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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » The Randoms » Advice and Tips for the College-Bound

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Author Topic: Advice and Tips for the College-Bound
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Hey, I'm willing to bet there are quite afew Scarleteeners headed for college/university this year. I wanted to create this thread, because a similar one to it helped me immensely last year when I was starting university, and also I just wrote a letter to the first years I;m going to be guiding this coming year as a floor RA. So here are a few tips I really liked, or found out while I was at school.

Go to class: This goes without saying, but if you cannot make it, at least get someone's notes so you're caught up. For participation classes, like languages, it's really important not to miss class. However, one of my teachers stated that our lectures were directly out of our readings from the text, so I usually found it more productive to skip most of the lectures and study on my own. This won't work for everyone, but if it works for you, that's an option. Also, do your readings but don't beat yourself up if you hate Great Expectations and can't finish it. (I didn't.)

Refrigeration: if you can swing renting a fridge for your room, do so! It's great for keeping fresh fruits and veggies for snacking on. I used mine all the time for tasy things that were hard to get or expensive in the cafeteria.

Roommate agreements: if you share your room, write up a contract between you and your roommate on things like cleaning the room, having partners over etc. If you get along well with your roommate, this shouldn't be a problem, and if you don't, well you have documentation to back up anything that you or your roommate might do to break the contract. If you have an RA or Don, get them to sign the contract after you've made it up.

That's all I can think of for now, but feel free to add your own advice, or questions!

Posts: 1679 | From: London, ON | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I spent all day looking through the Indiana University and Oregon University websites trying to find out if you can have a room mate of the opposite sex. I dont like girls, I seriously cant stand them, I have no girl friends and a few guy friends. I would be much better off with a guy room mate. If my boyfriend and I are still together when the time comes we'd like to live together, and off campus isnt an option cus freshmen have to stay on campus for the first year. So... Does your college let you live with whomever?
Posts: 280 | From: nowhere | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Sublime, I've never seen anywhere that lets you room with the opposite sex, though there may be such a place somewhere. Anyway, my two cents:

Use the Library. This may sound odd, but I've found it's about impossible for me to get any work done in my room, because there are all sorts of shiny distracting objects in there. The library isn't nearly so bad.

Don't procrastinate. I know people have been telling you this since kindergarten, but it's SO true. If you leave a 10-page research paper until the night before it's due, you won't finish it. And if you do, it's not likely to be very good.

Respect your roommate. I know this also goes without saying. But really, if s/he looks like s/he's trying to get to sleep, chasing out your friends or turning off a few lights is just common courtesy. Just follow the Golden Rule on this one.

and last but not least...

Wear shower shoes.

"...and so, son, that's how babies are made!"
"But Dad, what about the machinery?"
"We'll get to that when you're older."
(The Fairly Oddparents)

Posts: 475 | From: Back in Providence, RI | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Here is a good one
Get to know your Profs.

Remember these great people are you link to the world after school, they can help you get great jobs, help with scholarships, be great references. Even if you hate the prof. just be nice, don't disrespect them or miss their classes to often.

Absent from class policy

Most colleges have a standard rule, some profs have there own, blah blah blah. Find out about them, follow them. However, if something is to come up were you can't attend class for some odd days, e-mail/call your prof. and explain the situation and come up with a suitable agreement.

This did wonders for me last semester, when I was dealing with being diagnosed with epilepsy. I couldn't drive to class so it was very hard for me to get there. Also between the medication and all the blood and shots I was taking, I was just not in good shape. Only in 1 out of my 6 classes did my prof deduct my grade by one letter for being absent so much.

"I am the sum of my parts and infinitely more so. The hum of my brain, the curve of my torso. The spark of my wit, the depth of my heart. Size is no measure in such a work of art" (from a Hanes Her Way ad)

Posts: 197 | From: north carolina, United States | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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1. Along the lines of going to class - if you are going to college in the US, or anyplace else that charges a ridiculous amount of money for tuition, here is an interesting exercise: take the cost of tuition for a semester. Divide it by the number of weeks in a semester, and then again by the number of hours you're scheduled to be in class each week. That's how much you (or your parents) are paying for each time you go to listen to Professor von Silverblatt lecture about differential calculus, or Shakespeare, or Introduction to Abnormal Psychology. That's how much money you're wasting each time you skip class. Think about it.

2. Don't bog yourself down with extracurricular activities. In high school, it might have been reasonable to write for the school paper, and be in the choir, the debate team, and the student government, say. In college, doing all those things at the same time is not physically possible, or even if it is, you'll drive yourself crazy. Remember, too, that you don't have to impress college admissions boards anymore with a long resume of diverse extracurricular interests. Pick one or two activities that you truly enjoy, and concentrate on those.

3. Depending on where you are, you may need to be street-smart about it, but try to explore the area off campus once in a while. There's a whole world out there, and at some schools, most students never see it.

Posts: 107 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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On the same-sex roomie issue, Sublime, here's the thing: all women are not alike. If you're seeing them as so,or as all bad, the problem isn't them, it's you, and you're going to need to seriously get over that, because half the world is populated by women. Most of the time, that sort of feeling is really about your own insecurity more than anything else.

So, if you have to have a same-sex roomie to start (and likely you do), sounds like in your case, it might be a very good thing, because you GOTTA lose the misogyny (that is what the word for hatred or dislike of all women is, and it's at the root of a lotta nastiness -- you really don't want that in your psyche).

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 07-25-2003).]

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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Ditch your pride and learn to suck up!!!
You need to get noticed by professors because you may need to milk these folks for important things like letters of recommendation.

Tutoring is NOT for the weak
It's how otherwise B students get an edge up over the rest of the class to get that A. you put in the extra effort and it pays off in the end.

Exploit student health services as much as possible!
Cheap birth control, STD screens, counseling and damn near anything else except for major surgery. you will miss this when it's gone.

Anyone who tells you grades don't matter in college is lying thru their capped teeth!
Dangit, had I just aced a few more classes, I'd be in medical school NOW, but because I was a middle of the road student, I gotta work extra to make up for it to get to med school.

Don't drink on Tuesday, and don't drink alone.
Why Tuesday? Just lemme say I know from experience.

Dormcest, avoid it all costs!!!
Good god, don't sleep with your floormates!!! If things go bad the next day, remember, you still live next-door to them. oi!

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Make sure this is what you want to do. I realize that college is nearly mandatory for a decent paying job and that most folks are going to need to go at some point but realize that going immediately after high school isn't your only option.

I say this from experience -- I went to a university, complete with dorm experience, last fall instead of taking some time off as I'd originally planned for a variety of reasons, none of them nearly good enough. It was a mistake; I spent nine months being fairly unhappy. This year I'm living on my own, taking one or two classes at the local community college and working full time. For me this is a much better situation; it's worthwhile to check in with yourself before making major decisions.

Do the homework. Even it it's optional -- come exam day it will be worth it.

Down-time. Living with a roommate essentially means you must be social at all times. Find a place where you can be left alone to just relax and have some time to yourself; flee there whenever necessary or possible.

"I'll memorize everything you do to me/So I can teach it when it comes my turn."
-- Semisonic, "Chemistry"

Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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sublime, my school allows roommates of different genders, but not in a one-room double. it has to be a suite with enough bedrooms that guys don't sleep in the same room as girls. like a two-room double or a 3-room quad or whatever. my school is pretty liberal about that kind of stuff, too.


you can never have too many clothes hangers.

adequate footwear is essential. (especially for those of us at remote schools in the north.)

get an eggcrate pad for your mattress. it will drastically improve your quality of life.

really throw yourself into everything as quick as you can. make friends and learn to depend on new people. the biggest mistake i made as a freshman was having a long-distance boyfriend. every time i was sad i would call him instead of talking to people at school, and it made it harder for me to make friends.

intramural sports are good stuff.

do the readings for class, as much as you can. even if no one else is doing it, you will still get to look good in class when you're the only one who can discuss.

...i often feel like i have a totally different college experience than a lot of people, though, going to a small, very remote, insular liberal arts college. it's extremely preppy and the real world doesn't really penetrate. so for those of you going to schools like that, keep in mind that it's a big change.


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Gumdrop Girl
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Discover your campus' cleanest bathrooms and best naptime spots, then don't tell anybody about them!

If any of you are heading for UC Berkeley, I'll let you in on my personal secrets. The top-floor bathrooms tend to be the best. Top floor VLSB, Dwinelle and MLK Jr. Student Union are the cleanest bathrooms on campus. And if you're looking to take a nap, top floor Dwinelle in the Classics department lounge there are nice couches. Top of Evans is the math grad student lounge, and they have couches (and donuts on Thursdays). Then there's the basement of thel ibrary. Cushy, cushy couches!

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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ooh, I thought of another:

Know your meal plan so that you may get the most out of it. This way, you'll be well informed on where to get midnight snacks, as well as what's open when (nothing sucks more than to show up at the dining hall 5 minutes after it's closed), and whether you can take that apple for breakfast in the morning.

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Thanks for this article guys!!! All of the tips were really useful.
Posts: 1619 | From: TEXAS | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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So, what does the incoming class of 2009 want to know?

LA County STD Hotline 1.800.758.0880
Toll free STD and clinic information, and condoms sent to your door for Los Angeles County residents.
1 in 3 sexually active people will be exposed to a STD by the time they turn 24.

Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Meet with your counselors. Often.

Seriously. Make sure ALL the classes you are taking are helpful to your degree. You know, that one class sounds fun, but will it count towards my distribution requirements? Meet with the counselors. Check in often about your progress. If there is a graduation policy, know it. My university requires you apply for graduation 3 quarters before you get there.

I also want to second the advice for sucking up and knowing your profs. It helps. I can guarantee you it makes life easier when you are on a first-name basis with your profs. Especially if you have a class where half your grade is on participation. Knowing my profs has secured my grades.

Most schools have a writing center. Use it. It's an extra set of eyes that will see the glaring errors when you don't.

Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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