Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: 50 facts about life at altitude

50 poznatkov o živote na výške

50 facts about life at altitude

Dear freshmen,

you're starting your college experience and I'm getting ready for my 10th college session, so I thought I'd share with you a few things that I've found to be some of the most important and helpful things in life at altitude in hindsight.

Here they are:

  1. Your friends will change over the next few years. Allow them to.

  2. Call someone you love a few times a week, even if it's just for a few minutes.

  3. During college, more than any other time, songs are tied to memories. Every (or every other) month, make a remix on a CD or mp3 player or whatever works for you, but most of all, make sure you keep it. After ten years, it will serve you as a certain form of diary.

  4. Take a nap in the middle of the afternoon combined with carefree doing nothing.

  5. Adjust your schedule to your liking - when you feel most productive and creative. If you are an owl, accept it and rejoice in it. It could be the only opportunity in your life, the opportunity when you can do something like this.

  6. If you write your best papers the night before a deadline, don't let people tell you that you should be "more organized" or "plan better." Everyone works differently. Personally, I worked best under pressure - so I always procrastinated, but I also ended up doing everything perfectly (which drove my friends crazy). Use your acquired freedom and try what works best for you.

  7. Do something crazy and irresponsible at least a few times during your college career, even though you should be studying. Sophomore year, the night before my final psychology exam, my roommate somehow managed to get front-row tickets to an Indigo Girls show two hours away from where we were. I didn't do so well in the exam, but I haven't thought about it since 1993, while I remember this event (which I attended with the guy who is now my son's godfather) at least once a month since then.


  8. Make friends with your favorite teachers. Note that they can learn from you as well - in fact, it's definitely one of the reasons why they chose this profession.

  9. Carve out one hour each day for yourself to be alone. (But sleep doesn't count!)

  10. Go on a date. But don't think that each of them necessarily leads to a relationship.

  11. Don't date someone who used to date your roommate.

  12. When your friend's family comes to visit, join them. Not only will you get a free meal, but you'll help them feel more cool. The company of cheerful and mischievous students has an effect on parents.

  13. In the first month, send a handwritten letter to the person who helped you get to school and describe your experiences so far. It will mean a lot to him at that moment. It will mean a lot to you again in ten years, when the letter shows you when you remember.

  14. Appreciate the differences between you and your classmates. Always ask yourself, "What can I learn from this person?" After all, most of your ultimate education will ultimately come from these meetings rather than any lecture room.

  15. The effect of cramming all night before an exam is greatly overrated.

  16. For those who came to college with a long-distance relationship: despite what many people will tell you: it can work . The key is not to let your relationship get entangled in your experiences with altitude. If you don't want to date someone else, that's totally fine. But what is not okay, on the other hand, is missing many important events just because you hang on the phone to your friend for three hours every day.

  17. Solving some problems with your friends is better face to face than through mediated contact such as IM, ICQ, Skype or Facebook. The emotions shining on the face can often tell you more than their words.

  18. Take a risk.


  19. Don't worry about communal showers. (or don't get too excited about them either.) Rapture drops after two seconds.

  20. Wednesday is the middle of the week - so on Wednesday night the week is more than half over. You should celebrate that in an appropriate way. (this makes Thursday and Friday even more fun.)

  21. Welcome failures into your lives. It is also how we learn as human beings. It is not important that you made a mistake, but that you learned from it and recovered.

  22. Add some subjects that have nothing to do with your field of study. Just like that, for fun.

  23. It is important to think about the future, but it is much more important to be present in the present moment. If you only think of height as a springboard, you won't get much of it.

  24. When you live in a dorm where something is happening every second, watching TV is really a waste of your time and your parents' money. If you want to watch, watch with friends, so you can call it "a worthwhile social experience."

  25. Don't be afraid to fall in love. When it happens, don't take it for granted. Celebrate it, but don't let it consume your entire college experience.

  26. A lot of the time you had until now to read for fun will disappear in no time. Write a list of books you would read if you had the time so you could finally read them after graduation.

  27. Things that seem like the end of the world today actually become hilarious after a while. If you know this, forget the embarrassment and rather focus on the bright side of the given problem.

  28. Every once in a while there will be a special powerful moment when you can literally feel how the experience has changed you. Cherish such moments, even if they are painful.

  29. No matter what your religious or political views are, keep an open mind. In the coming years, you will be tested and tempted in ways you can't even imagine. So keep an open mind, otherwise you won't learn anything.

  30. If you need a job, find one that you actually enjoy. Just because something is work doesn't mean it has to be annoying to you.


  31. You don't have to lead someone all the time. Sometimes it's also good to follow.

  32. Take lots of photos. One of my biggest regrets in life is not taking more photos in college. My excuse (and excuse) was the high price of the film and the subsequent development of the photos. However, today's digital cameras are cheap and hard drive space is also readily available - you have no excuse.

  33. Your health and safety are more important than anything else.

  34. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Ask for it often.

  35. Half of you will make up the worse part of your course at some point. And sooner or later, many more than half of you will find yourself there. Get used to it.

  36. In ten years, few of you will look as good as you do now, so secretly rejoice in how beautiful you look before it's too late.

  37. In the end, where you go to college isn't as important as what you do with the opportunities that environment gives you. Having MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) written on your resume won't really mean anything if that's the only thing you have written on it. As a student, you will have access to a wide range of unique opportunities that will not be provided to anyone else, so don't waste your chances.

  38. On the other hand, you don't have to be involved in absolutely everything . Remember, balance = physical and mental well-being.

  39. Keep perspective. If you get too close to something to get a wider view, rely on your friends for advice.

  40. Eat junk sometimes. This period is the last time you can do something like that to feel guilty afterwards.

  41. Make a complete fool of yourself at least once. Or rather several times. It builds character.

  42. It is better to wash the sheets more than once a year. Trust me on this one.

  43. If you're in a relationship and none of your friends want to go out with you and your significant other, keep your eyes peeled. Friends often know more than you in such cases.

  44. Don't be disgusted by the strange combinations of ingredients that your new friend from the other side of the country likes to put on top of his pizza. Some of the ones that look particularly awful actually taste really good. Expand your horizons.

  45. Research your school and dorm thoroughly. Don't get caught in the process.

  46. Life is too short to study a field you are no longer passionate about. Change it, even if it brings a lot of complications.

  47. The tattoo is permanent. Before you get it done, be very sure that you really want it.


  48. Don't make fun of the high school seniors coming to the open house. You were like that too. About two hours ago.

  49. Enjoy every second of the next three (five) years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass.

  50. This is the one time in your life when your only real responsibility is to learn. Try to remind yourself every day how lucky you are.

Be yourself. Inspire and be inspired. Make progress. Laugh. Learn. Love. Welcome to some of the best years of your life.

(written by a study officer at MIT).

The article is translated from the Czech language:

Read other notes

Ako sa učiť

The subject you were never taught in school: How to learn!

An article published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest reviewed ten techniques for improving learning - from mnemonics to highlighting - and came to some surprising conclusions. ...

Read more
Ako a prečo sa stať celoživotným študentom

How and why to become a lifelong learner?

Our main "work" during the first twenty-two years or so is education. We spend a huge amount of time in classrooms acquiring new knowledge. And then, when we graduate, we feel that the learning pha...

Read more