(This is part 6 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

Most of our series so far has been about other parts of the College "experience" - but let's not forget, you're there to do some book-learnin' !

When you are selecting classes, you will probably try to pick a schedule where no classes start before 1 pm.  Problem is, those classes usually fill up the fastest, and it never fails that THE ONE CLASS YOU HAVE TO TAKE IS ONLY OFFERED AT 6:40 AM AAAGGGHHH.

Here's the deal,  no matter how late your first class is, it will still be TOO EARLY.  You can squeeze the most sleep out of the night by following "Andy's Guide To Surviving College #1 " , but don't put off that early class, because you'll have to do it sometime, and you might as well do it now.  You definitely won't want to do it any more at a later time.
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(This is part 5 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

Before I share the story that happened to me that inspired this post, please remember I was a 1) Freshman and 2) I am a guy.  Really, most idiotic things can be explained with those two qualifiers.

One of the things I loved about college right away is having 3 great meals a day.   I never had to cook!  And that was a good thing, because at that point I really didn't know how to do much.  But if you are like me and have a full meal plan to the Cafeteria, please remember this important thing:

There will be at least one point where you are very hungry, and the cafeteria won't be open, and you will have no choice but to raid your emergency supplies.

For me, it was at 3 AM.  I woke up in a sweat and it felt like my stomach was attacking me.  I stumbled into our mini-kitchen and opened up my section of the pantry.  Here's what I found:

*Picture not to scale
That was it.  So, like a bear putting its paw into a bees nest to eat the sweet nectar of their hard work, I jammed my hand into the peanut butter jar, then into the box of rice krispies.  I proceeded to eat the cereal/peanut butter concoction off of my hand.  Now, thankfully it was at 3 AM, so my roommates were all asleep.  I'm pretty sure it looked like this:

Hobo Bear
I can't imagine what I would have had to resort to if I didn't have those two random items in my dorm.  I may have resorted to eating couch cushions, like this woman:

She didn't have a meal plan
The important moral of this story?  EVEN if you have a full "meal plan" in college, make sure to have a meal plan WHEN (you know it will happen) you are hungry and can't go to the cafeteria!

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(This is part 4 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

In College, the classroom is not the only place that you are learning things. For a lot of people, this is the first time away from family, and the first time having to deal with personal finances. We will cover the ever-important college job in a later post, but how to spend the small amount of money you have?

I can't tell you exactly how to spend your money, but I can warn you about one thing that will drain your bank account more than anything. The social "Walmart" run. Someone will walk by your dorm room and ask if you want to do a Walmart run for supplies. It's ok to go, but if you don't need anything, I would suggest NOT EVEN BRINGING MONEY. Because, if you are there and EVERYBODY is buying things, of course you will find something that you all of a sudden HAVE to get.

For example, I was on a run with my friends to Walmart, and I didn't need anything, but I saw this one item like a beacon of light, something that I was almost blinded by its brilliance. It was this:

Even now, years after seeing it in the store, I am still drawn to it. (I mean, look at it!  HE'S ON THE CART, WITH A BANANA, AND I CAN USE IT TO TALK TO PEOPLE!) So I put it in my cart, and as I was walking around with my friends some more, I realized that it was the perfect example of buying completely useless things in college. I mean, we had a phone in our dorm, but nobody used it! Why was I even drawn to it? Because I thought that other people (especially the people I was with) would think it was AWESOME!

So you have two choices:

1) Don't go on the "social Wal-mart runs"
2) Go on the "social Wal-mart runs" but don't bring your wallet.

or I guess you could go in having a list of essentials that you need to pick up, but you're only kidding yourself that you won't come out with a mario kart phone, or whatever that example of ridiculous spending would be in your case.
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(This is part 3 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

Its lure was strong during my college years. Maybe it was the funny name, or the incredible orange chicken, but the chinese buffet near my college made me get a C in my Old Testament History class.

I had the best intentions!  I would be on my way to class, when one of my friends would ask the innocent question "Chinese Buffet?"  To which, I often said "yes."   It was the only class I missed on a semi-regular basis, and it showed.  I forgot to follow the number one rule of college.  SHOW UP!

You can't pass if you aren't in class!  (I didn't even mean to make that rhyme)

The other 12% of College?  Doing the work!  I never missed a homework assignment, and I didn't do the best on tests, but other than that class I missed all the time, I pulled B's or better.  Even if it is late, you might lose some points but still, DO THE WORK!

These are both so common sense, but these two things that trip up college students academically are also some of the easiest thing to do.

Show up.  Do the work. Don't fall into the temptation of the Chinese Buffet. And the rest will work itself out!
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This song was inspired by the bag of popcorn that always shows up at the station the day after we do an event at the Poncan Theatre...  And how nobody seems to be grossed out that it is a garbage bag...  So here's the FIRST House Party parody song-

Click here to listen to "In a Bag (Popcorn)"

Here's the lyrics so you can sing along:

Give me a second chance
I need to explain one thing
my friends are at the counter
munching on some popcorn that you may
ask why it's in this bag
that usually houses things
like fruit peels, milk jugs and some
meat with some mold
I could come up with something else to put
it in but I don't know what to do
But the volume of the kernels and
butter leaking from paper bags
You know I'm trying hard save it all
So when the poncan closes
and the trash can is around
I'll carry you home

Popppppcorrn, in a trash bag
there's nothing that is better
if you're a fretter
just close your eyes

cuz popcorn, in a trash bag
you can share with everybody
noone goes hungry
there's enough
[end chorus]

So when the poncan closes
and the trash can is around
I'll carry you home tonight
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 You're gonna have people who are "haters", the ones for whatever reason have made it their life goal to make your life miserable.

Sometimes they are friends, and in extreme cases, they are your family.

Just like Joseph in the Old Testament.  His brothers were so jealous of how much his dad loved him, that they threw him in a pit and sold him to slavery.

Years later, Joseph is second in command in the most powerful country in the world at the time, and his brothers must bow before him and beg for enough food to live.

They're also afraid that Joseph might try to do what they failed to do: Kill and destroy their lives.

But, Joseph says something that I'm going to remember every time things don't quite go the way I want them to.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. - Genesis 50:20

Haters are always gonna hate.  Our job is to love, and let God take care of the rest.  
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(This is part 2 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

The first few weeks of college as a freshman is like a whole new world, with new foods, new places and new things to learn.

But you won't be focused on any of that.  You'll probably be noticing people of the opposite gender.  Most freshman act like they are wearing a sign that says : "LOOK OUT WORLD, I'M SINGLE AND READY TO MINGLE!"

WELL, Hold on there for a moment cowboy (or cowgirl)!

The WORST thing you could do is start dating someone right away.  Actually if you can avoid it, I would suggest holding off from dating your entire Freshman year!

You can have friends of the opposite gender, that's great!  But what you will notice is two days minutes into orientation, couples will start forming.  These couples will usually make it all the way through the first year of college.  Fast forward to the next year, they come back as single people and not only do they not have each other for company but, THEY HAVE NO FRIENDS BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO BUSY BEING A COUPLE AND NOT HANGING OUT WITH ANYONE ELSE.

I'm sorry if it seems harsh, but this is the truth.  Of course, there are exceptions, but know that friendships are forged quickly those first few weeks of college, and often times those are the friendships that you will treasure many years after you have graduated.

So can you date after your Freshman year?  Absolutely!  You'll still want to be careful of course, for many reasons (one of which we will explore later regarding your reputation).

But as your brain and your heart are still "gelling", stick to being friends.  You'll have plenty of time to jump into the dating pool the other 3 years of college.  And you'll be a lot less wrinkly than everyone else.
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(This is part 1 in a 11 part series of things that Andy learned in college - sometimes the hard way - so hopefully you don't have to)

The alarm goes off on your phone, you look at it realizing that you only got 3 hours of sleep, you have two choices.  You can:

1) Get up right away
2) Sleep in until 5 minutes before your class

I would always suggest option "2" for a few reasons.  One of them we will get into later (everyone looks frumpy), but lack of sleep is one of the things that will DESTROY your routines in college.  All-nighters are bad too, the next day you feel awful and for me, I found that I did worse on tests if I tried to stay up all night to cram.

Sleep is very important, and sleeping is more important than hygiene (at least first thing in the morning).  BUT, and this is important to remember, that GOING to class is more important than sleeping.  So wake up, go to class, then take a shower.  If this has confused you, here's the order of importance of sleep, class, and showers:

CLASSES > SLEEP > SHOWER > XBOX (sorry guys)

Come back tomorrow, as I tackle the tricky world of dating!  How long should a freshman wait to date?  stay tuned for more!
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