At the end of the fall semester, I ask my first year students to each 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.
Bugs are edible. Mushrooms are basidiocarps. Elephants don't actually have sex.
I learned that high school doesn't prepare you at all for college.
I learned that the liver can regenerate itself.
I've learned about the importance of time management.
I learned about downcycling and how some recyclables end up in the landfill after a slightly extended life.
Worms have brains, and college is really hard.
The value of a home-cooked meal.
There's a lot of shit involved with plants.
I learned that you get as much out of something as you put into it.
I learned how to derive a function.
You can get lead poisoning from lipstick.
I learned how hard calculus really is.
Dining hall food sucks. People live longer in Andorra. Muir and Pinchot were responsible for the environmental revolution. The clitoris is an undeveloped penis.
Time management is the most important thing, especially when it comes to homework.
I failed at things I am usually good at and succeeded at things I'm normally bad at.
Because of electron clouds, some atoms are bigger than others.
Your feet are healthiest without shoes. Most Americans have foot problems by the time they are 50. Barefeet rule!
Trying to get work done in a lounge filled with friends is impossible.
Willow trees are the next generation of biofuel.
You can die from a lack of sleep.
The graveyard is a great place for class.
Chemistry in college is way harder than it is in high school.
I learned to think about my audience when I write.
In a deuterostome, the anus forms before the mouth.
It's easy to catch a cold when you live in a dorm.
A banana is an herb.
Friends are really important. Especially ones who don't bullshit.
A single parade in New York City can generate 23 tons of trash.