As a female computer science major who is 'one of the guys,' I have to overcome a lot of first impressions. I don't sit toward the front of the class, and the majority of the guys I hang out with are on academic probation. I come to class wearing a hoodie and old jeans everyday, with my hair still wet from the shower. (I don't wake up early enough to dry it even though it is a 1:30 class.)
My handwriting is awful, along with my spelling and grammar. I typically don't take notes since I get more out of listening to the lectures without having to think about writing down what is said. I have a pretty awful habit of not doing the suggested homework.
But a quick look at my transcript will show you that I break the stereotype. I am taking upper-level courses as a freshman and I have a 3.85 GPA. The biggest difference between my friends on academic probation and me is simple. I am here to get as much out of these four years as I can.
From a prof:
Let me see if I have this correct. You have one semester notched on your transcript, so now you're under the impression this qualifies you as a university student. Everything that you enumerate-- poor study skills, the self-prescribed pass on note taking (let me guess, you're one of those deluded, book-phobic "hands-on" learners), the abysmal grammar and spelling, sleeping past noon (I assume we are not shutting down the library) -- all speak to a trainwreck no later than your sophomore year.
I have had it with second semester frosh opting for cruise control because semester one was a somnambulistic haze of high school rehash and/or a free pass from some intro-teaching prof asleep at the switch. Listen carefully. Your friends are fry-cooks in waiting. Somewhere, as we speak, their name tags are being pressed. You may survive, but you will send each a postcard from your graduation; provided they have an address.
Please do not confuse paying tuition with paying dues. You have a long road ahead of you; much of it you cannot even see or imagine.You may indeed have brains under that damp hooded mop of shampooed hair, but habits of action are going to carry you to commencement. Ditch the losers. Purchase a louder alarm clock. Move up a row in class. And let's get to work.