Advice From a Seven-Year Tenn. State Undergrad
By Travis Cooper -- Black College Wire   

After seven (yes, seven) years of undergraduate life at TSU, I've learned many things about the university, people in general and myself. I've learned things to do, and even more things not to do. At the ripe age of 25, I am well acquainted with the errors common to the aspiring graduate. Image

As my gift to all who care to read, I would like to present to you the mistakes and misconceptions students have about life at TSU in the convenient form of a top ten list:

10. TSU is a party school. This school, like all other schools is what you make it. If you want to start your weekend on Wednesday, feel free. If not, class starts promptly Thursday morning.

9. Your FAFSA will file itself. Financial aid counselors agree that the number one reason that students miss valuable government dollars is because they miss the priority deadline for filing FAFSA. Yes they make mistakes, but if you file in time, you'll have a chance to correct things before the semester starts.

8. You will make A's in courses you don't attend. As self-explanatory as this should be, I still hear students arguing with professors about grades the student wasn't present to make.  Accept your grade, retake the class if necessary and next time, try to attend.

7. Joining multiple organizations will look good on your resume.
It doesn't impress potential employers to tell them about the laundry list of organizations you at one point were involved with, but had to quit because you just didn't have the time.

6. Moving off campus is always better than staying on the yard. If you don't have a car, don't have a job or don't have a dependable sugar daddy/momma, then you shouldn't move to Antioch.

5. Teachers don't want students to pass. The value of a professor is measured in the amount a student learns from the course. Do them a favor by meeting the teacher's half way. You can start by reading number 8.

4. Your soul mate came to college to find you. I know that some of us really do come to school looking for the love of our lives, but if your love is more interested in you than school, then they don't have a very good chance of being here for a long time to find you. Please don't flunk in the name of love.

3. Courtyard Technology is an accredited field of study. It's not! Go read a book! The library is just around the corner!

2. You have to go to this party. As I write this, many of you are experiencing the last Greek week of the semester.

As you read this, promoters are printing flyers for the graduation parties. Trust me. There will be another party. It won't hurt you to stay at home for once.

1. You come to college to pledge. In the years I've been at TSU, many things have changed. Yet through the years there have always been and will always be people who are willing to throw their time, money and education away for permission to wear a shirt. Don't get me wrong. Greekdom has its benefits, but is pledging worth the things many of us give up? I think not.

Travis Cooper writes for The Meter, the Tennessee State University student newspaper, which originally published a version of this article.

Posted May. 09, 2008