How to Survive College
Egocentricity, Conformist Mentality and the Anticonformist Conformist
These are some of the mundane rules on how to economically survive college and university. Firstly, buy only one thing on time: education itself. Beautiful small colleges and many other underrated fine universities throughout the West, although not famous, can give a better education than the reknowned industrialized ones at half the cost. When you find yourself in one of the so-called Ivy League ones and are in a class with hundreds of other students, don't think for a second you will get much individual attention for your (or your parents'), hard-earned coin. Use your credit cards as cash or don’t use them at all. Don’t purchase furniture that people are giving away. Perfectly usable stuff is going into landfill. Buy new and nice after the wedding. Don’t get married until you’re finished school and have a job. Look for work where you can do homework, like security, attendant or tutoring or jobs where you don’t have to think too much and can take small notes to do metal reviews. It’s about schoolwork not about the job that finances it no matter how much you enjoy doing it; however, it’s just a fact, pride in simple labor has long been a reflection of goodness.
Take the bus, Gus. If you buy a car, buy a cheap small fleet car with cash, they’re cheaper to service, fix and fuel. (It’s been long put to rest: getting sex has nothing to do with car types.) New laptops are maybe as high as 2 or 3000 dollars each, yet you can get a perfectly fine re-furbished one for $300, maybe even less. Share accommodations; a large 6 or 7 room house for 3000 dollars a month divided by 5 students is $600 each. If you share accommodations; have responsible student-roommates who understand school comes first, partying, second. Have stated rules for food, lovers staying over, laundry and other important matters. In roommates, experienced is better than younger, take serious over gregarious. Will they pay their bills and keep their commitments, i.e., possible future friends? Buy unlimited text on your cell for a few dollars a month and be able to stay within your allotted minutes for “important calls”. Bring your lunch to school, don’t pay $10 for a slice of pizza and a drink. Michael Moss--Salt Sugar Fat--calls pizza one of the least nutritious foods on the menu. Eat whole foods; exercise every day. Rumours abound that students eating canned foods have often gotten scurvy. Get a source of income as close to the college as possible. Travel-time can be used for reading/studying, but most serious cramming is done in your comfort zone.
Budget for parties. Stay within your guidelines and that will keep your consumption in check. Parties, dating and going out can be done on the low. Any squeeze who wants it all while you’re a student and can’t defer to the future for luxury is potentially a bad long-term investment as a lover. When borrowing money, try relatives over institutions, you’ll be surprised. You are people’s future–they’ll invest in you. Ask your parents for money if they have it; treat it like work. “If I use this money instead of earning it at my part-time job I can plow through the course, get my PhD a year earlier and pay you back all the sooner.”
Don’t volunteer for things without important criteria. Does it advance your career? Do you enjoy doing it? Does it promote your world view? Don’t join things to get potential partners or impress people. This will cost you money and time. It is also a strong indicator that you have a conformist mentality, (a deeply felt belief that your real views should be hidden, that other people are smarter and know more, that you are unoriginal). People aren't smarter than you, but if they are, with tenacity you can catch up. Watch for radically new ideas that are going to instantly change the world; it’s probably a cult. Watch for the elitist groups – the anticonformist conformists – from the outside they look like strong individualists, but inside the group, they believe in the worn-out anticapitalist drivel, they think liberty, hard work and paying your own way is over-rated. They dress the same and have nasty study habits. Watch for people who eat and sleep over and don’t repay by cleaning, cooking or other chores. You’ve run into a leech.
Prick up your ears for students doing remarkably well, and see if they will mentor (or a least ask them to let you know the secret to their winning strategy). If you are a successful student, please mentor, this is how real progress is made. Time allotment for studying should be strict, but remember socializing must be worked in somehow. If you don’t do it now, you’ll probably never pick up the habit, and be assured, your life will be the poorer for it. If you’re not doing it, it isn’t as you might profess to your acquaintances, (“I’m not going into sales anyway,”) it is because you are likely suffering from egocentricity, (confusing what we see and think with reality, i.e., we think that the way we see things is exactly the way things are). Again, not a good habit for a well rounded life; also be warned against cynicism in regards to your fellow students. Wonderful young people are out there and you might get lucky to find some of them as friends. Don’t whine! Nobody wants to hear it! Pretend as though you were in the Renaissance again and learn as much as you can, about as many subjects as you can, it’s why you’re going through all this trouble.
© 2022 - E. A. St. Amant