Structuring your college years

Or, a meta guide to structuring your 4-year academic undergrad studies

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
--Franz Kafka

If you have decided to go to college, or if you are stuck in one for whatever reasons, let me tell you what is the bare minimum that you should try to get out of your traditional 4-year college life. You won’t be too wrong to assume that your college years are going to dramatically impact your future trajectory and almost disproportionally define you as a person.

I roughly followed the following schedule. Of course, it is only looking back in time that I can put them in a list. I think I was lucky to have them ordered in this way, and it worked in my case; but I don’t think that the order is necessary.

Freshman: Begin a new life. If your highschool to college progression seems too smooth, something is wrong. Your essays should get crisper or weirder, for example. You should feel a bit out-of-touch with reality.

Sophomore: Start studying everything you can. Find ideals, fight for them and/or kill them. Seek all the advice you can. You don’t have to be an extrovert, you can be (or even better, should be) a decent jerk to yourself.

Junior: Seek perfect solitude. This is going to be the most challenging part. You will have to (re)discover yourself. If you start around this year of your college, you’d have accrued better results towards your goal. Your speech would change, the way you see the world would change, and I’m assuming the way the world perceives you is going to change too.

Senior: Go public! I think senior year of college is pretty extraneous. Your best bet in the 21st century is to use this year for planning out your independence- starting a company, getting a job, devoting yourself to a field you find yourself at home in. A heuristic as to whether you wrapped up your college years well is if you really want to attend your commencement. The answer should be a clear no, or at least a definite ambivalence.