Gabbing with Grunt: Surviving your first year of college

romperxwhatsappIt’s hard to forget your first day of college – the uncertainty, the sense of maturity, the inexplicit need to wear sweatpants. You no longer have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. You no longer have to worry about being late because you can’t open your locker (everything you need is on your back).

Most importantly, you can decide, from here on out, just what you want to do and who you want to become. The sky is the limit…all that mumbo-jumbo.

But before you can reach your dreams, you’ll most likely have to endure at least two years of college at some point. Some students are definitely more prepared for college than others…I was part of the second category.

There were countless times during my first semester, heck even in my second semester, where I mentally face-palmed, saying to myself, “Dang, I wish someone would have told me that.” Nevertheless, eventually we all get into the swing of things and learn our lessons as we go.

“I wish I would have started the process of applying a bit earlier,” grimaced Andrew Lundberg. “I waited until the last minute to sign up and that was just a bad idea. Next time, I’m definitely going to start early.”

Once you finally get through the registration process, getting a hold of your textbooks is the next challenge. I’ve noticed over the past year that there are two types of textbook hunters – the students who are adamant about having their books for the first day, and the students who wait until after Syllabus Day to strike.

It’s impossible to say which student is going about the book buying process the right way; some professors will mark the book as being “required” and then only have you open the cursed thing once or twice a whole semester. It’s the honest truth. It happened to me.

Austin Norton, a BHC student on track for a major in Business Management and Marketing, introduced me to a wonderful website called Chegg. Chegg is a safe, relatively inexpensive textbook renting site that saved me a TON of money this semester.

Instead of buying my textbooks from BHC and crossing my fingers that I could get at least forty dollars back for it during Book-Buy-Back at the end of the semester, I changed things up. Hands down, best decision of my school year thus far.

When it comes to the every-day life of a college student, you have to learn to take the good with the bad, the early mornings and all-nighters, and the cramming for tests last minute because somehow life got in the way the night before.

“You can’t expect to learn everything from your teachers,” confided Aubrey Reed, a BHC student with a dream of becoming a nurse. “Your education is your responsibility now, so it’s up to you, not them.” Reed also suggests, “Take naps! Seriously, they’re GREAT!”

Darby Hepner urged, “If the instructor says “you can do it, but it isn’t graded” you still might want to do it!”

“One of the first things you find out quick at BHC is that parking, especially around 10 am, is a total nightmare,” affirmed Brooke Veyette, a student who just started her first semester at BHC. “Some days I almost feel like I might as well be parking across the street.”

Lia Dunbarr, who also just started her first semester at Black Hawk, recalled, “When I first started, I got a little overwhelmed with issues in my personal life, and I was afraid that it was going to have a negative effect on my schooling. I almost quit. I am so glad I didn’t, because now I am more motivated to graduate than I ever could imagine.”

Everyone at BHC is striving to graduate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you want to do for the next thirty plus years of your life. I just want to address right here and now that if you still haven’t decided what you want to be when you “grow up,” you are not alone.

There’s a weight on your shoulders when you don’t know what you are going to college to become – a weight that can cause you to start crying in the advising office because you’re so frustrated with yourself (okay, maybe that one is just me).

This is the time in your life when you get to experiment with what you truly are interested in. Granted it comes at a price, but it’s an opportunity that not everyone has; being able to be at college gives you a chance to see the world differently. Join a club, start randomly talking to someone, make fun of how dim and creepy the tunnel from Building 1 to Building 2 is. You may find that there are people all around you who are in the very same position as you!

If you would like to have your voice heard and be quoted in ‘Gabbing with Grunt,’ my email is ggrunst@mymail.bhc.edu. I’d be more than willing to send an email your way to hear your viewpoint on my subject for the month!