You’ve got your pimping stereo, your fake ID, and an extra large crate of Ramen noodles. You are so ready for college. You can’t imagine how college could possibly go wrong.
Delusions aside, even if you don’t foresee needing people during your college education, chances are that there are a couple of people who can make you life a thousand times better. Some of these people will make your college years more interesting and some will just make your whole life better.
1 – The Resident Advisor.
Now, you will learn quickly that being the representation of the oppressing power is hardly a recipe to make your RA the favorite gal/guy on the block. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring them. RA’s control the dorm experience, and getting on their good side is always worth it. Whether you have accidentally locked yourself out of your room, or your crack-addicted roommate accidentally gets caught with a felony stashed beneath her bed, having your RA to vouch for you can save you a lot of hassle every day.
2 – The Nerds.
Now, don’t go all video-gamers unite on me; that’s not what I mean. I’m talking about the smart kids in classes. The TA’s, the students who volunteer in the writing labs on campus, the kids the technology department is employing in secretive research. While using these people for their skills is all the rage, that’s not the reason you want to make friends with them. These kids know how the system works and they play it to their full advantage. They already have a space reserved on their shelf for their someday Nobel Peace Prize. While it can be handy having a friend who knows how to fix a computer or who can help you edit your paper, it’s the long run benefits that make these friends worth it. Not only will befriending people from different interest groups help you to learn important adult social skills, but those same friends are going to be at the forefront of their fields someday. When you really need a friend in science to help de sign a new lung after you smoke yours out, having that friend will change your life.
3 – The Professor/Dean.
Sooner or later, you are going to find a major that works for you. Maybe that major is bioengineering; maybe it is kickboxing. Either way, when you find a career path that you actually want to pursue, it can be tempting to just blast your way through the course load and get out of there. If you take a little time to stay and chat with your professor after class or to attend the extra credit lecture by your school dean, you are investing in that mansion you’ve always dreamed of. Not only do they have real working knowledge of the career you are going into, but they already know people who are working in that field. You know those classmates that you swap notes with and try to chat up before the class starts? They had those too. Only now, their classmates are experienced members of their field. Getting on the good side of your professor can be the difference between an impersonal letter of recommendation and a great one. So, if you care about earning money at all, take a few minutes before you head off to watch the Monty Python marathon, and help yourself get a better future.
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