T Nation

College Phone Etiquette


I'm in my junior year of college, and it never amazes me how very few people have any type of schedule or appreciation for one. Last night, I was about halfway sleep at midnight, and I hear my phone ringing downstairs. This was the first night in quite a while that I had forgotten to turn my cell phone off. As I was turning my phone off, I played the voice mail, it was a friend of mine from school who I see maybe once a month and it went similar to this: "Hey, I was just checking to see what you were doing tonight, we're at my house drinking a few beers, give me a call back." It's midnight, I'm sleeping dammit!

In these last few years, I have come to the conclusion that I am one of maybe 5% of the student body that goes to bed before the wee hours of the morning. When I was say 13 or 14 it was rebellious to stay up late (normally the reason here was Cinemax), however, I can't believe the novelty still manages to stick around so long for most other students. You can stay up late as you want, that's fine, but why the hell randomly call at midnight to inquire about what I am doing for the night?

It seems in this era of cell phones and colleges where students live in close populations, there is no need to make anything called "plans" for an evening. You are supposed to act spontaneosly on the spur of the moment at all times. I'm not putting anyone down, I'm just amazed at how much I differ in the schedule/routine area.


I agree with you. I am in the same bout. I'm in my last year of engineering but some of my friends do have less "demanding" degree plans and they feel the need to check up on me at obscence hours of the night.

A good spin on it; at least you're not that guy that never gets invited to do anything.


i was the exact opposite of you my junior year. since i had class basically all day i had to do work/have fun late at night. staying up 'til 2 or 3 was a daily activity. granted i wasn't usually drinking like you described, but still i was up. my senior year, however, i was just like you. in bed by 12 every night. i had much less energy my senior year, though. weird.

i think it just takes people different amounts of time to mature and realize that sleep is very important.


Well...my first class is at noon, naturally I stay up late.


At least they were thinking of you. Some people have no friends.


You'll find that upon graduation that employment will limit the late night activities and phone calls.

Enjoy it while you can.


I get that too. Phone rings at 11:30:"Hey man!!! We are drizinking!!! Come out doooood!!!!" Yeah, I have to get up at 6:30 and go to work. Fuck off.


Are you kidding? We regularly didn't get to sleep until after 1 in the morning in college. College is the last great time that you get to enjoy that freedom. I wouldn't shoot it in the ass just yet. I still act spontaneously, however, the requirements of my job force much more planning. This doesn't imply that I was ever a person who was late or unprepared. I simply planned for random things to happen in college.

In all honesty, the next time someone calls at midnight asking if you want to come over...maybe you should go over. You only get one pass through that time of your life. You don't get to go back.


I'm going to sound like a cynical prick here (I've done that often around here lately) but I'll give it my two cents.

Most kids get to college by not being rebellious or having a great social life so college is a time for them to do just that. Remember the kid in class that used to tell on you for having a cheat sheet or the one that would mention to the teacher that he smelled weed in the classroom? That's the same kid that thinks he's cool for drinking a fuckin beer. Don't get me wrong, I've had my share of fun times but most college kids don't have the maturity to handle what they're doing and do it for all the wrong reasons.

I got all that bullshit out of my system in high school then in the work life so it doesn't matter to me now that I'm here in school. Most college kids aren't mature enough or focused, so do what you want/have to do.


Prof X got it right. You only get one time through, you better take it for all it's worth. Get it out of your system: bang as many women as you can, stay up late, drink obscene amounts, whatever.

It's not until after you graduate that you realize that grades aren't as important as we have always been led to believe.


I feel like I'm taking crazy pills ... your friend calls your CELL PHONE at midnight and you have a hissy fit? Don't get mad at your friend for calling at an "obscene" hour, get mad at yourself for not turning the phone off. Any one of my friends who wants to reach me at any time is welcome to try my cell. If it's off then I dont want to be reached. If its on I either don't mind being reached, or i am an IDIOT for not turning it off before I got into bed, the movie theater, whatever.


What college student goes to bed before midnight? Even if you're stupid enough to have an 8:00 a.m. class, going to bed at at least midnight is still 7+ solid hours of sleep. I did piss my dad off by calling him from the bar last night during the Eagles game near midnight. But then, he's almost 60.


There were those dorks in in high school who never went out or had any fun who just go crazy in college. But that's typically the better schools. Just getting into college generally is not rocket science. I could've slept through high school and done it. Also, going to bed late is hardly living the crazy life. It's hardly waking up to beer and bonghits. Which plenty of college kids do. Some of those even manage to do well, too.


Grades are pretty damn important. You should be able to have a lot of fun and still get good grades.


Of course I never knew anyone like this...


Looking back at my post,it seems that I might have emphasized the wrong things. My major frustration is the lack of "plans" that cell phones and college towns/cities provide. I like to have an idea what I will be doing for the night before midnight. I come from a small town where there is very little to do, however, if there was some party on the weekend, you would know about it days, if not weeks in advance. Not midnight on the night it is happening.

It is probably safe to say this background and my inclination to health/nutrition are the reason that I feel the need to have a pretty regular routine and schedule with a good deal of activities, including social events, planned out. I'm not saying this is necesarilly the most ideal thing in college, however, it is the cards that I am currently playing with.


And no one saying that this is necessarily a bad thing. I was very focused in college. I was never one of the people just sitting around outside the rec center for hours. I had things to do. However, if you get too wrapped in the academic aspects and allow no time for college life, you will regret it eventually.

I can honestly say I am glad I was never one of those people who just goofed away their time in school. However, I am also very glad that I "indulged" from time to time and didn't get too serious. Yes, you do have responsibilities. Just plan time for enjoying everything you won't learn in a classroom.


I can relate to all of the posts so far. I am an engineering student with 3 semesters left. Right now I value getting a solid nights sleep, not waking up hung over, and generally being healthy so that I can succeed in my academic persuits.

This wasn't always the case. My first years as a college student I was pretty rowdy. Drinking heavily on a tuesday night was not only acceptable to me, I figured that is what I was supposed to do. I also almost failed out of school during this time. Many people will say "its college dude- go out and fuckin party!" But if that attitude gets you kicked out of college, it wasn't really worth it then was it?

You have to emphasize what is important to you. My roomates now are like your friends, they will drink all night, sleep all day and repeat. I can't do that anymore, and I feel healthier and more productive than ever before.

Whatever works for you



Everything in moderation. Work hard, play harder. If that's the approach you want to take.


You forgot to add, enjoy it now, after your graduate, some bastard is going to try and work you to death for the next 40 years.