Heading off to college? Some helpful advice.
I was super excited my freshman year of college, I was away from home for the very first time, new people, new place, and it was going to be a whole new experience. Now I didn’t stay at my first school due to personal choice and transferred out, but I’m still glad that I went as from the experience I gained nuggets of knowledge that I was able to pass along to my friend still in high school. Some are silly, others are a bit more serious, but helpful in the end! I decided seeing how August is coming about it would be wise to go ahead and share these nuggets with the people of the interwebs.
1. Bring extra clothes hangers
· This probably sounds super random, but I cannot tell you just how many clothes hangers I gave out throughout the year. I just brought extra for good measure, but I ended up giving a good ¾ of the packs I bought away because people needed them so badly.
2. NEVER BUY YOUR BOOKS FROM THE BOOK STORE
· I cannot stress this enough. A lot of freshman think that they have to get their books for that first year from the bookstore. No, this is a lie. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT do it. The bookstore over charges and rips students off for books horribly, doesn’t matter what school you attend. There are PLENTY of online resources to help the book buying process be cheaper and easier.
· My absolute all time favorite website for textbooks is slugbooks.com. You put in the book ISBN and it pulls a list of whos selling, renting, and has e-books for the books and for what prices. The sellers include Amazon, eBay, chegg, and many many more. My book for child psychology is $180 at the bookstore. I got it for $12 using slugbooks.
· If your class has a bundle pack for the books you can email the teacher and ask for the ISBN’s for all the different books and enter them in that way, I have yet to have a teacher that hasn’t given it to me.
3. NEVER SELL YOUR BOOKS TO THE BOOKSTORE
· That same book you buy from them for $180 they will try to give you $35 for. Don’t do it. Use Half.com’s textbook buy back or even Amazon, but DO NOT go to the bookstore. Heck, see if another student will buy it from you, which leads me to my next point.
4. If your school has a student facebook group, join it.
· When I was at ODU someone had a group called ODU Freshman and a lot of freshman joined, as well as upperclassmen. Advise was given here about teachers, text books, people could ask for help, parties were posted, rides were found, over all it was really helpful. Students often sold and bought books over the page when they were done with them. So while you may not be the social networking type, it’s something to consider.
5. Ratemyprofessor.com can be your best friend
· Seriously. The website has a list of teachers based off of school and rates them on how good or bad they are. So if you need to have a really good math teacher (like me because I suck at math) or want a challenging literature teacher this website will tell you who’s wonderful and who kicks rocks. It also gives a hotness rating for the teacher. If you’re into that sort of thing.
6. The clinic always has free condoms
· Or at least at most schools. And I know this may seem like a random point, but a lot of girls and guys don’t know this and it is IMPORTANT. There is no point in putting yourself out there and risking pregnancy and diseases when you don’t have to. And if the guy tries to tell you ‘Oh I don’t have one’ you better tell him to go get one or pull one out of a drawer somewhere. My boyfriend was 3 hours away, but I kept condoms in my drawer for when he did visit just in case. It is better to be safe than sorry. By no means am I trying to promote sex here, but I’m saying if you are going to do it be safe AND smart about it.
7. See what your school has to offer for transportation
· If we went to the student transportation office (or what ever it was called) at ODU and showed them our student ID we would receive a green transportation pass. With it we could catch the bus, ferry, and rail system for free. Now it didn’t include Amtrack or anything, but it was enough to get it from one place to another and venture out to explore. Now not every school offers this, but it doesn’t hurt to see if it does.
8. Don’t be afraid to check out the clubs
· It is very easy to feel lonely if you aren’t on a sports team or you’re from out of the area. And if you’re an introvert? The difficulty level just went up by like 100. Because a lot of people already have pre-formed friendships and cliques that can easily make any newcomer feel left out, but clubs can be a great help. I attended the anime club when I went to ODU, loathed the way it was ran but I did meet two super good friends there that one of which I still talk to even though I’m back in Northern VA. Clubs can be a great way to meet new people and try new things, so don’t be afraid to attend one!
9. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but stay true to yourself
· College is when you get out and learn who you are, but don’t let it change who you are. Don’t jeopardize your morals and what you believe in for other people, ever. If my roommate did something I didn’t like or didn’t want to be mixed up in, I just left. I will not be guilty association for anybody. Nor will I be just plain guilty for doing something I shouldn’t have been doing and wouldn’t normally do in the first place.
10. Call home
· If you have a good relationship with your parents or whoever you live with (and I do mean if), call home, especially if you’re homesick. It’s ok to miss home or the sound of your moms voice, chances are thy miss you to. But again, this is a big IF. I called my mom every week and she called me, but I never called my dad at all nor did he call me and I was a-ok with that.