Joe’s Declassified IU Survival Guide

By Joseph Knight


If you don’t understand the title of this column, you clearly didn’t watch Nickelodeon growing up as a kid (see Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide) and I truly feel sorry for you. Regardless, I got this idea reminiscing on the fact that in three weeks, I’ll graduate from college. I’ve always been under the impression that college is the last hurrah of childhood, so effectively mine is over. As depressing as that is, I do have some wisdom to share that will hopefully be beneficial to some.  So, whether you’re time is just beginning at Indiana or a junior with one glorious year left in Bloomington, listen up.


Find YOU Time

I distinctly remember my first day of college, and more specifically, the first morning walk to classes. I was walking across the 7th street sidewalk approaching Jordan in humid August, but I noticed something strange. Walking to classes in college, everyone around me was completely silent, as most people were listening to music or simply to themselves. My realization was this, walking to classes graces you with a rare opportunity while attending college: silence. An opportunity to be at your own thoughts, reflect if you will. College can be hectic, with so many things to do and places to be. Trust me though, you will be so much happier if you find a portion of your day to devote to yourself.


“You Don’t Remember the Nights You Got a Goodnight’s Sleep”

This is easily one of my most quoted sayings I tell to my friends, but I’m also still guilty of it sometimes. I love sleep, and to be honest, who doesn’t. Climbing into bed at night easily is one of the highlights of my day, because I get to sleep, and after, wake up and eat breakfast, my favorite meal of the day. Talk about a win-win. Anyway, the quote is so true. We spend about a third of our lives sleeping and a majority of that time sleeping shouldn’t be from your college years. Your time in college is short enough, and although sleep is great, try not to make it an excuse to not be with your friends.


Don’t Be Afraid to Make a Mistake


Now I’m starting to sound fatherly and piggybacking off my last point, but this is possibly the most important lesson I’ve learned while IU. Make mistakes. Take risks. It’s that simple. College is the time where you learn not only what you want to do with your career, but honestly more about who you really are on a personal level. In addition, I was told when I was an underclassmen, ‘college is the one time in life where you can screw up, and pretty much come out okay.’ Now, I’m not condoning making mistakes or poor choices, but try pursue opportunities without fear of failure.


Look Around Once in Awhile


“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” Matthew Broderick recited this line in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off thirty years ago, and it also holds true while at IU. Take a look around while walking to class, I often forget we are fortunate enough to have a beautiful campus. While at Assembly Hall or Memorial Stadium, stop and soak in the feeling of being a student at Indiana. More to the point, college might be four years, but those four years go incredibly quickly. Enjoy every minute of everything it has to offer.



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