Surviving the Liberal Arts College
The Liberal Arts College courses are based on the text you are assigned to read. Not completing the readings will lead to a mediocre/subpar start to your academic career. Lack of familiarity with the assigned text is also made obvious during in-class discussions. This gap in understanding often leads to embarrassing situations where the teacher waits patiently as you play verbal skipping stones: word slightly related to the text, ambiguous adjective, and -sink. Missed readings pile up quickly and eventually you might have difficulty coming up with essay topics. Scared yet? Basically, what is being expressed is that not doing the reading assures you do not get the most out of your Liberal Arts education. Now that this is clear let’s move on to more pleasant business: being social.
Make an effort to be social with the people at the LAC outside of the building itself! You will be rubbing elbows with interesting individuals who share similar interests, so get to know them and start building lifelong friendships. In order to facilitate your transition into the College life, here are a few tips that should help you out in your first year at the LAC.
Reading and Writing Hacks
Why? Your life is mostly going to consist of these two activities. Students often underestimate the amount of work necessary in order to succeed at the LAC. Many fall into the trap that is procrastination. Here are some tips that will help you avoid being “that student.”
– “Read the books.” Elliot Galbraith, 2nd year
– “Start your papers early, discuss them with the profs and go through several drafts.” Rafael Soridili, Graduate
– “Remember how awesome what you’re reading is.” Helene-Jane-Groarke, 4th year
– “There’s a philosophy podcast which makes some of the rougher reading easier to digest for newcomers (Partially Examined Life).” Andrei Zanescu, 3rd year
– “Sparknotes is your biggest frenemy.” Koichi Sato, 3rd year
– “English is not your first language? All professors accept essays in French.” Maude Bernier, Graduate
Class Life Hacks
Why? Because otherwise you’re going to miss out on the wonders that the LAC provides.
– “Coffee hour though: There is free food, coffee, and great friends to talk to!” Elliot Galbraith, 2nd year
– “Ask questions, but in order to learn things, not to show that you’re smart. Everyone knows the difference.” Noelia Gravotta, 4th year
– “Go to as many events as possible. Get to know people.” Christina Bell, 4th year
– “Ask for help! The profs at the L.A.C. are second to none.” Elliot Galbraith, 2nd year
Personal Life Hacks
Why? Because life happens. Sometimes.
– “Don’t sleep with people from the College.” Michael Kołodziej, Graduate
– … but if you do: “Read passages of the books to the person/people you sleep with.” Kyle Flemmer, 3rd year
– “If you have a personal life, you ain’t doing it right.” Zoe Lambrinakos-Raymond, 2nd year
But most importantly,
Just read the books.
By Elliot Galbraith