Should I Room Single Or With A Roommate Freshman Year?

May 27, 2009

This is an interesting question that has a simple answer: it depends on the experience that you want.

Here are the different experiences you will get with each.  Pick the one that you want.

Living in a single

1.  You will have your own room.  You do not have to worry about synchronizing bed times, being sexhiled, bringing guys/girls back to your place, or sharing resources

2.  You will have a place that you can go for some guaranteed alone time.  This is great when you need to “get away”

3.  You can close your door and have privacy

4.  Usually hallways with single rooms aren’t as loud as others (This is just a general trend)

5.  A potential downside is that you have to be very proactive about building up your social life.  You do not have a roommate bringing new people around

6.  There is also a greater tendency of people living in singles to isolate themselves in their rooms (Jokingly called dorm trolls)

7.  Singles also tend to be very small

Summary:  I have lived in a single for both years of college and have thoroughly enjoyed them.  It was nice being able to do my own thing and to have a place where I could be alone.   The key is to be proactive so that you do not fall into the dorm troll trap

Living with roomates

1.  Most roommates become friends during the year.  Your roommates will typically brings friends around as well, giving you another way to meet people

2.  Doubles, tripples and quads tend to have their doors more often than singles, which makes it harder to be isolated

3.  Most roommates get along splendidly, but there is a chance that you will have problems.  On the surface this seems bad, but on the positive side it will teach you valuable conflict management and general people skills

4.  These rooms tend to be much larger than singles

5.  Usually these rooms are where your neighbors will hang out (Singles are too small)

6.  If you get a roomate who comes from a different background than you, you will gain some pretty cool perspective

7.  You will undoubtedly get a lot of really cool stories

8.  You will learn how to communicate VERY well.  99% of roommate problems are due to a failure to communicate.

Summary:  Most of my friends who lived with roommates liked the experience.  There were moments, but in general it was pretty cool.  If you think you might need a kick in the ass to get social, then DEFINITELY live with a roommate, as you will get that kick.


The Differences Between High School And College

May 22, 2009

The single biggest difference between high school and college is that college is much, MUCH more open ended than high school.

College is open-ended like Grand Theft Auto.  It also has the sex, drugs and occassional brawl.

College is open-ended like Grand Theft Auto. It also has the sex, drugs and occassional brawl.

While most colleges have a set of classes that you must take, the majority of classes you take are up to you.

Additionally, your days are not nearly as structured as they were in high school.  There are oftentimes long breaks in between classes where you can do whatever you want.  You are not stuck in one building for seven hours for five straight days.

Because your hand is not held throughout your college years, fewer people actually care about your success.  Unlike high school, the administration could care less about your grades so long as you keep sending them a paycheck.  Classes are usually so large and their tasks so many that most professors will not proactively help you out.

In order to get people to help you out, you must go to them in college.  This might irritate some of you, but it is the cold, hard truth.

In general, college classes are not more difficult than high school classes.  While they might seem harder at first, the truth is that they simply require a different skillset.

College students who are not getting the grades were unable to adapt and work on that skillset.

Socially, status and popularity are less important.  You can build a social circle with as many cool people as you want regardless of what you do.

While it is still possible to become popular in the “social scene,” not having that popularity is no barrier to making friends.

Things that were kept underground in high school like alcohol and drugs are out in the open in college (so long as the cops aren’t around, of course).  If you are into those things, you will have no problem getting them in college.

A final point is that college students are more mature than high school students, so sex is pretty normal amongst couples.  It is not uncommon for condoms and lube to be passed out to promote organizations and events.

Obviously, this wasn’t the case in most high schools.

How To Become Popular In College

May 17, 2009

So how do you become “popular” in college?  How do you get into the “scene?”

If you want to be the center of the social scene in college, the way forward is pretty straightforward.  If you don’t want to cultivate a chill, fun personality, you can get pretty much whatever you want if you provide at least one of three things: hot girls, booze or a place to party.

If you roll out with hot girls (Or are a hot girl), just about every party will open its doors for you.  It’s amazing how quickly a “full” party will suddenly have some space once some hot girls arrive.  You can hate on this reality, or you can make it work for you.

Like all human beings, hot girls like to be around fun people.  So, to get hot girls to roll with you, offer them a good time.

What does this mean?  Be a fun, chill person and become the center of their social lives by knowing what’s happening around town.  If you can go up and say “hey, I know this great party on Friday night, you and your friends should tag along with us,” you will be much more effective than someone who’s all like “ummmm… want to hang out?”

Another option is to provide alcohol or be able to direct people towards it.  The majority of college students drink.  Most college parties revolve around alcohol, so if you are the one providing it, then you will gain massive social value.

I love this movie

I love this movie

The third option is to provide a house, party, club, apartment, etc to party.  If can host some awesome parties, you will gain massive social value.  If you repeatedly host awesome parties (Say on a weekly basis) to the point where others become dependent on you for their weekend fun, then you will become very popular.

This might all seem pretty superficial.  However, working one or more of those options is the easiest way to be the center of the social scene.

That said, smart networking can also take you far in the social scene.  You can use networking to gain access to hot girls, booze and party places.  You can do things like befriend fraternity members who can get you and others into exclusive parties, make friends with club owners or just go and meet people during the day so you have more people to invite to parties.

Remember that as effective as all of these approaches are, the best approach is to just be a fun, chill person to hang out with.  At the very least, it will make this stuff work better.