Surviving College

Well, my time here at Dordt College is coming to an end, so I see it fit to bestow some of my hard-learned wisdom upon all of you underlings and upperclassmen. Just know that this is only advice, so don’t start thinking that I am telling you how to live your life. However, this advice is great, and if you don’t take heed to what I say, you will certainly have a tougher time at college.

First off, take electives. While you may think that you need every single class available in your major, taking all of them could make you insane. We’ve all seen those engineering majors who take ridiculous sounding classes and spend their lives in the library. In fact, I am sitting next to one right now; he does not look like he is enjoying college. I bet he would like to take a class of his choice that doesn’t meet in the science building, maybe a class on later British literature with Professor Dengler? Yeah, he looks like a Coleridge guy.

Just branch out; as cliché as it sounds, college is about trying new things. And sadly, some people spend four years here and never take a class simply because they want to.

My next bit of advice pertains to the kitchen. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a cornerstone of college cuisine. If you like crunchy peanut butter like I do (if you don’t, then I truly pity you and your horrid taste), then you are fully aware that crunchy style peanut butter rips up a slice of bread when you spread it. The solution: microwave it! It didn’t take an engineering major to figure this one out (although I did just discover this technique literally last week). As you would with butter, put a dollop of peanut butter on a plate and nuke it for like 15 seconds – it spreads like a condiment and tastes worlds better when it is a little bit warm. You are welcome.

Finally, I say this: party. I don’t mean to go and get blackout drunk in some hick’s basement; I mean have plenty of social gatherings on the weekends, on or off campus. Some of my fondest memories of college are those of homemade Italian dinners on Sunday evenings, cookouts to say goodbye to summer and then to welcome spring, and the Superbowl party that was held in my Kuyper apartment last winter. Social gatherings – with more people than just your roommates – are how friends are made and how good friends become great friends.

So there it is, three points of advice that will help you through college. With some ingenuity and a little bit of experimentation and imagination, you can totally change your college experience. Thank you, Dordt, for these unforgettable years. I pray that this school will be as good to each of you as it was to me. Amen?

Ryan Lapadula, Columnist

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