7 words you haven’t used since college

2 min read

College is one way to advance your education and expand your horizons, but it’s also a unique lifestyle you can’t get anywhere else. Part of the "College Experience" is its own special vocabulary, and while the language students use changes with the times and culture, there are a few terms that still take you back to your alma mater.

Some of the words you’ll see here are used in other contexts, but if you went to college you certainly used them a lot more back then. Here are seven words you haven’t used since that bygone era.


College students are known for their mastery of procrastination. Remember staying up all night to cram for an exam, write a paper, or finish a project at the very last minute? We'd wager you pulled quite a few all-nighters in pursuit of your degree. Whether that was for studying or for extracurriculars, that's for you to know.

Dead Week

A morbid word for a stressful time. Dead week refers to the week before final exams, when all classes and major assignments are done but students stick around campus, spending all their spare time studying up. Depending on your exam load, dead week can be a fun time, when classes are done and you have time to socialize before the impending school break.

Grade-Point Average (GPA)

Students are always worried about their grade-point average and rightfully so. This number can make or break scholarships, internships, and other opportunities. The average of all your grades, this number, thankfully, loses its significance as the years go by. Once you have a few years of job experience under your belt, go ahead and scrap this number from your resume.


First-year high-school and college students are called freshmen, but first-year employees are just new employees. Maybe you’ll be called a rookie. But after that first year of college you’ll never hear freshman again. Of course, some schools have incorporated more gender-inclusive terms and prefer the term freshpeople or frosh. Either way, you don't have to worry about being the new kid on campus again.


As much as you want to just dive in, you can’t take intermediate or advanced classes until you’ve taken certain introductory courses, or prerequisites. If you don’t take English 101, you can’t take English 201, for example. Some job applications may also use this word as a fancy substitute for “qualifications.” But chances are that you said goodbye to this word as soon as you left school.


The Quad, the Commons, the Main. Depending on your university, you may call this a few different things. The Quad is usually a large courtyard area surrounded by buildings on all four sides. People hang out, meet up, and relax or study in these well-planned green spaces. Sadly, eating your lunch at your desk just doesn’t have the same allure as a Quad.


Teachers usually hand out a course syllabus on the first day of class and post it on a class website or forum. It’s the schedule that explains when you will cover a new topic, take a test, or turn in an essay or project. Often it details certain rules and explains how your teacher will grade you. It’s an extremely useful piece of paper, but you probably won’t use this word ever again unless you become a college professor yourself.

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