Now that my first semester as a college freshman has come and gone, I can safely say that I regret a few of my life choices (**a few more of my life choices, that is). And given the fact that this year’s current high school years have just finished their college applications (or are in the process of finishing those up), let me go ahead and share a few pieces of advice.
This is for all those future college students.
1. Don’t take 8 a.m. classes.
Before registering for my fall classes, I told myself that if I had no choice but to take an 8 a.m., I would be fully capable of doing so. Why? Besides the fact that we all had to face seven to eight hour days in high school, I also worked at a summer camp over the summer.
Working with kids combined with the fact that I had to wake up at 5:30 every morning for an eight hour day meant that I could easily handle a 50-minute 8 a.m. Right? WRONG. Absolutely wrong.
This is a piece of advice that is often given out by many college students, yet it’s not often followed by freshmen… I was one of them. Don’t be one of them.
2. Don’t take a class that only meets once a week.
This piece of advice does have its exceptions though.
Overall, however, most classes that meet once a week average two and a half to three hours per class. And although that seems like a fair trade for only having the class once per week, it’s really not all that great.
First of all, because it’s only once a week, chances are, you won’t be able to retain that much information, especially since most of us don’t spend our days reviewing material (at least not every day). Therefore, by the time the next week rolls around, it’s likely that you’ll have forgotten most of what you learned last week.
Not only that, but because each class averages three hours long, you’re most likely going to doze off. Or gaze into the distance and rethink your life choices and make up scenarios in your head that may potentially never happen.
ORRRRR… you just might not show up at all. That’s what happened to me. HOWEVER. I DO NOT CONDONE THIS. I was ALSO lucky because my professor based his exams and lectures off the textbook, so all I had to do was read the textbook and take notes on my own time.
POINT IS: Don’t take the once a week classes.
3. Quizlet is your best friend.
I mean, do I even have to say anything else? Use Quizlet.
4. When registering for classes, try to schedule classes around the same time period.
It might seem nice at first to have a class at 10 AM and then have a break until 3 PM, but in reality, this is one of the worst things. By the time you finish your morning class, you’re going to go back to your dorm/apartment/etc. and eat and nap (because those are the two most important things in life, let’s be real). By the time it’s 2:30 and time to leave for your afternoon class, you won’t want to go at all.
Chances are, after a few weeks, you might end up not going at all (unless you have discipline… in that case, I applaud you immensely).
5. RATE MY PROFESSOR.
Use this website religiously as it could save you from a seriously horrible experience with a potential professor. I ALWAYS check every teacher on rate my professor before planning out my classes. After all, I paid a cracker ton of money for tuition so I want the best possible experience. If I get stuck with a horrible professor who doesn’t teach and makes crazy hard exams, there’s no point in taking the class.
6. Don’t immediately buy every textbook.
Many freshmen make the mistake of buying every textbook their professors say they will need as soon as the school year starts. There is a very high chance that you will not use some textbooks, or any textbooks at all.
This, of course, depends on every professor. Therefore, check Rate My Professor. There is a possibility that some kind soul who took the class in the past gave some advice on what to purchase.
Overall, however, wait and see if you actually need the textbook before purchasing it.
With that being said, let me lead into the next point.
7. Don’t buy textbooks from the student bookstore.
There may be some books that will ONLY be sold in your student bookstore. In that case, you obviously don’t have a choice but to purchase it there. However, if you have the option, purchase it elsewhere.
There are MANY websites that sell college textbooks at a RIDICULOUSLY cheaper price. You just have to be willing to look and do some research. One of my all time favorite websites is ThriftBooks.
Check out this website if you want amazing deals on textbooks (and reading books too!).
Don’t forget about Amazon! As a student, you should also consider registering for Amazon Prime since you’ll receive your orders in two business days. Amazon also sells CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP textbooks that will save you hundreds of dollars.
Overall, just have fun. College is the time where we really discover who we are and what interests us. Just make wise choices and don’t end up on the news. AND TALK TO PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO BE A HERMIT.