College can be tough – ask any broke college student. It is a time of new experiences and opportunities never dreamed of before. For many students it is their first time living away from home, so the urge to break free from the nest is very strong on campus. Living on a college campus is like living in a giant hotel with a bunch of other kids your age. You will definitely need some college rules if you are going to survive and prosper at all from your school experience. These are some of the best and most useful college rules, in no particular order, to help you have a great time.
Rule #1 – You have to earn respect, not demand it. Perhaps you could bully or intimidate other kids in high school, but that probably won't happen in college. You are in a much more adult world now, and you will find that showing your great character instead of your bicep will get you the most respect.
Rule #2 – Don't ask for favors. No one likes a moocher, especially when everyone is scrambling for money and food. You will quickly lose friends if they notice that you are only interested in their stuff. This is one of the most important college rules.
Rule #3 – Be careful on social networks. People love to post all sorts of pictures on Facebook and other social networks, especially pictures from parties. Make sure that there are no pictures on the internet of you doing anything too stupid or illegal. This may not seem like a big deal at the time, but it can cost you a job in the future, making it another of the most important college rules.
Rule #4 – Carefully measure quantity against quality. Sure, you can get tons of cheap beer again, but sometimes it's nice to go with the quality. Treat yourself now and then.
Rule #5 – Practice safe sex. Seriously. Nothing will ruin your college experience like a baby or an STD. All it takes is one time... so this may be the most crucial of the college rules.
Rule #6 – 8 hours of sleep is not mandatory. Get used to it. You're not going to sleep college away, are you?
Rule #7 – Don't drink unidentified liquids. You probably know about the dangers of drinking unattended drinks at parties, but you'll also find that roommates tend to leave disgusting things in bottles now and then. A smell test is usually a good idea.
Rule #8 – If you yell 'COPS!' at a party, you will have to face the consequences. You might get a laugh, but the people who just jumped over the fence and ran down the street will not be very happy with you.
Rule #9 – Don't open any doors with a sock on the doorknob. This means that the people inside are...engaged...and you are not welcome. Opening these doors is not a good way to make friends.
Rule #10 – Make the time to study. It is what you're there for, after all, and you will definitely not regret it. Out of all the college rules (except the one about the baby) this is the one that will have the most effect on your life as a whole. Remember that you will not be in college forever, and you will need the skills you can learn there to make it in the real world.
Raymond Bucko, SJ