughout your life. It provides your with an embedded sense of brotherhood/sisterhood that can’t be matched. It also gives you a great source for networking and career opportunities once you graduate. There are also many chances to expand your leadership skills within the fraternity or sorority you join and the Greek Life community at your campus.
5) Get an on-campus job: Whether it is a position working in the cafeteria, in a department’s office, or as a Resident Assistant or other leadership position, working on-campus allows you to become a part of the campus community and its daily functions. You’ll integrate yourself with many students and you’ll be seen as a resource wherever you end up working. It also provides opportunities to collaborate with other offices on campus so that you get wider appreciation of what you campus has to offer.
Many employers say that what differentiates job candidates once they graduate is their involvement during college. Being able to build your resume with involvement activities will make your resume stand out and give topics of conversation between yourself and the employers during an interview. Look into the resources on your campus that I mentioned above. Nothing matches the knowledge you gain outside the classroom during college. Take advantage of it!
Benjamin Miele is a junior Political Science major at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. He is a Resident Assistant as well as a member of the BSU Student Government Association Senate. He can be contacted at email@example.com
by Bonnie Sludikoff
Co-Exec Producer and Creator, Bayberry Hall
There is a common belief among the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and, in particular, throughout academic communities- that constant struggle is a necessary component of success. That, if something is difficult, you are surely doing it correctly. Math is supposed to be confusing, suck it up. You must sit and study those spelling words by rote for hours on end or they will not stick. You must eat things that taste bad in order to see fitness results. Relationships are rocky- deal with it.
There is some truth to all of these situations. Many intellectual concepts take a lot of thought and practice to master. Some foods that are beneficial to your diet don’t go down as smoothly as a sugary shake. And yes, it takes work to get that harmonious relationship. But, my fellow classmates of life, take a moment and consider the things that you have decided must be ”difficult.” Be willing, at least for this moment, to entertain the possibility that you don’t need to struggle.
This is a constant life lesson for me, and one that I always marvel at. It doesn’t come easy. It’s typically after I’ve fallen face down in the mud that I’ve realized an easier way of doing something. Or after I’ve taken that faceplant and then tried another option as a “eh, I may as well try this cause what do I have to lose” only to find that the too-obvious option was the right one all along.
This is the (presumably) difficult thing about the college and post-college years- particularly if you’re a Libra, like I am! How do you know when you should lace up your hiking boots and trudge down that road you know is paved with struggle? How do you know when you should skip the sensible shoes and tap dance down easy-street? Well, the short answer is- you don’t.
My road continues to be full of trial and error. Such is life. In recent months I have given in to all kinds of unpleasant self-inflicted struggling. I’ve played the “hey, maybe if I never eat anything I want and live on an elliptical trainer I will get the fitness results I want” game, only to discover that there are tiny and easy-to-make changes that give me quicker results. I have spent long hours investing in friendships with people who I have wanted to be part of my social circle- ignoring the fact that they do not value me the way I value them, only to remember that I am lucky enough to have plenty of relationships in my life that never leave me emotionally bankrupt.
I make all sorts of mistakes, because lets face it, I’m twenty-*muffledrestofnumber* and I don’t know everything. But when I listen– when I really listen to that voice inside of me, the one that sounds less and less like the people around me and more like myself, I hear something that occasionally resembles the voice of reason.
What helps me to decide when that voice is leading me in the right direction and when to accept outside intervention? So many things…
But at the end of the day- it helps to work on that muscle- not the (presumably) difficult to tone triceps, but the one inside your gut. It helps to surround yourself with like-minded people. And it helps to laugh at all of the necessary and unnecessary struggling that we all insist upon doing in our 20s.
by Bonnie Sludikoff, Co-Creator of Bayberry Hall
If I had to narrow down the life lessons from my time as an RA into one key topic, I’d have to choose the idea of Building Community.
I personally believe (along with Miss Teen South Carolina 2007) that our best asset as human beings is the ability to feel empathy for one another– and this is what gives us the tools to effectively build community. Belonging to a community is one of our greatest and most authentic needs. I don’t mean to suggest the idea of community in a purely traditional sense ( religion, interest or attribute). Rather, I accept community as a group of people with a certain level of acceptance for one another. A place to belong. And whether we acknowledge it or not, we all need to belong somewhere.
I understood this concept back in college- and in my second year as an RA- I actually put together a handout for the housing staff with all 40 RA’s responses to the question, “What does community mean to me?” The ideas brought forth by the staff resonated with me, but it’s only now, in my late 20s, that I feel like I can really bring them out in my own life. …Better late than never.
I was reminded of the concept of community this past weekend, as I watched the Bayberry Hall cast begin to bond at our read through. I thought of community when I started my non-profit last year and worried constantly about being met with alienation and judgment ( and instead found out just how great my taste in friends really is). I contemplated the idea of community when I went through several months of not feeling like myself– feeling like I needed to isolate myself from social situations in fear that people couldn’t handle a version of me that wasn’t always perky and ready to take care of other people. And I embraced it a little bit more each time a friend rose to that occasion.
And the bittersweet life lesson that came with this? (Cause let’s face it, there’s always a bittersweet life lesson.) Sometime people disappoint you. They aren’t what you want or need them to be. They aren’t as invested in you as you are in them. But this is not always the case!
Unfortunately, it’s easy for these “sometimes truths” to become what we first think of in relationships, but the truth is, they’re not the majority. A lot of times, people are just looking for an excuse to rise to the occasion.
A community isn’t about everyone being the same. It isn’t about people being a specific way at all. A community, like a “home” is where, when you come to them in need, they take you in. I am so grateful for the people who represent community in my life.
by Chris Schamber
co-creator of Bayberry Hall and recent college
It’s 10 pm. Your final is tomorrow at 11, and you’ve been reading the same line on the first page for the last 45 minutes. It’s time to kick it up a gear and get serious.
1. Read the first three pages
2. You understand it all! Maybe you won’t fail this test! You’ve worked hard—give yourself a break!
3. Eat ice cream for 15 minutes.
4. Start studying again, but look at the clock. It’s only 11. At this rate, you’ll be done studying with hours to spare. Take your time.
5. Spend an hour watching funny YouTube videos.
6. You’re getting kind of tired. Better start studying again.
7. After reading two more pages, you’re exhausted. No way you’ll be able to retain all of this information with no energy. Why don’t you just go to sleep now and wake up early?
8. Before going to sleep, browse Facebook for twenty minutes and comment on your friend’s new profile picture.
9. You set your alarm for 5. Yeah, that’ll give you plenty of time.
10. You fall asleep. The alarm seems to go off as soon you fall into bed. Press snooze.
11. You’re still pretty tired. Press snooze.
12. …. Press snooze.
13. Why is your alarm so annoying? Turn it off.
14. You wake up as your roommate closes the door to go to class. You look at the clock. It’s 9:30
15. You spend the next hour skimming the book. You can kind of remember what each chapter is about. That’s a start.
How are/were your study habits? Are you more efficient than me? Leave a comment below.
Note from the Editor: Sometimes the value of “advice” is not in following it by the book, but by understanding it’s facetious value. That’s not to say that eating ice cream for 15 minutes is not a valuable part of your study routine. Take a look at your study tips. We all have our rituals. Do you need chocolate covered pretzels and a red bull to motivate you to focus on that biology assignment? Do you like to jump up and down on your twin xl bed before you begin a term paper? Share your tips with us at firstname.lastname@example.org