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 8 Things You Actually Learned in Your Freshman CEM Class at MSU


You walked into your freshman chemistry class bright-eyed and full of hope, and left with your ego shattered, world view shook, and any hope leeched out of you as you entered the real world of college science. You were supposed to learn acid-base reactions and Boyle’s Law, but what did you actually learn?


8.) Entropy, Man:
Whenever someone asks why your life is a mess, you now reply with a confident “Entropy” and make them feel small and stupid, which is ultimately the goal of anyone who brings up science in casual conversation. Nothing will really drive your intellectual superiority home quite like musing over the universe’s natural state of increasing disorder.


7.) How to Make Jokes About Being Basic:
Freshman chemistry brought on the peak of your nerd related humor with puns about acids and bases. “I was drinking a Starbucks and wearing Uggs and felt super basic, so I had an orange juice,” you told your roommate, laughing at your own joke to fill the void of awkward silence. It’s really not your fault that your friends are too humanities to appreciate your science-y comedic genius.


6.) Science Rules:
Remember that one time that your professor took a shot to demonstrate the chemistry of breathalyzers? Or when you realized Professor LaDuca lives a double life as a Meme Lord? Or that time “organic chemistry” was spelled “orgasmic chemistry” in your professor’s PowerPoint? Science is so beautiful.


5.) Your Hangover is Not Subtle:
You thought you totally looked normal in your Friday morning recitation, right up until your TA opened the windows and you cringed like a vampire exposed to sunlight. Even then, you thought you were okay until your super smart study buddy asked you if you had a fun night while she was busy studying for the exam two weeks out.


4.) How to Bubble Where Your Tears Fall:
You reached a certain point on every exam where you lost all hope and had no idea what even to guess. At this point, you turned to a tested and true technique: let those tears roll down your cheek and bubble in the watermarks for you.


3.) How to Draw a Perfect Hexagon:
One of the greatest joys you got to experience was dabbling in organic chemistry at the end of the semester, but the only thing that you actually retained from that unit was how to nail that hexagon — draw the top, then sides, then bottom and connect.


2.) The Mitochondria is the Powerhouse of the Cell:
Okay, so you probably learned this one in biology, not chemistry, but it bears repeating, especially for its relevance in meme culture. Plus, the mitochondria is interdisciplinary.


1.) You’re Actually Not a Genius:
This one came as a shock, because you got all As in high school and your parents always told you how smart you were. It took chemistry and several average scores to knock you off your high horse and make you realize that not only are you not the smartest person in your chemistry class, but you’re not even the smartest person in your study group.


While your freshman chemistry class was a brutal reality check and broke your spirit completely, you learned some pretty important lessons. For the rest of your life, not only will you be able to draw a beautiful hexagon, but you’ll also be able to use “entropy” in a sentence. 


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