24 Things I Learned In College (so far)

  1. It is considered normative and appropriate to substitute the neologism “amirite” for the phrase “am I right?” when texting or writing informal emails. Question mark optional. Typically, this term is used rhetorically, in that the writer has a decent degree of confidence that they are right…at least, as far as I can tell. And I can’t tell that far when it comes to social stuff.
  2. When a professor asks a question, you’re not supposed to say, “That’s a bad question to ask.” *face-palm*
  3. If someone stands in the door of your dorm room talking to you for more than three minutes, I think you’re supposed to invite them to come in and sit down? I think?
  4. “Hi, nice to meet you” is a good way to start a conversation. Asking, “What’s your job?” is not.
  5. Being yourself around others is a great litmus test for figuring out what kind of person they are…i.e., if they don’t like me when I’m being myself, I probably don’t want to spend that much time with them, if I can avoid it.
  6. Group projects are awful.
  7. If you don’t want to make eye contact, it helps to tell someone you prefer not to make eye contact but you’re listening, look somewhere close to their face, frown a little bit and nod as they talk (makes you look like you’re considering every word very carefully), say “uh-huh” at totally random intervals, or all of the above.
  8. Listening to “Pressure to Party” by Julia Jacklin on loop makes falling asleep on Friday and Saturday nights a lot easier.
  9. Something about math.
  10. If you want to leave a conversation fast, say, “great to talk to you” (even if it wasn’t great to talk to them) or “see you later” before you say goodbye. It’s a cue that lets people know you’re about to say goodbye. And if they say that to you, now you know what they mean.
  11. The Russian subjective is the only easy thing about the language, and I mean only.
  12. Relating your assignments to your special interest(s) makes life a hell of a lot better.
  13. It’s nice to compliment people, especially–maybe only–if you mean it. Like, sometimes someone’s hair is braided in a really cool way. So I say, “I like your hair.” Or if I appreciate what they say in class discussions, I say, “I appreciate what you say in class discussions.” And it seems to make other people feel good. I don’t know if this is a thing most people do, or just some people. It’s good to smile when you say it, because that’s a signal that you’re being sincere. The difference between a fake smile and a real smile is that with a real smile, your eyes sort of crinkle at the edges. Neurotypicals can usually tell the difference, especially because they look at your face when you talk, and if you give a compliment with no expression on your face and/or no eye contact and/or a flat voice, there’s a small but not insignificant chance that you’re being sarcastic or even mean. If you don’t feel inclined to smile, think about your favorite stim toy.
  14. Shower music is a thing, at least at my school. But I avoid my angstiest playlists, because I don’t want people to think I’m totally unhinged. If you go into the shower and there is a person in the other shower and they are already playing music, do not play your music. It will make it harder for them to hear their music, and they will probably interpret as you being inconsiderate, even if you didn’t mean it that way. Also, it will be hard to hear your own music, so it won’t be that enjoyable. When they stop playing their music, it’s okay to play yours. It seems relatively common for people to play their music super super loud with a huge speaker that they actually bring into the shower with them, but it’s not very thoughtful, especially for people with noise sensitivity or music tastes that don’t veer towards a combined country and rap playlist (so, like, most people).
  15. Talking to yourself is a useful way to get things done when you are tired and not thinking super clearly. If other people hear you talking to yourself, they will think you are weird in a bad sort of way, and they might avoid you or form negative opinions of you. You can play your music loud in your room while you talk so they don’t hear you. If you’re outside, you can hold your phone to your ear or put in headphones so they think you are having a conversation. Just say, “It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, Felipe.” Then they will think you are talking to someone named Felipe. Everyone wins.
  16. Sometimes, it’s good to be honest. People might think you are funny when you are honest. This could be because there is something inherently funny to them, or because you said something that everyone was thinking, but that they didn’t say aloud for whatever reason. But sometimes being honest is bad and it hurts other people. It is really hard to know how they will respond to your being honest.
  17. Lots of people like Billie Eilish, as they should.
  18. Way fewer people like Billie Marten, which is 100% their loss. In fact, there are many underrated Billies in the world, now that I think about it.
  19. Carrying around your meds in their original bottle is not a great idea for a few reasons. The orange pharmacy bottles are very conspicuous. People will notice them immediately, and they might form a negative perception of you because medication is stigmatized. There is also personal information about you on the label, which isn’t great to share with other people. This is particularly crucial if you take medications that people abuse and sell on the street, like stimulant meds for ADHD, benzodiazepines, painkillers, and probably others. Some people will go a long way to get those meds. They might offer to buy them from you for a lot of money, which is a really, really bad idea. Also, if you take approximately four million medications, you can lose track of all the bottles. Better to use a med keychain. More on that here.
  20. You can also add onto your med keychain with a little keychain thingy that holds your earplugs.
  21. And you can decorate the keychain things with washi tape, or Duct tape.
  22. It is called Duct tape, not Duck tape. There is probably a ripoff brand called Duck tape, though. People are always looking for opportunities to deceive one another.
  23. You can never go wrong saying please and thank you. Or maybe you can, but it’s very, very rare.
  24. I did not like chemistry in high school and I do not like it now. I do not like it, Sam I am.
Photograph of a light skinned woman with short brown hair wearing a black tank top and a white medical mask over her nose and mouth. Her face and mask are covered with six rectangles of yellow duct tape, each roughly the size of a matchbox.
See? Duct tape. Source.


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