2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Making good choices on campus

By Scott Strasser, September 16 2014 —

If you’re new to university, you’ll find yourself with more freedom than you’ve had before. You might be nervous about having to live alone and manage money for the first time. Or maybe you’re eager to tackle the “real world” that all your high school teachers warned you about.

Either way, this newfound freedom comes with a lot of new responsibilities. While university is a great time to let loose, it’s also the transition from adolescence to adulthood. You no longer have to abide by your parent’s rules but you should probably heed some of their advice.

Despite what Hollywood told you, university isn’t only about goofing off for four more years and drinking cheap beer out of red solo cups. You’ll do some of that, sure, but it’s also about making mature choices and standing by them. As a student, you’ll have to make decisions on your own. Making responsible ones allows you to have fun without constantly dealing with the consequences.

One of the most common freedoms students take advantage of is sleeping in whenever they want. We’re notorious for not wanting to wake up early. Now that you’re in university, getting up early is a choice that most of us do without. You create your class schedule and can pick as few morning classes as you want. But if your degree requires one, you’ll have to rely on willpower to get you to class each morning.

In high school, you had school at the same time every day. Your first class was probably at 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. If you didn’t wake up, chances are a parent was there to make sure you did. If you didn’t make it to class, someone at the school would call home to ask why you were absent.

In university, professors don’t care if you show up to class. No one is going to come after you if you don’t make it to your early morning lectures. Mom or dad aren’t going to shake you awake when you hit snooze six times. It’s up to you to drag yourself out of bed and into an 8:00 a.m. stats lecture.

In high school, most classes had homework to hand in on a regular basis. Constantly having to finish and hand-in assignments is a type of studying. In university, it’s easy to abuse the freedom of a class with just a midterm and a final exam. Doing the scheduled readings seems like a waste of time. Of course, when it comes to final exams and you have to read 300 pages of a global politics textbook, you’ll be singing a different tune.

This is what making mature choices is about. Sometimes being a responsible adult means doing things you don’t want to. And going to a party is a lot more fun if you know you aren’t flunking out of a class you — or your parents — paid six hundred dollars for. University is enjoyable when you have time to study and relax. Doing too much of either becomes a drag.

So if you really want to tackle the “real world” that adults used to talk about, be prepared to make choices that aren’t fun. Be prepared to turn down parties and avoid Netflix. Be prepared to consistently make mature and responsible decisions. Welcome to university. It’s not getting any easier from here.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet