Barron’s Guide to College, UCHS edition

See, this Barron guy knows what he's talking about.

My name is Barron Gosnell. I graduated from University City high school in 2010. Now I attend Cheyney University and major in psychology. I’m planning to switch to a business administration major. I will still minor in psychology.

The academic life is not hard for me. The only real issue I have is peeling myself away from my hobbies (shooting pool and playing cards) long enough to get my work done. Courses are usually two or three a day and they last for around 50 minutes each.  Professors usually follow the syllabus pretty closely, so whenever there is a test you will be expected to be ready for it. You should still beware of the occasional pop quiz. The difficulty of papers depends on the professors. I have found that the professors with more tenure tend be more strict. College is difficult because there is no one forcing you to do anything. There is no one forcing you to go to class or even to wake up. So your success is completely dependent on you. If you study enough then everything will be easy. Preparation will make your life easier.

I believe the social life is the best part of the college experience. The parties and events are extremely fun. I won’t disclose any thing else about that. That is just something you will have to experience for yourself. Clubs and organizations are big on campus. However if you are not president or vice president you will be relegated to the boring parts of the organization. Free time is really free time in college. No parents or curfew, there is a limit on visitation at my school however. My best advice is to try to get something productive done in at least half of your free time. Remember, your success is up to you.

I was surprised by how fun college is. I didn’t really want to go but once I got to the campus I didn’t want to leave. My college is about an hour away from my home but I only went home for the holidays. My biggest surprise was also my biggest disappointment. The surprising disappointment was… (Drum roll please!) The food. The cafeteria food SUCKS. I found myself ordering out regularly. Once in awhile the cafeteria had something good. However once in awhile was more like once in a month. You will survive eating the food but it wont be your favorite part of the college experience.

From January through May high school seniors should be applying to the schools of their individual choice. Make sure you pick somewhere where you will be happy. Also do what you need to get your GPA higher. Scholarships are out there and that will take a lot of pressure off you and your parents. The first thing you should know is you will have to put in the time and effort to succeed. Nothing worth having will come easily so don’t give up when it gets tough. I almost forgot, the best advice is to do the assignments as soon you get them. One of the challenges of college is not that the work is hard; assignments pile up which will end up stressing you out. Not good since stress has no real purpose and will not help you get your work done, in my opinion.

That’s all I have to say about college. Once you get there you may not agree with everything I said but at least you will have some idea of what college life is like. Go enjoy yourselves and try not to get in trouble!

–Barron Gosnell ’10

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