Things That Matter

College Is An Incredible Experience If You Do It Right. Here Are 21 Tips To Make The Most Of It

Congrats! You made it to your freshman year of college. Now what? You may be away from home for the first time, free from your mama’s watchful eyes. Some students spend their college years locked away in the library or the door room, barely emerging for meals. Maybe you feel the pressure of being the first person in your family to go to college. Other students spend the entire time on the spectrum of slightly hungover to wasted. Neither one of those is going to be good for you, so here are a few tips to get you on the right path to an enjoyable and productive college career.

1. Go To Class

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Going to class is the number one thing you can do to make sure you pass your classes. This is what you’re paying for, so don’t skip. If you are in class religiously, you’ll get material that is not in the reading and your professors will get to know you better. Both can help if you run into trouble later in the semester.

2. Don’t Overschedule

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Create your first years’ schedule thoughtfully. It may seem like a good idea before you get to college to schedule morning classes. Don’t blame us if you end up regretting it. Especially for your first semester, don’t overload your schedule and think about whether you are really going to want to show up to that 7:30 a.m. advanced chemistry lab.

3. Attend An Activities Fair

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It can be tempting to hide in your room when you first arrive at school, but many colleges have an activity fair that allows campus groups to show you why they’re the greatest. Don’t skip out on these activities. They can help you find your niche, whether you’re into student government, a gamer girl, or want to try out some intramural sports.

4. Find Your Study Spot

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You have to find a spot where you don’t cringe every time it’s time to crack the books. While you can study in your dorm room, be sure to check out other spots like the library, quiet corners of the student union. If you’re like Rory Gilmore you might find a favorite tree outside. Find a spot that is comfortable and where you can concentrate.

5. Have Fun, But Don’t Document Everything

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If you have ever wanted to dye your hair purple and pierce your nose, now is the time to give it a try. Just keep in mind, that if you are going into an uber-professional field like law or medicine, you want to be careful about making changes to your appearance that can’t be covered up. It may suck, but there are still standards of professionalism to be followed, so maybe hold off on face tattoos until you make a solid career path decision. Also, have fun, but don’t do anything illegal that will end up on your permanent record (because that’s a real thing now). Be careful what you put on social media sites. Future employers may be watching.

6. Join An Intramural Sport Or Activity

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Even if sports makes you wince, there are tons of intramural activities you can try. Not into volleyball? There are intramural chess teams at some schools where the only muscle you exercise is your brain. Try to find something that works for you.

7. Don’t Be Afraid Of Getting Tutoring

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Many colleges offer free tutoring, and this is not something you should be afraid to take advantage of. Don’t struggle in a class when you have resources available to help you. Don’t wait until the last week before finals either. If you feel yourself falling behind, check out tutoring programs or talk to your professors for help.

8. Talk To Your Professors

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Get to know your professors, both in and out of class. Ask questions that are deeper than “Will that be on the exam?” Your professors can be some of your biggest advocates, and you want to stand out. Most professors are willing to go the extra mile to help students who show just a little bit of interest. Besides, when else are you going to be surrounded by such academic rockstars?

9. Keep The Papers You Write

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While it may be tempting to have a giant bonfire at the end of the semester and burn it all, hang on to those papers you worked so hard for. Some job applications may require a writing sample, and they can be a great reference for later classes if they are in your major.

10. Make A Plan To Get Your Credits 

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For someone who loves learning, browsing through available classes can make you feel like a kid in a candy store. However, it’s important to have a plan to make sure that you get all your credits so you can graduate on time. Make sure to use your adviser as a resource.

11. Fight Your Introvert Ways

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If you are an introvert, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all extroverts in class and in college life in general. Make a point to raise your hand and speak out. Talk to people at the gym and in the dining hall. You never know where your next new friend will come from.

12. Ditch The Freshman 15

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Chances are, you have access to the best gym and more free time than you ever will again in your life. Use this as an opportunity to make and reach your fitness goals.

13. Intern Aggressively

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Use your contacts on campus to help you score an internship (aren’t you glad you made friends with your professors?). This is the time to be aggressively pursuing relevant work experience in your chosen field. It’s better to have unpaid internships now than when you graduate and have to begin repaying student loans. Apply, apply, apply.

14. Keep Your Door Open

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When you are home in the dorms, keep your door open. You’ll be more likely to snag an invite or get drawn into some dorm room fun.

15. Take A Weird Class

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Use your elective credits to take a class that is totally different from your major or what you think you want to do. This will broaden your horizon, and you never know – you might find your passion where you least expect it.

16. Get Your Money’s Worth

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Make sure to explore what your campus has to offer you. Does your medical center offer free visits? Does the gym have free fitness classes? Are there mental health resources on campus? Take advantage of all the things those student activity fees paid for.

17. Consider Studying Abroad

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Explore study abroad programs. Even if you can’t afford to travel, there are many programs with scholarships and subsidies available.

18. Become Friends With The University Events Calendar

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College campuses always have something going on, whether it be performances, art exhibits, special speakers, or sporting events. Generally, these are free or greatly reduced for students. Pack in as many activities as you can to expand your horizons. There should never be an excuse to be bored.

19. Cheer On Your Team

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There is just something so electric about dressing up in your university colors and cheering your team to victory. The games usually lead to fun times with every united for one cause. You might even make a new friend or two.

20. Don’t Forget To Call Your Family

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They probably helped get you here. Make sure to call your family at least once a week. Trust us – they miss you and are worrying.

21.  Enjoy the Moment

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These are probably some of the best years of your life.  Explore, learn, and have fun!  Four years will go by really fast – make the most out of it!


READ: From Diapers To Dorms, I Worked Hard To Make Sure My Baby Sister Could Go To College

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This 13-Year-Old Boy’s Face Caught On Fire During A Science Class Demonstration

Things That Matter

This 13-Year-Old Boy’s Face Caught On Fire During A Science Class Demonstration

As a kid, one of the most exciting parts of science class is observing how certain chemicals react with each other—seeing how all the abstract information you’ve learned on paper manifests in real life. Of course, every school science lab is supposed to have an eye-wash station, a shower, a fire extinguisher, and other such safety tools in case something goes awry, and while accidents do happen, it is imperative that science demonstrations in the classroom be handled with extreme care. Although no hard evidence currently exists on how often school lab accidents occur—as no entity tracks them as a distinct category—scores of preventable incidents are reported every year.

Most recently, the case of 13-year-old Priest Rivera has been making headlines.

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Rivera’s face and upper body were severely burned when his teacher mistakenly botched a science demonstration in June 2019, and his family has filed a lawsuit against San Diego’s Encinitas Union School District.

Last June, sixth-grade teacher Lori Feinberg fumbled a seemingly simple science demonstration called the “black snake experiment.” This experiment involves the mixing of baking soda, sugar, sand, and alcohol, which is then introduced to a flame in order to form of a “sugar snake.” (When the mixture of baking soda and sugar gets hot, it decomposes to create carbon dioxide gas. A lack of oxygen in the sugar from the combustion creates carbonate and water vapor; the carbonate is pushed out by the pressure from the carbon dioxide, and voila! A snake is born.)

“It wasn’t really working and the science teacher kept pouring more rubbing alcohol to make the flame build up more. It went wrong and blew up in my face,” Priest told CBS News 8. He explained that he had ignited, and his friends surrounded him saying, “He’s on fire!”

The lawsuit filed on December 30, 2019, claims that Feinberg “recklessly” performed the “dangerous” science experiment which involved alcohol and flames “in windy conditions.” It also alleges that Feinberg provided her students with neither safety instructions nor protective equipment (like safety glasses) before performing the “black snake” experiment. The complaint also cites “severe and permanent injuries to Priest,” alleging both negligence and negligent action and stating that “Feinberg and the District knew it was highly probable that injury could occur when conducting an experiment involving flames, but knowingly disregarded that risk.” The family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for Priest’s present and future hospital bills.

Although, as mentioned above, no hard numbers currently exist to verify the frequency of school lab accidents, the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Health and Safety is seeking out “reliable data.”

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According to Scientific American, “surveys find incidents to be much more common in academic settings than in industrial labs”—and if university labs are seeing high numbers of injury and death, imagine how much less prepared public elementary, middle, and high school labs are likely to be.

Indeed, another student victim of a science experiment gone wrong was awarded $59.1 in damages from the New York Department of Education last July. Alonzo Yanes and classmate Julia Saltonstall were left with severe burns after a botched demonstration by a high school teacher in 2014. Science teacher Anna Poole attempted to conduct a “Rainbow Experiment,” a popular staple in high school chemistry classes due to its rapid and intense bursts of flame.

The Rainbow Experiment involves a variety of mineral salts and lit candles, usually placed in a line. An accelerant commonly used in the experiment is methanol, an extremely volatile liquid that shows how different salts produce distinct colors when burned. However, methanol also produces vapor clouds that can quickly spread flames (or, conversely, which can linger and be ignited by unwitting sparks later on). It was this substance that Poole used in her demonstration, pouring it out of a gallon-sized jug instead of a safer, smaller container.

Students said that she had only reached the second dish when a massive flame spread down the line of dishes and enveloped Yanes in flames, ultimately burning 30% of his body. Students also remarked that Poole was the only one in the room wearing safety goggles.

Rivera’s parents have addressed the school’s reticence to claim responsibility for what happened to their son, and the consensus within the scientific community is a similar one: almost all such incidents are preventable by improving oversight and supervision. They are not simply the consequence of random misfortune.

According to chemical safety expert Neal Langerman, “The problem of school lab danger lies in management responsibility.” With proper training, appropriate safety measures (like wearing protective clothing), and regular procedural oversight, accidents like those that have affected countless young students (as well as teachers) all over the country can be avoided in the future.

Here’s How To Maintain A Long-Lasting And Healthy Relationship According To Advice From Reddit Grandmas

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Here’s How To Maintain A Long-Lasting And Healthy Relationship According To Advice From Reddit Grandmas

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When it comes to relationships, there’s no doubt that some good advice can go a long way. Whether you’re in your early days or headed down the aisle, we found the best advice Reddit could give for you to apply for your blossoming relationship.

Check it out below!

Do two tasks for your partner and don’t make a big deal out of it.

“For me, my grandfather gave me the best advice. He said, ‘choose two things to do around the house that she never has to ask you to do. Do the best job you can do and take pride in it but never draw attention to or complain about it. Just do it and expect nothing in return.’ I cook dinner and do the dishes/cleanup cooking messes. It took my wife almost a year to notice. When she did however I would find my laundry was magically done on its own, folded and put away. When I told her she doesn’t have to do my laundry she stated “you always cook and clean for me! I figured it was the least I could do!” – u/Ironwolf9876

Be selfless between the sheets

” I feel like this same goes for sex – do that little bit extra to make your partner feel sexy and special every time. A little bit of selflessness on both sides adds up to a world of extra pleasure for each.” – philipjeremypatrick

Don’t always go for 50/50.

“The one I heard is “healthy relationships are not 50/50. Each person should be putting in 100%.” – reddit user

Give your S.O. the benefit of the doubt.

“The best relationship advice I have heard came from an interview Michael J Fox did where he talked about how his marriage had lasted so long. He said ‘We give each other the benefit of the doubt.’ If your SO does something thatakes you worried, angry or sad, ask them to tell you their side of the story before you let your emotions run wild. There is probably a reasonable explanation and a good reason for how he/she acted. That will help avoid a lot of conflicts and foster trust.” – Loive

If you’re arguing to win you’ve already lost.

“You shouldn’t be arguing trying to prove that you’re right or that she is wrong. You should be communicating what you each see the situation as and come to a mutual understanding or agreement. Relationships aren’t a competition. Even if you guys end up not agreeing, at least you’ll know why it upsets the other person and will know not to do that because it negatively affects them.” – cdotace

Be sure they’re the one.

“My mother asked me the night i proposed to my wife if i was sure i wanted to be with her. It made me mad in the moment, but i realized she made a valid point. 6 years and twin boys later, I have never been more sure about a decision in my life. Thanks mom.” – sillysimon12

Get married when you’re poor.

“I was fortunate enough to be invited to a party where there were several elderly couples. At the time, I was in my early twenties, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. A couple in attendance had been married for over 60 years. I asked them, “What advice do you have for a young person like me? The woman said, ‘Get married when you’re dirt poor…’ My mind was blown. I thought to myself, “Wow, that is some incredible advice. Literally start a life together, and build it up from nothing. That would create an unbreakable bond and friendship.’ Then she finished with ‘… so you can’t afford to get divorced!'” – MutantCoach

Say I love you before you leave for work in the morning.

“1. Say I love you (and mean it) every morning before you leave for work. You may not see them again. 2. If they regularly do something small that annoys you, first see if you are able to stop being annoyed by it before asking them to change.” – Reddit user 

How do you do the little things.

“To achieve an amazing relationship, you need to consider what you do in the little things. What your girlfriend/wife is like when she greets you at the front door, over the table at breakfast, etc. These little things add up to 80% of the success of your relationship. Dedicate yourself and be focused completely in the moment in these little moments and you will achieve the best relationship that you have ever had.” – ImpulseTee

Carry the load. Know it’s like moving a sofa.

“I heard a comic once say a relationship is like moving a heavy, awkward sofa up 3 flights of stairs. The whole time you’re talking to the other person, and you wonder if they’re carrying their load, and it can be tough. But its easier than doing it alone.”  – beingtwiceasnice

Be on the same page before you get married.

“Being in love with someone is a good reason to date them, but not necessarily marry them. People fall in love all the time but if the two of you don’t agree on the important life decisions (kids, religion, fiscal responsibility, etc.) then your marriage is likely to face some serious challenges.” – bdd1001