College... it has the ability to either destroy your young soul or make it flourish to its greatest limit. But the bets are higher on the first option...
Regardless of what might happen to you, there are things you wish someone had told you before you set your foot on any Lebanese campus for the first time.
Here are a few tips to make things clearer:
1. Getting involved in politics
It is never worth it.
Lebanese college students have a tendency to get involved in political and religious discussions, which paves a path of prejudices.
Let your first year be knowledge oriented instead.
2. Rushing to buy a book
Your professors will more often than not insist you buy the $120 original textbook from the university library.
But chances are, within a week of classes, a few cheeky students would have copied it for less than $10 from the copy center across campus.
3. Giving in to peer pressure
Don't fall for the "peer pressure" scheme, whether it’s smoking, joining a club, or voting during campus elections.
"Wled l manta2a ne7na" (we're from the same neighborhood) will be one of the conversation openers... don't cave in.
4. Be someone you're not
If you're looking to make friends, all you have to do is be yourself. Being too nice and helpful might lead people to think you're willing to do their assignments and projects whenever they feel like it.
Just say no when you want to.
5. Take your parents' tuition money for granted
If you are lucky enough to have your parents pay your tuition fee, don’t take that for granted and mess up your coursework.
That two-hour breakfast with the guys over mana'ish from your favorite foron won't help you graduate.
6. Buy lunch from the cafeteria
You’d be baffled by how much weight you put on and how much money you waste on a daily basis by eating at the university’s cafeteria.
An 8,000 L.L. dry pasta salad, one that feeds a 7 year-old, will only show its effects on you after first year.
You can't escape the harsh reality of having to join a group of strangers to work on the same project. Teamwork is going to be stressful, but don’t forget to have fun.
8. Be goal-oriented
Don’t wait until you’re a senior to start working on your CV.
Wasta is no myth in Lebanon, so building contacts and piling internships will help you around for sure.
9. Socialize, socialize, socialize
As long as you're genuine with those around you, helping your entourage whether morally or with projects, you will be surprised with how supportive people can be.
10. Make every moment count
Don’t lose yourself amidst the books too much and forget to live. Most Lebanese graduates you meet will move abroad after graduation, so make the most out of now.