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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Educational Dating Game of Life:

Ah, yes, it’s the start of a new semester. Professors and students shuffle in and out of classes while coffee splatters all around. Reacquainting ourselves with school is about as difficult as breaking up with a significant other. And I’m here to tell you how and why you should approach this new semester with a new attitude.

That’s right, starting a new class is much the same as falling into the dating game. In the fall semester, we laughed together; we cried together. Some weeks were harder than others, but in the end we finished gracefully (or pathetically depending on your grade). Winter break, or the

“break-up,” left us wild, exposed, tired, and emotional. And now here we are in February facing new professors, students, readings, and activities. As singles (students), we reunite with old friends (the ones we forgot about during that four month relationship with our textbooks). We stumble into our old, yet new environment. So, as we build up the courage to enter the feared classroom setting, we are confused. Had we forgotten the excitement of meeting new people? New professors? Or bumping into old friends?

Perhaps, but it is this realization that forces us to remember: we are all eager to meet new people, learn, and make school a haven from our real lives.

So this semester let’s pledge to stay open minded. Let’s remember that, on this educational journey, we are all in the same boat-singles in the educational dating game of life. Things to remember when starting a new semester:

(1) Befriend your professor: most UMB professors are surprisingly interesting. They’ll support you if you let them. The more we learn about them, the more they learn about us. The benefit: extensions, extensions, extensions! (2) Introduce yourself to your classmates. You’ll be surprised by how many remarkable people you’ll meet and how much easier the time passes when you have somebody to gossip with after class.

(3) Be willing to say things that seem obvious. Sometimes obvious comments bring not so obvious responses, and any start is a good one. Dialogue only leads to more dialogue.

(4) Remember that good discussions make a good class. Pay attention to the students around you: are they paying attention? If they aren’t, think of ways to get them involved. The more involved students are, the faster the class will go by, and the less likely it is that a professor will punish you with pop quizzes and added papers.

(5) When in doubt, tell the truth. Most people don’t know this, but you can always get away with more by telling the truth.

(6) If something reminds you of one of your classes, or one of your professors, let them know. Whether you see an article in a newspaper, a television show, or an advertisement, being able to relate course materials to the outside world always pleases professors and makes your life more interesting too. You don’t have to go out of your way. But the more you connect to the world outside of UMB, the easier it will be to understand the course material.

(7) Remember that networking with your peers and mentors can help you land a job, and isn’t that why we’re all here?

Good luck, and have a great semester!