What to Expect from Your Freshman Year of College

College is a big change regardless of whether you’re attending a college from out of state or commuting you’re your parents’ house. You’re transitioning from a high school where you spent some of your most impressionable years with the same group of people and now you’re in a completely new environment; new professors; new classmates; new schedule.

What to Expect from Your Freshman Year of CollegeIt’s exciting! It’s daunting. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that no one person can really prepare you for. That said, here are some things you should expect.

1. With great freedom comes great responsibility

You are in control of your schedule; you have the freedom to add classes that appeal to your lifestyle. Tired of waking up early? Book some late afternoon or night classes. Want to work out midday? Schedule classes around that time slot. You have the flexibility to arrange your courses however you want. That said however, no one is going to micromanage you to ensure that you attend the classes – let alone show up on time.

Whereas in high school, you may receive a detention or a phone call home for missing a class. In college, it’s completely on you to monitor your schedule. If you don’t, you’ll be dropped from the course, which may not sound like a big deal now, but if the course is only offered every Spring semester, then this can easily add on additional semesters (or even years) to your college career.

More freedom means more responsibility, remember that. Professors will treat you like the adult you are, so don’t necessarily expect them to approach you about late assignments; if you’re struggling with the workload, you need to approach your professors.

2. It can get lonely

This applies to students commuting to school or living on campus. Typically, there’s a great deal of excitement right out of the gate, but when times get tough and you start feeling the stress of midterms, you may yearn for your familiar friends and traipsing across your old stomping grounds.

It’s natural to feel that way, but don’t give up. You’re being exposed to a tremendous amount of change and some of your endeavors, extracurricular activities and friends will pan out, others won’t. Remember that this experience is almost as much about getting a bachelor’s degree as it is about finding out who you are. In these moments of hardship, don’t make rash decisions about your major or your new friends and pursue your faith. One of the benefits of attending a Christian college is you have a community of people who are there to welcome you with open arms, who understand hardship.

It’s easy to fall back on what’s familiar, but Christian universities foster a community that’s ready to support you and embrace you for who you are.

3. Being a student is a full-time job (and then some)

It’s not just that you have a lot of homework, but you have a lot of reading, projects, papers – oh yes, the papers. No matter what your major is, chances are you’re going to need to write a paper for it. It’s not simply that classes are lengthy, but the homework is a hefty load as well. Even if you only have 3 hours of classes one day, the country averages you have two hours of homework for each class – and any college student will tell you, that’s a conservative estimate.

No matter how well you plan, chances are high that you’re going to have a few all-nighters trying to finish (or perfect) a paper. It is not easy. However, the best way to overcome this stress is to treat school like a full-time job. Budget time for homework; budget time for breaks. If you’re feeling exhausted, make time for a nap and reward yourself when you can.

Plus, this is in large part why colleges offer so many extra-curricular activities and events. You need to be able to unwind, to release stress, to socialize, and to have fun. It’s about finding a balance. You will learn to organize as a consequence of stress and this is a skill that will only help you in life.

4. You need to slow down

Chances are, when you first enrolled in college, you saw the sum of all the units you need to graduate and the list of classes, and you felt overwhelmed – maybe a little excited, but ultimately overwhelmed. This is four years you’re committing to and it can feel like a lot, so much so, that you may feel driven to sign up for a lot of classes initially and overextend yourself to try and speed up the process.

Slow down.

By this point in your life, you don’t need to be told “life moves so fast,” as you’ve already been told this on repeat from your parents (and everyone else’s). However, four years is a long time and you don’t want to miss out on meeting friends and trying new activities by bogging yourself down with endless studies.

In addition to this, you may feel like general education courses are limiting you – as many people want to dive into their majors right away. The fact is though, students change their majors and the last thing you want is to enroll in a slew of major-specific courses, only to realize that it’s not something you want to pursue beyond college. General education courses may feel like a formality and, at times, tedious, but these courses not only introduce you to other fields of study, but they’ll also pair you with students you would otherwise have never met. Embrace this.

5. You will learn who you are

Each year builds on top of the others and you will discover your likes and dislikes. Your group of friends freshman year may be completely different by your senior year. College reintroduces you to yourself. It puts you in a new, high stress environment and you have to adapt to it.

Don’t feel beholden to epiphanies you experienced in high school, be open to new ideas. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance, he writes, “Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. – You shall be misunderstood. Is it so bad to be misunderstood?”

That’s the point, you are not limited to who you were, but being a student means becoming more of who you are everyday; constantly learning; constantly changing. And if it sounds scary, then you should doubly consider attending a Christian university. In times of great stress, you will have a community to lift you back up if you fall.



Named a Best College for Online Business Degree

WPC a Best College for Online Business DegreeA bachelor degree in business administration is one of the most popular online degree programs a college can offer. Warner Pacific’s online Bachelor of Business Administration degree is a two-year program consisting of 14 courses, all of which last five weeks. The program aims to develop students’ ability to lead, make informed, evidence-based business decisions, and perform various business functions within a context of Christian College moral principles.

As one of the top 40 colleges offering an online bachelor degree in business administration according to a recent ranking report released by College Start, Warner Pacific’s program also offers an on-campus experience for students in the Portland/Vancouver area.

College Start’s website provides students with a  simplified search tool designed to help them easily find all colleges that offer the programs they  are looking for and at the same time giving detailed information about a faith based college.

WPC Alum Rep. Vic Gilliam named “Statesman of the Year”

WPC Alum Vic GilliamThe Oregon Business Association (OBA) has announced their selection of Representative Vic Gilliam (R-Silverton) as their 2016 “Statesman of the Year.” We are so proud of his accomplishments and know this is a very well deserved honor.

Rep. Gilliam, who recently was presented an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the College,  initially suspected his former colleague Senator Ryan Deckert (now OBA President), was “pulling his leg,” but realized it was not April 1 [April Fool’s Day] and released the following statement in response:

“With the paths we walk from education, politics, art or religion, the most important influence in our life is another person. Knowing personalities whose character, actions, and words that impact our thinking and learning, easily becomes worthy of our emulation.

“There are several Representatives and Senators from my decade in the Oregon Legislature that are worthy of emulation and two come quickly to mind from my favorite Session in 2012 when the House was tied 30-30. Co- Speakers Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) and Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) demonstrated extraordinary statesmanship. Additionally, they offered me opportunities to practice their models of conviction, respect and compromise in policies affecting our State, as I served as Co-Chair of two pivotal House committees.

“I believe Oregon’s greatest statesman ever is my former boss, Mark O. Hatfield. To be this year’s OBA Statesman is not at the level of the Senator’s life-long legacy, but this honor is humbling nonetheless.

“As a former staff member, being mentored by Mark Hatfield was not unique, due to his consistency mentoring staff and students over his career as a professor and political leader. But my experience was indelible.

“He cared about each person that crossed his path and was articulate about the character and values of those who mentored him as well. He especially emulated Jesus sharing his faith with compassion not judgment and as the Senator said: “Reaching out to people with compassion and love, bringing the Gospel alive.

“The Senator’s example inspired me and I share these further thoughts from his auto-biography, ‘Against the Grain’: ‘…thank God, you cannot legislate the hearts or minds of any people.’

“I hold a deep respect for all great religious truths, and Christianity… is simply my way. Professionally, it helped me realize the aisle was no barrier in my work, that arbitrary labels between Republican and Democrat were just that – arbitrary. Labels are never important in a spiritual context – the heart is.

“My faith in Jesus was fortified by the Senator’s example and as a result, prepared me for many life circumstances including the complex nature of politics and governing. His guidance especially assists me in developing fruitful relationships with other people that are in the Senator’s words: ‘more forgiving, loving, and inclusive.’

“My sincere thanks to Ryan Deckert and the Board of OBA for this honor.”

Representative Vic Gilliam represents House District 18, which includes Silverton, Molalla, Hubbard, Aurora, and Mount Angel.

Summer Graduation Ceremony: August 13

Our Summer Graduation Ceremony is coming up on Saturday, August 13, starting at 10 am.

We are hosting it in McGuire Auditorium located on our Mt. Tabor Campus (2219 SE 68th Ave., Portland – cross street is SE Division).

5 Ways to Manage Your Stress in College

No matter how prepared you are or how well you’ve managed stress in the past, college is completely different type of stress. It’s not simply that there’s more work, or the work done is more intensive, but college is a place where you can learn who you are, and it’s hard to do that when you have four papers looming over your head.

5 Ways to Manage Your Stress in CollegeYou need to be able to make time for yourself, to celebrate your independence and spend time with friends while still getting all the work done that needs to be done. However, a lot of people get bogged down by stressors and it only creates more anxiety and, in some cases, isolation and depression. For instance, you stay in from a night out with your friends because you know you need to get your reading finished, but you keep becoming distracted or feeling like one of the other classes takes precedence. You stress yourself into a moratorium where, instead of being productive, you do nothing.

This is that awful sensation you get when you sit in front of your computer and can’t seem to put words together to form a decent sentence. It’s your rapid thought that’s causing you to procrastinate, but rather than procrastinate by poorly managing your time, you’re doing everything right, you just can’t seem to shut out those thoughts that stop you from engaging in work.

This is the bane of college students. This stress can spiral out of control and you start getting anxious that you’re running out of time. This can escalate with each minute that ticks by and make you upset that you didn’t choose to spend time with your friends. At least if you were with your friends, you’d be having fun; you’d have an excuse for not getting anything done, but instead you’re staring at a blank word document.

This is the kind of stress college brings, but don’t let that scare you off. This is the result of improperly managed stress. If you’ve isolated yourself from all distractions and you’re sitting in front of a blank word document, you’re not managing your stress. So when this happens to you, try one of these five techniques to manage your stress.

  1. Exercise

This is the most obvious stress reliever. If you find your leg bobbing up and down and you’re having an inability to focus, then go for a run, lift some weights, or – if schedules allow – play a sport with your friends. It’s no secret that exercise releases endorphins in your head which will make you happier by default. But in addition to this, exercise will tire your body, making your muscles instinctively relax (as opposed to tighten with tension) when you sit back down to do your homework.

Even if you don’t work out daily, go for a run or even a walk. Clear your head and give your body something to do.

  1. Drink Water, Not Coffee

A bad habit to get into is knowing you’ll have oodles of homework to do tonight, so you go out and buy an energy drink or brew a pot of coffee for the night. This is not going to help you, not even as a placebo.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about caffeine and coffee in general. Some say it dehydrates you, some say it’s bad for you, and still others claim it’s the best drug in the world – that sparked the enlightenment in the seventeenth century. There’s some truth in all these, so let’s set the record straight.

First of all, coffee is brewed with water, so you’re not “dehydrating” yourself by drinking coffee, you are getting water. However, coffee is a diuretic which is what makes you use the bathroom every ten minutes. Now coffee is great for you, it stimulates your brain, wards off diseases, and even heightens some senses… but it’s not going to help you pull an all-nighter.

College students are typically already drinking coffee throughout the day, and some have it first thing in the morning. Well, if you’re not drinking water, then your body is going to have caffeine flowing through your veins and your body is going to start producing chemicals to counteract the caffeine to rebalance itself. What would counteract the effects of coffee? Sleep. Your body is going to redress your biochemical imbalance by producing the chemicals necessary to make you fall asleep.

No, another cup of coffee will not help you stay awake and focus. Drink water and eat light, healthy meals in the night. You’ll function much better.

  1. Manage Your Relaxation

It may sound like an oxymoron, but manage your relation schedule. In the same way that you won’t be able to focus on an assignment if you’re having rapid thought, then you’re probably not going to focus on an assignment if the season finale of your favorite show is on.

Don’t guilt yourself for watching an episode of television before sitting down to do your work, just make sure you manage that time. Spending an hour in front of the TV, isn’t going to have a significant impact on your work schedule… bingewatching an entire season will. With that in mind, manage your relation and take breaks.

If you have assignments due for multiple classes, don’t simply rush through each of them, give yourself windows of time in between to unwind.

  1. Go To Chapel

One of the primary benefits of attending a Christian college is the fact that you’re able to attend chapel on campus. And how many times have you been in a rut, only to attend a church service and discover a new parable that applies to your life right now?

Never forget the strength that comes from your faith. Let it empower you and you’ll be able to overcome even the most strenuous of situations.

  1. Sleep

Again, this may seem counterintuitive, but similar to coffee, you need to know what sleep does for you. Sleep expels toxins from your brain; literally, your brain is like a sponge and during sleep it shrinks down, wringing all the toxins that have built up in your head and flushes them out of body.

So yes, if your mind is feeling cloudy, you may need sleep. Just make sure you set an alarm to tackle your assignments before they’re due.

The fact is, college is fun. And while the stress you’re going through is not, there are ways to manage it so you’re not overwhelmed. Next time you’re struggling, try one of these five techniques to eliminate stress.



5 Tips for Dealing with “Too Much” Homework

Almost everyone complains that they have too much homework and the excuses for “why” it didn’t get done range from the dog ate it to a faulty printer to a downed internet connection. More often than not, “too much homework” really means “too many commitments took priority,” which can be reasonable – say, if you’re working part-time and are receiving a scholarship for an extra-curricular activity – or it can be unreasonable – bingewatching a TV show.5 Tips for Dealing with “Too Much" Homework

In the case of unreasonable “commitments,” you’re procrastinating doing your homework, but of course, there are people who genuinely are overwhelmed by their homework. With that in mind, how do you manage your time to get it all done? The following are five tips for any student (current or prospective) who’s struggling with getting their workload completed on time.

1. Don’t be a perfectionist

There’s an old principle of Pareto’s that’s been adapted to business (specifically management) called the 80-20 rule. The idea is that 80% of your results, come from 20% of your efforts. Think about that. When you tackle an assignment for school, are you trying to make everything perfect? Remember that you’re a student, no one is expecting you to be perfect, you’re in school to get better; you’re supposed to be a work in progress.

As a result, what may feel like “too much” homework, might really be you tackling assignments “too well.” For instance, there’s a reason “speed reading” is a skill that’s encouraged. A textbook is not a work of literature where every sentence means something, it’s okay to skim or, in some cases, skip whole paragraphs – the last paragraph just recaps what you read anyway.

Moreover, many schools or classes curve their grades. So an 80% could be a 100% in your class.

2. Do your homework as soon as it’s assigned to you

Due to the nature of college schedules, students often have classes MWF and different classes on Tuesday and Thursday. As a result, they do their MWF homework on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday in preparation for the following day. Rather than do that. Do your Monday homework, Monday; Tuesday homework, Tuesday; Wednesday homework, Wednesday and so on.

The reason for this is manifold. First of all, the class and the assignment are fresh in your mind – this is especially critical for anything math related to those who are less math-minded. So do the assignment after the class. Chances are, it’ll be much easier to complete.

The second reason is because if you have a question about Monday’s homework and you’re working on it on Monday night, then guess what? You can contact your professor (or a friend) Tuesday for help or clarification. Whereas if you’re completing Monday’s homework on a Tuesday night, you’re out of luck. This can assuage a lot of the stress that comes from too much homework.

This flows into the third reason which is that, rather than having a chunk of homework to do the day before its due, you’re doing a little at a time frequently. This is a basic time management tactic where, if you finish tasks as they’re assigned instead of letting them pile up, you avoid that mental blockade of feeling like there’s “too much” for you to do in the finite amount of time given.

3. Eliminate distractions

All too often, students sit down to do homework and then receive a text, and then another, and then hop on Facebook, and then comment on something, and then take a break. Before they’re aware of it, hours have passed.

The best way to overcome this is to create a workspace. Traditionally, many students go to the library, but there’s no reason you cannot create your own workspace elsewhere. Maybe head to a coffee shop, fold up the backseats of your car, or develop a space in your room for you to specifically to focus on your homework.

If you give your homework 100% of your attention, it’ll pass by more quickly. Regardless of whether you’re writing a paper or working on a math equation, it’s harder to complete any portion of it with interruptions. If you stop writing mid-sentence to answer a text, then you may wonder where you were taking that trail of thought; if you stop a math problem midway through, then you’ll end up going back over the equation, redoing your work, to figure it out.

Eliminating distractions can save you a great deal of time, so find your space.

4. Track your time

Really track it. There are plenty of free sites and apps that will monitor your time. If you can’t (or don’t) eliminate all your distractions, then start clocking where your time is going. Chances are, you’ll be able to cut something that’s draining your hours, out of your schedule.

This is the nature of the internet, social media sites, and games on your phone, usually you use them in micromoments; moments that too small or too insignificant to really be eating up your time, but they do. All too often, students find themselves wondering “where did the time go?” and have difficulty actually placing how much time was spent where or doing what. Time yourself and, more importantly, reserve time to do your homework or reading.

The other benefit of this is that once you start tracking your time, you’ll be able to quantify the problem and manage your time more appropriately. For instance, if a particular class averages 45 minutes of homework, then you know how much time is required to budget into your schedule. Meanwhile, if another class is regularly exceeding three hours, then you may want to consider a tutor or discussing the issue with your professor directly.

5. Accept homework

Homework is a responsibility; it’s a chore. And in the same way that many people don’t take out the trash until it needs to be taken out; many people don’t start homework until it needs to be finished. This is a problem of attitude towards homework more than anything else.

It’s what makes many students feel like there’s “too much” homework, when in actuality, they feel that way because they put off doing it until they absolutely need to do it. As a result, try to change your mode of thinking. Instead of thinking about the volume of reading and writing, accept that it needs to get done. This way, you’re less concerned with the consequences of not doing homework, and more willing to actually get it done.

Hopefully, these five tips will help you in your academic career. Time management is not an easy skill to learn, but once you’ve established it in your life, it will help immensely.



How to Handle Your Snoring Roommate

In college, you expect a few all-nighters. Nights that feel like they go on forever and, simultaneously, never long enough. Papers need to be written; bibliography’s need to be airtight; huge science projects require crucial components that you unfortunately forgot and now must scramble to put together to get a passing grade. Fortunately, due to flexible schedules, these all-nighters can usually be tempered by the fact that after classes, you can return to your dorm and surrender to some much needed sleep… unless your roommate snores.

How to Handle Your Snoring RoommateAlas, your roommate is a good person. Your roommate maintains proper hygiene, occasionally runs errands for you, buys snacks and supplies for the dorm, and has even lent a shoulder when you needed advice on how to proceed with a difficult situation. Your roommate is perfect – which is more than many others can say. The one problem is the snoring.

So how do you deal with this? How do you handle a snoring roommate?

Let’s start by breaking down the two possible scenarios. In the scenario above, there’s the stellar roommate, in which case, the following tips should help solve your problem. However, the other scenario is that your roommate hasn’t been all that easy to live with and maybe this a lack of sleep is simply adding fuel to the fire. The world is full of unique individuals, and in that case, neither of you should feel guilty over requesting roommate changes. College should be a good experience and both of your experiences will suffer if you’re not a good match.

However, if your roommate is good in most respects – it’s just the snoring that’s the issue – then try some of the following tips for how to handle their snoring.

Don’t “Deal With It”

No matter what you do, do not simply “deal with it.” If your roommate is a good person, then you may be susceptible to follow the path of least resistance. All this is does is build up resentment towards your roommate and deprive you of further sleep. You need sleep, it’s non-negotiable, and that’s all the reason why you need to bring it up to your roommate early on.

To be sure, sleep is essential to your college career; in fact, sleep is essential to your life. A lack of sleep has been proven to cause the same side-effects as being drunk. Numerous studies have verified that the brain activity in someone who hasn’t slept in 24 hours is the equivalent of a person with a BAC level of 0.1. As a refresher, 0.08 is legally drunk. It’s not surprising then that the side effects include an increase in poor judgement, difficulty focusing, loss of hand-eye coordination, memory problems, and some long term effects.

In short, if you want to achieve a college degree, you need sleep.

Communicate the Issue & Understand it Together

As soon as you recognize your roommate is snoring and you’re having trouble sleeping, you need to communicate it to your roommate. It can be tempting to reach out to your friends and talk about the situation, but there’s nothing worse than your roommate finding out they snore from someone other than their roommate. It’s embarrassing and moreover, it’s outside of their control.

This is the foremost reason to bring it up to your roommate as soon as you’re aware of it because odds are, they’re not. Snoring isn’t a voluntary action. Again, it’s not as if your roommate is maintaining poor hygiene or not doing dishes. Your roommate is unconscious, so chances are, they’re unaware of it. So bring it up.

When you mention it, don’t be accusatory, simply say, “Did you know you snore in your sleep?” or something to the effect of, “Has anyone ever told you, you snore?”

Typically, there’s only one of two possible responses. Either A) Yes, it runs in my family or B) No. If it’s the former, then ask what their family members did to either manage the snoring or get restful sleep. If their answer is the latter, then find out together what you can do. The key being “together”. In today’s modern age, it can be all too easy to browse the internet for causes and solutions. When your roommate responds with “No, I didn’t know I snore” and you bounce back with a list of reasons why they’re snoring and how you can stop it, it doesn’t come across as a though you’re trying to solve a problem together, but more like you’re hosting an intervention.

Avoid making the conversation feel premeditated, you should be in this together since they’re just as oblivious as you. You don’t need to have a solution right away either, you can go off to class, work, or chapel and revisit it later.

Be Part of the Solution

While your roommate may be the one who’s snoring, that doesn’t mean you can’t change something about your habits to make your home more livable. For instance, if you only have difficulty falling asleep when there’s snoring, then depending on your roommate’s schedule, it may just mean going to bed before they do.

Otherwise, for many people, white noise drowns outside sounds. See if your roommate has a problem with you playing “rain” sounds or “Enya” or something that’s soothing. Another easy fix would be earplugs. Of course, the challenge there is hearing your alarm to wake up in time for classes, work, or even the gym. However, if there are no other alternatives, then coordinate with your roommate and let them know that if you don’t get up you’re your alarm, they should wake you – it puts some responsibility on their shoulders, but it’s a worthwhile compromise.

Remember that Snoring may be a Bigger Issue

Snoring can be caused by alcohol consumption or common colds (i.e. nasal congestion), and while those would be easy fixes on your roommate’s behalf, that’s not always the case. Another thing to consider is that your roommate’s snoring may be part of a bigger issue.

Snoring has been tied to sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, a deviated septum, or even obesity. In these cases, your roommate may not be able to easily (or quickly) fix the issue. In fact, in some circumstances, this may be impossible to remedy on their end.

All that said, this is all the more reason why you shouldn’t do extensive research ahead of time. You’re not their doctor, so telling them their snoring may be part of a larger condition would disrespectful.

Changing Roommates

In the end, the solution may simply be to change roommates. This shouldn’t be your initial choice, but it is a valid one if you’ve tried the other options. Sleep is important for your health, but there is no one to blame in this type of scenario. Remember this and there will be no hard feelings if you choose to change roommates.



Welcome Weekend for New Students: August 20-21

Welcome to Warner Pacific

We are glad you have been chosen to become a Knight, and are excited to meet you on August 20 at Welcome Weekend.

Welcome Weekend is a jam-packed two days of engaging activities, time-honored traditions, and opportunities to meet the diverse, intelligent, and interesting students who will become your community of classmates and friends.

We look forward to experiencing this with you and your parents and family.  See you at Welcome Weekend 2016!

All Welcome Weekend activities are required for new students – freshmen or transfer.

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Be sure to use #warnerpacific!

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11 Differences Between College and High School

Make no mistake, college is as much fun as it is necessary. However, not everyone heads into college with upbeat enthusiasm. Many people hear “I’m taking a semester (or even a year) off” because they’ve just gone through 12 years of school. While that may seem reasonable, that’s usually because students are looking to forego more school to enjoy an elongated summer vacation. Sure, a part-time job might be involved, but if you actually want to take time off school to “work,” then college is the only path you can take. Today, there are a lot of jobs, but if you don’t have a degree, you can’t expect to be considered – it will be an uphill battle.

11 Differences Between College and High SchoolHowever, many of the things that may have fatigued you in those 12 years of schooling may not be present at all in college – in fact, arguably none of them are. The first thing you need to understand is that college is not a daycare to give your parents a break. All this schooling is to develop you into a lifelong learner; or as Socrates would say, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” And that’s not limited to academia. How do you get promoted in your job? You learn/gain new skills. How do you get into a particular industry? You learn and network with people in that industry. How do you save money? You learn how to cook; you learn how to budget; you learn to mathematically figure if a job 20 miles from your home is worth the increase in wages compared to the expense of fuel.

College is not like your last 12 years of school, and it’s especially not like high school. College is what you make it and the following 11 differences should help you see why going to college should always be met with enthusiasm. There will be stressful nights, but it will transform you into a responsible and successful adult.

1. You will be anonymous

For many people, transitioning between elementary school to middle school to high school involves some overlap of friends. It’s rare that you’ll enter a new school without a few friends. Even then, once you’re enrolled, you’re in that school for four years. You may be surprised at the end of your senior year that you can look around you and know everyone by name and what extra-curricular events, activities, or groups they were involved with.

In college, even if a few of you are going to the same school, it’s rare to be in the same class as someone you know. You’re not in a pond, you’re in an ocean with people who have no idea who you are. This means professors will be judging you on your work ethic and if you want friends, you can’t simply hang around the same circles, you need to learn to meet people. If it sounds daunting, it can be, but being able to meet people is a crucial skill that your previous 12 years probably didn’t prepare you for.

2. You’re living on your own

Most colleges in Oregon offer some form of housing and this is usually a stark departure from what students are used to. For the first time, you’re on your own, able to live in an environment the way you want. Of course, you’ll have a roommate, but that will prepare you for the years to come when a roommate is necessary to continue living on your own. You may even enjoy a roommate so much that you see it as more cost effective. Whatever the case may be, you don’t need to worry about parents asking what you did that day. You maintain your home.

3. You build your own schedule

High schools are fairly standardized and strive to maintain normal working hours: 8:00AM to 5:00PM five days a week. In college however, many professors have other projects, field work, or even jobs within their field of interest. Their schedules are erratic and that’s what makes your schedules so flexible. Don’t want to wake up at 7:00AM every morning? Don’t. Schedule classes after noon (at the earliest). Want to work during the morning hours and school at night? Do it. Want to set up a two-hour break between your classes to budget time for the gym and lunch? You have the freedom to schedule your classes how you want.

4. Your professors are the experts

In high school, you might’ve struggled with something in the reading for a particular class. Maybe you’ve been met with a nebulous answer from your teacher because it’s open to interpretation; and maybe that kind of answer doesn’t sit well with you.

In college however, nine times out of ten, your professors have written the textbooks you’re working from. If you have a question, you can bet they’ll have an answer.

5. You learn to explore

In high school, it’s fairly easy for students to go home to their private room and study. In college, this is not the case. If you have a roommate that’s loud, watches a lot of television, or is extremely social, then you may be pulled into a procrastination bubble. As a result, you need to get out of your home and explore areas that are suitable for you to study. Coffee shops, libraries, or if Wi-Fi isn’t an issue, maybe parks or beaches.

6. You will not finish your homework in one day

In high school, waiting until the last night before writing a paper could get you a passing grade. In college, this isn’t the case. You’re expected to whittle away at your homework daily and if you can’t get it done, then your grade will suffer. However, this is part of the responsibilities that comes with being a functioning adult. You don’t simply build your schedule and cruise on autopilot, you need to manage your time wisely and know when to approach a professor about assigning “too much” homework.

7. Classes aren’t Monday through Friday

If Monday through Friday worked for you in high school, then continue that trend. However, in college, you do have the freedom to schedule classes four, three, or (in some cases) even two days a week. The most important element is finding a balance that works for you.

8. Reading is mandatory

In high school, “assigned reading” in laymen’s terms meant “take the night off.” Not so in college. In college, if you don’t read, you’ll be in the dark and you will fall behind. Professors aren’t going to coddle you in this regard, if reading is all that’s assigned, you should take it with as much gravitas as a 30-page paper.

9. Students want to be in college

School isn’t simply required anymore, you have to voluntarily apply and attend. Plus, college costs money. For many people, that can be a deterrent, but it is an investment; you’re investing in yourself. Going to school for four years paves the way to your future career that you may be working over the next half a century (give or take a few years). As a result, you’ll find that your fellow students are exceptional long-term planners because they knowingly consign to debt to attend. You can bet they’re not there to goof off, they see the goal.

10. There are no cliques

You might’ve grown up in a school separated into cliques. There were people who played sports, those who performed theater, those who practiced music, and so on. However, in college, there are no separate groups. You can either overlap between myriad groups or you can compartmentalize all of your interests. Either way, it’s up to you what you’re involved in – and no one is going to ask you to adhere to one group.

11. You’re expected to confront your professor

In high school, teachers may come to you in private to talk about your grades or a principal might call you into their office to talk about your attendance; in college, you will get no such courtesy. If you’re not showing up (especially in those first few weeks), expect to see either an “F” or be dropped from the class altogether.

Professors treat you like an adult and expect you to come to them if you’re having difficulties. So take the initiative.

Again, some students will read through this list and feel overwhelmed – so much responsibility – but ideally, if you’re ready to forge your own future, then you see that “responsibility” is synonymous with “freedom”. You are expected to become your own person, take hold of your schedule, and network with people. You are not simply lumped into a system, you create your own.



What to Keep After You Graduate College

College is ending for you. It’s been a long, sometimes arduous, but ultimately satisfying four years. No doubt there have been laughs, tears, all-nighters, a lot of community and love. It’s a milestone; a genuine achievement you earned – and you can bet relatives will be tearing up as your name is announced to accept your college degree.

Making that walk is bittersweet. Maybe some of your closest friends are moving far away or maybe others are staying put to continue their education. It’s hard to say goodbye, and oddly enough, it’s tempered by voluminous enthusiasm for one another since, you did it; you’re graduating! With that comes its own changes.What to Keep After You Graduate College

Regardless of whether you’re moving out of the dorms or remaining in your apartment off campus, you’re probably feeling that drive to clear out things you don’t need. Sell that scientific calculator; sell back, gift (or burn) laborious text books; and clear out some space in your room.

But among all this celebratory cleaning, you’re probably wondering what you should keep after you graduate. What sort of things are you going to want to hold on to, remember, or maintain so you have a record? The following is a list of seven essential items you should keep after you graduate from a college in Portland Oregon.

1. Student Loan Information

If you’ve taken out a student loan, you better believe you should be holding on to any and all records of it. Having a paper trail is incredibly important when it comes to money owed. Plus, your papers likely specify when payments are due, who to contact, what your final balance is, and various lender or extension information. It should go without saying that this is critical piece of information to keep well after you graduate.

2. Papers and Projects

You don’t need to keep all your papers and projects that you’ve completed over the course of four years, but keep some. Keep the ones that you’re proud of, that you feel you accomplished from. They’re good reminders of your time in academia and can even serve as a pick-me-up when something gets you down.

Beyond the sentimental value however, there are some employers that are interested in your GPA and papers. Some consider them akin to a portfolio piece that can help you get hired after college. And to be clear, you don’t need to keep the physical copies, you can upload them to the cloud to free up some physical space, but just make sure you have them.

3. Transcripts

If you’ve ever transferred between schools – for instance, from a community college in Portland, Oregon to a four-year university – then you know ordering transcripts and getting them sent to the right address (or fax number) can be a hassle. For that reason, it’s imperative that, when you receive your transcripts, you hold onto them – and keep a few sealed should you decide in a year or two to continue your education and an official (unopened) transcript is needed.

4. College Shirts

Many people toss or donate their college paraphernalia once they graduate, but you should hold on to these. Not only are these great mementos, but they usually make great loungewear or fitness outfits. Plus, if even after college, you find yourself a bit shy, this kind of school representation can open you up to a wealth of conversations. You may end up meeting parents who have questions about your alma mater or from fellow alumni. It may not seem like something worth keeping today, but you’ll be glad you did.

5. Books

Not ALL your books – obviously – but keep books (literary or textbook) that you actually enjoyed. Similar to your school’s sweaters and mugs, books don’t exhaust their value, so hold on to the ones that spoke to you. You may reread them or even pass them down.

Of course, what many alumni cherish most is the fact that, years later, they can revisit their favorite college texts and see glimmers of their old selves in the margins – notes that were written ages ago. It can bring back swathes of memories and transform the book into even more of a keepsake to pass down to another generation.

6. Dormitory/Apartment Paperwork

This one has a limited lifespan, but you should keep all your dormitory or apartment paperwork for two reasons. The first is, if several months after graduating you’re hit with another bill that says you owe money due to damages or missing items, then you can succinctly showcase the signed paperwork that said everything was cleared on your move out inspection.

The second reason you may want to do this (and this is especially true for graduates who stayed in the dorms up until this point), is because when you move into an apartment, they’ll want to know your rent history. A dormitory will often be sufficient enough to get the apartment you’ve carefully selected.

7. Sentimental Items

Years from now, what are you going to want to look back on with pride? Many graduates are all too eager to toss their graduation caps (and tassels) in the garbage thinking, “When am I going to wear this again?” Of course, it’s not about when you’re going to wear it again, it’s about what it represents. You should be proud of your cap and gown, it’s a reminder of what you’ve accomplished. Similarly, an ID card may be a point of bonding between you and your future child – maybe they’ll see what you looked like in college and be utterly flabbergasted. Or, maybe you can still use your ID to get a discount.

Throughout college, you’ve no doubt acquired a slew of knick-knacks and items from your experience. They may be seemingly useless mementos, but they can make a big impact. Hold onto the things that matter.