Monday, August 8, 2016

★ Back To School: Some Tips You May Not Know For College ★

This blog post will be targeted more towards incoming freshman of college. I remember my first year of college and what I knew and what I wish I knew. Going to college is a big step in one's life, and it's also a scary one but I'm here to give you some advice and to help you navigate your way through the first year of college.

School supply shopping

Now, going through K-12, we've always had a list sent out for what supplies we would need. Professors would do the same thing except they won't tell you until your first day of class. If you have  curious mind of what you will need the best thing to do is wait a couple weeks before classes start and then you can e-mail your professor and ask if you need things like a binder, specific calculator, and so on. Most of the time it's your decision on what to buy. I would always suggest going school supply shopping right when they put out everything for the season because usually they're gone before you can get anything. Especially, if you're like me and want a cute folder for one of your classes then get them while you can.

Depending on what your college does will determine whether or not you'll really need a printer. I would always suggest getting a printer just in case the one in the library or wherever your school does their communal printing goes down. My college allows us a certain amount of prints for free which is actually more than enough for the semester. If you want your own printer, you can always check places like Best Buy, or even HP's website for some back to school deals. If you can wait, Black Friday is always a good day to get a printer.

Laptops I have to say is a must in college. It gives you a sense of freedom to do your work where ever you want without having to worry about stretching the cables too far. A lot of colleges have free WiFi for students, and a laptop can be your best friend. Apple has a deal that students can get about $200 off their new mac-book, iPad, desktop, but if you need something more budget friendly then I would suggest checking out HP's website, or going to Best Buy, Staples, Fry's or some store like that. You can go to Walmart but personally I've had a bad experience with computers there. You may even find one on sale. You could also check out computers for sale at your campus but they tend to be much more than at a store.

What kind of applications should I get for my laptop? Well, I'm glad you asked. For about $7.35 a month/about $62 a year, you can get the latest Microsoft Office for both Mac and PC. (Not Sponsored) but it will come in handy however, you don't have to pay for it if you're on a strict budget. Google/Gmail offers google docs and PowerPoint and it is compatible to Microsoft word which is what your professors are going to want your papers typed in. I would also invest into a portable hard drive in case your computer decides to quit on you and you're typing a 5 page paper. That way your paper is backed up and you won't have to start over.

Books

Ah, the smell of fresh textbooks...or used! If you want to save money for the books that are non-degree related, I suggest to rent them. Renting can save you a lot of money and it can also hold previous notes from people who have had the class before you. If you have textbooks that have a digital component to it like MyMathLab or something like that, email your professor to see if you need it. Some classes never use the digital component and if you buy one with it you can't sell it back because most bookstores won't let you sell it back. When you get books related to your major then I suggest buying them so if you need to reference back to something when  you need to.

Resources on Campus

One thing I wish I did when I first started college was take advantage of their resources. You should too! If you have any issues with writing, then I suggest going to the writing center. There they can help polish up your paper. There may also be online resources that you may access like a "How To" when writing papers, ask your college's library if they have one.

If you have any learning disability then they have resources to help you with that too. Contact your college's disability person and they can set it up so you can get some accommodations for test taking, and other things. You could also request to have a tutor. Each college has students that work as tutors.  Use these resources to your advantage.

Meal Plans

If you plan to be on campus a lot, and you're a commuter I suggest investing into a meal plan if they have one for a commuter. Your meals will be cheaper with the meal plan so you won't have to dish out more cash. My college usually lets us put money on our student ID's in order buy our food.

Student ID's

I know in high school our student ID's seemed obsolete but in College, they are not. They are the way you print off papers at the library, rent books from the library, pay for meals on campus, and even get you discounts around campus. Ask restaurants nearby if they accept a student discount with your ID.

Carpooling instead of buying a parking pass

Parking on Campus is a pain in the butt! I remember I left really early and I still couldn't find a parking space.  Sometimes the best option is to car pool with someone. Car pooling is not only good for the environment but it can be good for your pocket too. If you plan to carpool with the same person all semester offer to pay for part of the parking pass! That's just the fair thing to do.

Organize your time

In high school we had a bit more freedom with our times but college is the big leagues and it's important to schedule out your time especially writing a paper or when an exam is coming up. Buy a planner or calendar to organize your time and keep things in order so you don't burn out.

Studying for test

Make sure you show up for classes because most of the time what they talk about is what is on the test. If you are sick or miss a day then contact your fellow students for notes. Find out whether or not you study better with a group or just by yourself. Personally, I think I study better by myself at my desk at home.

Buy a Planner

If you're like me, then you're going to need to find some way to organize things. My organization skills are not the greatest so it helps having a daily planner to know when my assignments are due, and what I like to do is put a sticker next to each completed assignment. That way it's a little something to earn, and you feel accomplished. It can also help with doc appointments and work. I work and go to school so my time is somewhat limited. If you plan on having a job while in school then a planner might help you sort out that mess.

Join a club

If you need an outlet where you can be surrounded by a group of people then feel free to join a group or a club! They are always available and fun to do. Also, participate in school trips. My college is taking a trip to Canada and I am participating in it because I think it'll be nice to visit the country and to get to know my fellow English majors.

Get to know your professors

Especially if you plan to study abroad and need a letter of recommendation. The professors aren't there to make your life miserable but to teach you valuable things, and it wouldn't hurt to befriend some of them.

That's about all the advice that I can give on things. I can't really speak about living on campus because I have never lived on campus. I've always been a commuter. Hope this helps a little bit though!

9 comments:

  1. Very informative! I have a granddaughter starting college this Fall and I'll be sure to show her this! Thanks!

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    1. I wish her the best of luck this semester! Thank you for taking time to read my article. :)

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  2. What clubs have you been in at your college? Is it easy to manage clubs and school work? I plan on taking 12 hours this semester and want to join the German club since I'll be taking German and I think it'll help me.

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    1. I have been in the Asian Culture Club, and Japanese club at the colleg I am attending now. Joining German club can help especially if there are other people there to practice with. In my Japanese club we had all the Japanese majors which isn't many but we often spoke in English. When I see my old professors I speak Japanese to them.

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    2. Yeah my teacher emailed the class and told us joining the German club would help re-enforce the language. I plan on it being my minor.

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    3. Having a minor is a great idea! You just reminded me. I read recently in an article that having a minor, especially a foreign language can be very beneficial, and will help in the job force. Also, there are many government programs that will pay for you to study abroad.

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  3. Great article! My son starts school this month after taking a year off from high school. Gonna link this to him.

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    1. I wish him the best of luck!!!! He's free to email me if he has any questions. My info is in the contact section!

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