At the end of the fall semester, I ask my first year students to write on an index card one thing they learned their first semester in college. I tell them that they can include things they learned in the residence halls or from their friends or in any class. Then I shuffle the cards and read them aloud. Here's what they wrote this year.
No matter how early you wake up, you will never be awake enough for an 8 am Chemistry lab. This will result in spilled chemicals.
People aren't always what they seem in the beginning.
How to be more social while still working hard to do well in college.
Lewis Dot Structures.
To appreciate home-cooked food.
My town is really boring compared to college.
How to make pasta in a microwave.
That college students can be just as immature as high school students.
More than I ever thought I would know about falconry.
I've learned not to yell at boys in the girls' bathroom at 3 am because someone will write it up as a noise violation.
It's cold here.
It's almost impossible to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship.
Leftover food gets really smelly if you don't do something about it.
I write better than I thought. I learned to believe in myself.
Apples are pomes, olives are drupes, and carbon comes from animal poop.
I am not good at everything. COUGH*Chemistry*COUGH. But I am smart.
I learned the importance of friendship and the necessity to be socially involved.
I learned way too much about the way that trees work. Like the way that leaves fall off and how the water gets to every cell.
It's okay to be happy.
Hydrochloric acid can burn a hole in your shirt.
That I have to wake up earlier on weekends because the dining hall closes at 6:30 p.m.
I learned how to live with a bunch of girls and share a bathroom with all of them.
Good bagels are hard to find.
The TA can be the nicest person in the world, but when it comes to grading, you will hate him with all your passion.
Fall asleep in Calculus and the teacher will kick you.
Writing without structure is enough structure for me.
Plants have hormones that cause them to either lose their leaves/needles, hold onto their leaves/needles, and cause different growth patterns.
You actually need to study in college.
Put your garbage in the right container or people will get pissed.
The entire life cycle of a plant and any detail dealing with it. Honestly ....
No matter what the topic is, there will always be a difference of opinion in a group.
I learned how to design a cemetery.
Tolerance is the key to living with other humans.