College Advice From an Expert
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College Advice From an Expert

Good morning Hank, it’s question Tuesday On Wednesday The day where I answer real questions from real Nerdfighters Hank, yesterday I sent out a tweet asking Nerdfighters if they had any questions and they answered on mass. Right. So most of them were about college. Having both attended college and watched the movie “Animal House” I feel like college is one of my fields of expertise and so far as I can tell there are 5 facets of the collegiate experience. Alright so lets take these in order: Number 1: Academics. I am going to tell you a secret. Every year many, many, stupid people graduate from college. And if they can do it so can you. In fact I would argue that it is not that difficult to skate by at most colleges. That said it turns out to be a huge mistake to ignore the academic facets of college; partly because the point of life is to engage as deeply as possible with the miracle of human consciousness and partly because there will come a day where you are 35 years old and you are writing a check every single month to pay off your student loans and it would be very helpful to you if you feel like that money bought something. Because my friends I am here to tell you that you do not have to be a college student to play beer pong. So study. And the only other piece, back into my advice, is to study broadly. I think its really valuable to take classes in lots of different departments because you’ll be surprised how the classes you don’t think you’re interested in end up shaping your life. For example, although I’m not a sci-ency person I took several biology classes in college including one called: “AIDS, Ebola, and Emerging Viruses” and it is of a direct result of that class that today I am a hypochondriac. Number 2: Interpersonal relationships So most people, when they start college they’re pretty worried about making friends. So here’s some advice, first be nice to every one. Also, just be calm, Like I dont know if this is true for any one else, but when I get into social situations where I feel uncomfortable I can be a little bit like: [ Insane sounds ] HELLO HELLO I’M JOHN GREEN [ More insane sounds ] I WANNA BE FRIENDS! I wanna be friends. I wanna be friends. I cant hide it. I cant hide it. Oh my God I want to be friends with you so bad. And uh that’s scary for people. Umm a couple other things. Never refer to kissing as scoring Never refer to the ladies as “The Ladies” And uh, try not to pee or throw up on anyone else or their belongings. I realize that’s pretty base level advice for those of us who are potty trained but you would be astonished how many people have difficulty following that advice during college — Which brings me to binge drinking. sometimes there seems to be only 2 types of college students these days. Those who binge drink with alarming frequency and those who define themselves primarily in opposition to that binge drinking. I would submit that neither of these worldviews are particularly attractive. I mean no one likes a holier-than-thou judgementalist but on the other hand no one likes to vomited upon. That’s not true John. Well it should be. But let me encourage all college students to embrace identities that don’t involve alcohol. Like just join some clubs or something. there are so many clubs in college. Thats something else I would say; join clubs but not just one club. People who belong to just one club are super annoying. Cause they’ll never shut up about their one club like it the only one club that matters like the only place that needs to be free is Tibet I love you Tibet, it’s nothing personal. I just also love Burma 4: Road Trips Take them. And lastly: Living on your own except not really because you don’t have to clean the toilets. I’m not going to tell you life in college is easy or give you any of the lies how its going to be the best years of your life. Which it wont unless you have a terrible, terrible life. But the great thing about college is that it creates this weird in-between space where you’re no longer a child but you also don’t have to do all of the annoying things about being an adult like cleaning your own toilets. Well you don’t if you don’t have a dorm room. Sorry for people who don’t have dorm rooms because now I’m just taunting you. but this in-between space gives you, for the first time in your life, time to pick what you want to do. So you can read Foucault and talk about Foucault with some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet And you can also skip a biology test to drive to the Grand Canyon with a girl you met the day before. Don’t let the freedom of that moment get by you. So that’s my– oh and one other thing, don’t get too excited about the fountainhead. Hank I’ll see you on Friday

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20 thoughts on “College Advice From an Expert

  1. There are movies that seem good when you watch them but get worse and worse the more you think about them. There are other movies (“The Shawshank Redemption” is a good example) that just get better and better the more time and thought you give them. The same is true of books. I read “The Fountainhead” many years ago and for the most part liked it. The more time and thought I give it, though, the less I like it. I find Ayn Rand interesting whenever I watch old interviews with her, but I have reached the conclusion that she is a bad philosopher and an even worse novelist.

  2. Who didn't have to clean their toilets in college?! And yes! I had a dorm room!! We were inspected!!

  3. Aids ebola and emerging viruses. That sounds amazing and i bet that was just the most amazing and awesome class. I would love the textbook title. What textbooks did you read?

  4. Watching vlogbrothers college videos to make me feel like I'm making to right decision by spending the next 6 years of life studying psychology. Even when everyone wants to be a psychologist, and I have to decide how I'm going to make myself a productive member of the workforce. How the duck did I go from high school to this.

  5. Each year I of High School I have come back to this video to get me prepared for College. I am now getting ready to apply for scholarships and have gone to at least 3 college fairs.

  6. So I looked into it and you were right about the Beer Pong but apparently you must be enrolled at least half-time at a 4-year university to play Rage Cage.

  7. It’s unfortunate that the state of Florida actively discourages you from learning broadly. It’s unfortunate that there’s such stringent limits on extra classes.

  8. To think this was made 9 years ago! (almost) They`re both married now, and have kids, and although they Do sound like… well Actual grown ups now, it is nice to see, feel, that they still have that blow of the wind that makes our souls lighter to carry.

  9. I love when current vlogbrothers auto-play sends me to a 9-year old video, that I have definitely watched. But the change in John and puff levels is WILD every time.

  10. Sarazarr: What's the best way to get brain matter off my bludgeoning stick without leaving any brain behind.

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author John Green: *mild concern*

  11. Um… don't take unrelated classes to your major, kids. "Study Broadly" is horrible advice. Your primary goal in college is pave the way to being able to pay for that experience and then some. No one is going to see your Author Studies class on Dante and be like, "You know what? This is a man of culture. I want to hire him."

    These classes can change your perspective and sometimes give you some context to what you're doing or how you approach problems, but most schools are liberal arts and you usually get a good dose of this while doing general education requirements like taking an ethics or social studies class.

    You'd probably consider me one of the "holier-than-thou" crowd, but I refuse to drink at all because of a long family history of diabetes, alcoholism, and liver failure. So no, I don't think I'm better than everyone else because I don't drink. I think that I'm taking an acceptable course of action to mitigate my risks for checking out early from this whole "life" thing.

    Please do not join clubs. With as little free time as you're going to have every week from studying, most of the time, you're just going to have a job instead. I worked in my school cafeteria for the 4 years that I attended, and I always felt like I was out of time. What you should be using this extra time for is internships because internships are what get you jobs, not good grades past a B-average, or clubs.

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