Author Archives: How to with Courtney

About How to with Courtney

I'm a hopeful writer who lives vicariously through 80's romantic comedies and bargain bin chick-lit novels. I like to think that there is more good than bad in the world. And I've found that chocolate can heal anything when paired with more chocolate.

Top Ten Guilty Pleasures for College Students

What is a Guilty Pleasure?

Well, I’m glad you asked…

Guilty Pleasure is:

  1. “Keeping a secret collection of ABBA or The Carpenters and listening to their albums when no one else is around.”
  2. “A Guilty Pleasure is defined as something that would ruin us if our friends knew about it.”
  3. “Something pleasurable that usually induces a minor feeling of guilt.”
  4. “Something that you like but don’t want others to know about.”

Everyone has their own guilty pleasures to help them make it through the day, whether it is checking constantly to see if Jon and Kate are getting back together (they’re not), or watching Jersey Shore just to know your life is more than a fist pump and lots of gel.

College students in particular have some interesting guilty pleasures, here are a few that I found to be some of the highest rated across college campuses.

10.You Tube: During those long sleepless nights, while searching for some new music (or jamming to Replay,) YouTube has entered most college students lives at some point or another. But among those videos that actually have music, are the ones that probably should not be that funny…ie. example 1 and example 2. On top of the guilt that you obviously feel after laughing at those videos, there is also the guilt that your 8 page paper due tomorrow still haven’t been touched.

9. Twilight (the sparkly vampire and over grown dog book): For most of the female population on campuses across…well the world…they are still waiting for their vampire in a shinny Volvo to come and rescue them from the normalcy of their lives. The reason this is a guilty pleasure– most won’t admit to being in love with Mr. Edward Cullen and instead pretend to hate it, even though they are crawling under their skin wanting to defend why Edward is the best boyfriend ever. Even though we all know Jacob is way hotter.

8. American Idol Auditions: Although this is only a short part in the regular scheduled T.V. part of our lives, it is a very important one. American idol has been on for about eight years now, and although most wines get better with age…with this one maybe the saying isn’t so true, except for the auditions. Yes, we all sit there for the first 3-4 weeks watching all the horrible hopefuls be shot down. The guilt that comes from this is more from the fact that you are laughing at these hopefuls while they are singing their hearts out, remember that next time.

7. ABC family original TV series or movies: You know you watch the Secret Life of The American Teenager, but refuse to admit it or mention last Monday’s amazing episode (when Ricky and Amy made out!) that is until it is brought up by someone else, so you know it’s safe. And you know you watch the bring it on all weekend long a-thon every time it’s on. Total guilty pleasure.

6. Sweatpants: In college it is a students right to wear sweat pants to every class in order to achieve that just out of bed look. But the problem guilt starts hitting you when you realize you haven’t washed said pants in a week and have worn them for four days straight. But no one else needs to know that your comfy sweat pants are also your dirtiest…that’s just our little secret.

5. 80’s/ 90’s bubble gum pop music: Don’t tell me you have never rocked out to “love is a battlefield”, or any thing circa Paula Abdul (80’s)…we’ve all been there. But it’s just not the music genre that comes up when we meet new friends or are listing our favorite musicians on Facebook. Don’t feel like you need to hide  your old Brittney Spears song in a private play list on your iPod, everyone else has her music on their computers too.

4. “Creeping” on Facebook: Also known as stalking in the real world. This usually occurs when there is some sort of homework you have due in  about 7 plus hours and can’t seem to focus. So you start to click away on friends of friends profiles going through their pictures, and after an hour of that you realize you are on your cousins best friend’s sister’s roommate’s page and just learned that she get’s a little crazy after 7 jello shots. Then instead of clicking out of the page you see what her boyfriend looks like.

3. Trashy Reality T.V: These are shows like the bachelor, Real World (clearly), biggest loser, american idol,rock of love, rock of love 2 …well basically any VH1 show. Anyway, Trashy reality t.v. is the perfect way for any college student to unwind. It not only takes you away from your current situation but allows you to see how other people your age live, and why you should be happy that your life is nothing like theirs.

2. Sleeping until noon: In college one of the greatest guilty pleasures of all students is the ability to sleep in late. Because of the flexibility within one’s schedule it is possible to start classes at 1:30pm…which ensures a later wake up time. It doesn’t help that most college aged students are staying up late (working on essay’s, and math home work of course,) making it  likely they won’t be able to fully speak until, at the earliest, noon.

1. Ice Coffee: At least at BSC, ice coffee is a total guilty pleasure. Even though you only have 20 dollars on your flex card (which is to buy that book for that one class) you know it’s going toward your weekly coffee intake. Whether that be Marylous or Dunkin, you know by that first class it will be in your hand.

One of the common factors that makes most, if not all, of these a guilty pleasure for college students is the hours not spent on the home work that will now take us until 3am to finish. And the obvious money spending factor.

[insert gossip girl voice] so, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Definition Credits:
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photo credits:
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Filed under Opinion

How to Succeed in College: A College Students How to Guide for Your Freshman Year and Then Some

So you just got accepted into college…now what?

After all of the goodbye hugs, congratulations, and prom festivities die down, you then turn your attention to a letter that promises you a world of possibilities.

This one letter has helped you choose a path that has begun your map of the next four years.  Within a couple of months you will be on your way to college with your car packed up and ready to move in.

There are two scary parts of this next step, making new friends…and the dreaded first day of school. Don’t worry about making new friends; everyone else is in the same boat, as long as your nice you are sure to make friends. Now the first day of school…your first class will of course be the most nerve wracking…this is your very first impression of college academics after all.

Now not to scare you off but there are some major differences between high school academics and college…here are a few:

  • In high school one of the things that is usually seen in classrooms is disruptive behavior, and then teachers obviously correcting it…in college you really don’t see any of that, you’re expected to take responsibility for your actions. If you don’t want to be there…then you don’t have to go
  • In high school, teachers give you detail steps of reading assignments and then go over every detail you should have noted…in college, professors hope that you’ve already gained the experience of knowing how to pick out the important facts while reading. They may go over it…but they won’t tell you directly what to write, you have to figure it out for yourself.
  • High school lessons are usually parroted back to the teacher in the way they were taught, while in college the skills you are taught are applied to new situations or to solve different problems.
  • Although in high school you do get grades based on your work, a good percentage of it is based on the effort and/or improvement you have made within the class, in college (for most professors) it is merely based on results.
  • In high school you have the limited ability to pick classes, they are lined out for you and the times you have to take them are pretty much set. In college you can take anything you want from pottery to psychology of personality. The sky is the limit.  And within college you can take a class at what ever time you want to…if you want your days to end at 11:30 they can, or if you are a late riser have them start at 12:00. Whatever time you thrive at, that’s when your classes can be.

Here is a complete chart of some more differences.

Another thing a lot of freshmen have to deal with is adjusting to the difference in academics as well as the life style of college. I really didn’t have a problem adjusting to the difference between high school and college; I took a lot of honors courses and never relied on teachers to give me every bit of detail. I think the toughest part for me was knowing how to manage my time between classes.My first semester I ended up with a lot of breaks before and after classes, and I wasn’t really sure what to do with them; I slowly learned the advantage bigger breaks give you, such as having more time to get that essay that is due by 4 finished before your second class.

Here are some tips to get you out the door:

I was fortunate enough to have befriended upperclassmen my first year, they taught me which professors to avoid, how I should be spending my critical down time and helped me wipe that newbie look right off my face. Hopefully I will be able to do the same for you:

  • Never buy your books before your first class, unless your professor insists on it.
  • Be the one to always raise your hand, sit in the front, and ask questions…you will get the A’s
  • Don’t go too fast, you may burn out before the year is done
  • Don’t be afraid to withdraw from a class…it may help you in the end
  • Take two weeks before you dive into other activities, it’s important you can handle your classes before you start saving the world
  • Take fun classes ex. Piano, Ballroom, Aerobics, Bad mitten. Etc They will help you to wind down after a stressful day.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to your professor, it will benefit you.
  • Be friendly with the people in your dorm, these will be your peers for the next four years
  • There are many places to study, make sure to find a nice quiet one, disconnect from the Internet (Facebook will distract you more than you think), and start to study. All of the hours you put in will pay off when you have a nice 4.0 at the end of the semester.
  • A planner, or online event calendar will help you schedule all your essays, test and quizzes…and of course social life activities too!
  • Don’t forget to enjoy college, live it up…the next four years will be some of the best years of your life.

Every college experience is different; I just hope I’ve provided you with some information to help make your first day less scary.

photo credit 1, photo credit 2, photo credit 3


Filed under Advice