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When you first arrived at college as a freshman, chances are you already had some preconceived notions as to what college life would be like thanks to movies like Animal House, Legally Blonde, Old School, and Pitch Perfect. Were your days filled with non-stop partying? Did you never have to worry about homework? Were you always dressed to impress? If I had to guess, I would say no. Check out the 5 ways college is different from the movies below!

They're called "4-year universities" for a reason, right? Then why are more and more students finding it takes them five, six, sometimes seven years to earn their bachelor's degree? Worse, many students aren't even making it to graduation day. From the start, students are set on a path to earn their degree in at least five years from the advice of their counselors.

[caption id="attachment_2372" align="aligncenter" width="300"]<img class="wp-image-2372 size-medium" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/college-freshman-meme-clueless.jpg?w=300" alt="Clueless college freshman meme" width="300" height="242" /> Read on for tips to keep from being completely clueless![/caption]<p>Being a college freshman is only slightly less nerve-racking than the first year of high school. You may not have to worry about upperclassmen trying to prank you (hopefully), but being in a new school, whether you're living on campus or not, can be a stressful experience. Besides trying to avoid locking yourself out of your dorm room and signing up for too many credit cards, here's some helpful tips to prepare you for your first semester.</p><p>

Whoever you are, whatever your SAT score and high school report card look like, you could take a course at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, or Johns Hopkins right this minute. These elite schools, among many others, have begun to offer open, online, not-for-credit courses to anyone who wants to take them. These are casually referred to as MOOCs, massive open online courses.

The amount of dorm "necessities" seems to grow every year—at least that's what companies want you to think. Here are a few of the most illogical items that the Sharper Image, Pottery Barn, and other interior design offenders have included in their dorm collections, in no particular order.

Avatars, guilds, quests, XP—sounds like the newest installment of World of Warcraft, but for a growing number of classrooms, it's just another day at school. Lee Sheldon, a video-game designer and Game Design teacher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, came up with the idea of "gaming" his lesson plans after becoming bored with the traditional teaching format of: lecture, quiz, grade, repeat.

You know LinkedIn. It's that social network you meticulously maintain but never look at unless you're applying for an internship or get an email because someone endorsed you. It's the most useful and least fun way to spend your time on social media. In a new, potentially trend-setting redesign, Cornell University's graduate school of business management allows applicants to fill in most application information automatically. All the applicant needs to do is connect to his or her LinkedIn profile.

<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-2158" src="http://blogdotbookbytedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/istock_000022534297small.jpg?w=540" alt="Receiving some bad news" width="540" height="359" /> In terms of recent news that generated outrage, few stories in the past month can compete with the Facebook "Mood Manipulation" Experiment. If the story escaped your notice, here's the basics: A study conducted by Facebook's data team filtered 689,003 users' News Feeds for positive or negative keywords. The test was to see what impact this had on the users' subsequent posts. Needless to say, users with only positive Feeds were more likely to say something positive. Negative Feeds led to more negative posts.

Yesterday, the US Education Department's Twitter account for financial aid sent out a tweet saying "If this is you, you better fill out your FAFSA" followed by a link to their site and a screenshot from this scene from the movie Bridesmaids, complete with the caption "Help me, I'm poor."

Until recently, a Florida high school had a summer reading program that had everyone in the school, regardless of grade level, reading the same book. However, the school's administration canned the program over the content of this year's book, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

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