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Aug 02 2015
by Isabella Barricklow

10 Times 'Gossip Girl' Taught Us Valuable Lessons About College

By Isabella Barricklow - Aug 02 2015
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1. When they reminded us that high school is in the past

The CW Network
The CW Network

As soon as you graduate and throw those caps into the air with your classmates, high school is over and you're moving forward to a fresh start. Who you were in high school, the drama that filled the halls, even your old grades; none of it matters as soon as you're at college. Even Blair, who clings to "Queen B" status like no other, recognizes that this new chapter is a chance to be free of everything that defined you in the past four years.

2. When they taught us that growing up means letting go of old security blankets

The CW Network
The CW Network

Whether a boyfriend or a headband, part of becoming an independent adult is moving beyond people or habits that were a part of your younger life. As you get older, you will be growing into a new person and learning more about who you want to be in the world. During this process, it's OK to let go of some less mature parts of yourself or parts of yourself that don't fit anymore to fully develop into who you want to be.

3. It's very important to live in a dorm room your freshman year.

The CW Network
The CW Network

If Blair Waldorf would willingly leave her Upper East Side penthouse for communal showers, there must be something to dorm life. The reason that schools encourage freshmen to stay in the dorms so much is because it really is the easiest way to make friends. There isn't anywhere more crowded with equally nervous and anxious 18 year-olds looking to make friends, and when thrown together, everyone bonds quickly. If you want to meet even more people, bring them in for a movie night in your room or just leave your door open. It's that easy.

4. When they showed that there's a place for everyone on campus

The CW Network
The CW Network
The CW Network

Maybe you like video games or maybe you like shopping — no matter your interests, there will be a club or group of people on campus that reflects them. You might have to try a couple different new ideas before you find the one that works for you, and that's even better. By bouncing from group to group to find out where you fit, you get to meet tons of unique people and explore hobbies or subjects that you may never have been exposed to otherwise. Eventually, you will find people that you like and the perfect place to express who you are and grow. Dan escaped "social Siberia" and found his people at college — that means that anyone can!

5. The episode where we learned that college friends are for life

The CW Network

You probably picked your college in part because you liked the people that you saw there and thought you would fit in well with them. That means you'll be surrounded by people you like and feel you connect with, you'll even be living with most of them! Through the independence of college, your friends become like your family since you interact with them more than anyone else. That kind of bond is very strong and can carry on for years to come. Most of you have been at the dinner table when your dad and his old college friend laughed about all of the craziness they lived through in the fraternities. My mom even had all of her roommates in her wedding. Be friends with people who you actually like and get along well with, you could be with them for a while.

6. College relationships are more confusing than a Chuck-Blair-Nate love triangle

The CW Network
The CW Network

You all have your own views on what sort of relationships you'll want to have once you get to school, and that is completely OK. The reality, however, is that people in college often do have hookups or one-night flings. Since this time is all about experimenting and finding out what you like or don't like in a relationship or if you even want to be with another person ever, it's great to practice (safely always) with others! But, sometimes one person within the partnership has a different idea than the other about the feelings between them. While one partner might be looking for a relationship, the other might have assumed the connection was without commitment, no-strings attached. It's important to talk about where you are in the situation and what you expect, even if it hurts you or the other person a little bit. Although it can be upsetting to find out that someone you liked doesn't share the feeling, the pain doesn't last for long. And the good part is that it means you can move on to other people that you like even more and maybe even find the love of your life!

7. The time that a student-faculty relationship was an absolute NO

The CW Network

You (or your parents) are probably paying upwards of $10,000 to attend classes at your university. The figures for tuition and room and board often climb into values that you would spend on a car, or maybe even multiple cars. If you're spending all that money to be at a school, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to risk wasting it by having an inappropriate relationship with a faculty member. No matter how attractive they are, or how much they claim to love you, there is never an acceptable excuse. Besides, if they really love you that much, have them take a lesson from Serena's professor and wait until you graduate; you're worth it.

8. When Blair set a shining example of how to connect well with a professor

The CW Network

If you want to take away valuable information from classes and form lasting connections with professors that inspire you, the first step is to introduce yourself as soon as possible. Though they might not remember your name for a little while (there are a lot of students), there's never a bad time to go to office hours to talk about what you learned in class and strengthen the relationship you have with them. You'll learn a lot more from a class if you can understand the person who is teaching it, and if you really enjoy their class, it never hurts to tell them. Professors are some of the most interesting, knowledgeable people you will meet in college, be respectful and always make an effort with them.

9. When Dan's girlfriend told us how amazing college classes are

The CW Network
The CW Network

You can take a course about monsters and vampires and have it count as English credit?! Open your course book and look through for a couple minutes. You'll quickly realize that most college classes are either on fascinating subjects that you would actually talk about with your friends for fun or incredibly interesting because they're about the subject that you love most. After all the general education credits, you can choose to take classes that only relate to science if you want, or never have to take a math again and spend all of your time learning about teaching. The possibilities with your college classes are endless. It's likely that you'll never fall asleep in a class that you choose again.

10. When we learned that college is so much more than books

The CW Network
The CW Network

You're probably going to spend so much time in the library or carrying textbooks that college is just going to seem like more school. Higher education really is the purpose of your endeavor; you're there to learn, but there are a lot of other reasons that are just as important to remember. New people, independence, good pizza and parties, college is an experience and you're supposed to find a new way of living. While you're here, put down the pencils and have fun, you'll never again be living with tons of other kids (excuse me, I know we like to call ourselves adults) in a space where there are new activities everywhere you turn. Enjoy all the crazy parts of college, go to the sports games, build a float at homecoming week, go to puppy week if you have it. Even "Gossip Girl" characters with their private planes and trips to Paris go through it and recognize that it's a rite of passage you don't want to miss.


Lead Image Credit: The CW Network

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Isabella Barricklow - Central Michigan University

Isabella Barricklow is a freshman at Central Michigan University majoring in English (non-teaching) and minoring in Spanish and Childhood Development. At her high school, she was a captain of the swim team and wrote for the school paper. You'll usually find Bella writing poetry, spending time with friends, or hiking. Follow her on Twitter @BellaRose221!

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