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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Contents for College Survival Guide

    For two high school graduating seniors of mine, I'm putting together an informal yet very informational "College Survival Guide." What would you put into this guide? What good and unheard of advice would you have for upcoming college freshmen?

    Keep in mind, this book is for two females and one is going to UCLA, the other UCR.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    How cute!

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Portland OR
    Try to get your class syllabi a week or so before class (or share books for a week w/someone) so you can buy your textbooks online at or marketplace -- ask the professors if old editions of the textbook will work, and you might find your books for a couple bucks. You can save hundreds of dollars this way.

    If you don't want to do that, then show up to the bookstore as early as possible (once you know what classes you're gonna take) to get used books.

  5. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Ontario, Canada
    Don't buy your textbooks before the first class. Trust me.

    I've had several professors put 7 or 8 books on the booklist at the bookstore, but on the first class, said that they were only going to be using two of them, and the others were either "additional reading" or the relevant chapters were photocopied at the library.

    And... don't buy no name toilet paper. Get the nicest stuff you can. You will thank me later.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for, but these are some things I remember being really helpful:

    Definitely some safety info:
    -using campus escorts when you have to walk alone at night
    -if you go to a party with your friends, leave the party with your friends (don't leave them alone there and vice versa)
    -always lock your dorm room door
    -know the number to campus police by heart

    Also, sharing a room can be really difficult, especially if you've never had to do so. Maybe some tips on sharing a living space:
    -set boundaries from the beginning--do you want your roommate to borrow your clothing/school supplies/food? what time should be quiet time/study time? when is is okay to have overnight guests? who is going to clean the bathroom and how often?

    Regarding food:
    -You can take fruit/tea bags/etc. from the dining hall back to your room for a study time pick-me-up. Save your money when it comes to stuff like that.
    -Sometimes a full meal plan really isn't the best way to go. I had friends who had plans for 3 meals a weekday and two on the weekends, who never made it to breakfast--what a waste! If you don't eat breakfast, go for the lesser meal plan.

    Regarding schoolwork:
    -Remember you're paying for your degree, so if you're skipping classes you are wasting your money.
    -Get to know your professors if you can--they may be more inclined to offer assistance/suggestions/etc. Take advantage of their office hours if you are struggling or have questions.

    And take advantage of on-campus free plays, sports events, and other cultural events. They're so expensive once you're in the real world.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Read the school newspaper and check the bulletin boards at the student center. Join at least 3 clubs. Then decide which ones you actually want to stay in.

    One of my pet peeves are the people who complain there's nothing to do just because they don't know anyone having a kegger.

    I have done security for concerts, been editor of the lit/art mag, gone to enviro rallies in DC, etc. There is stuff to do; you have to look.

    If you do want to join a sorority, wait until your sophmore year. That way you can enjoy the first year and discover stuff instead of going through hazing.

    There is tons of free/cheap entertainment on campus... take advantage.

  8. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    there is usally a student activity that you're forced to pay so you might as well take advantage of student activities. I didn't discover the Tufts University Crafts Center until the 2nd semester of my freshman year, it was a resource to do FREE crafts b/c my student activity fee subsidized them, had I known I would have been there all the time when I was feeling like I didn't belong at school and going home on weekends.

    Taking food from the dining halls is often discouraged so you should put the fruit in your pocket if you want it. I know someone who was in the middle of eating a cookie while she left and had it seized from her which is absurd...just a total waste.

    This is just a tip for life but it's amplified by being at college with no transportation: Go buy yourself a "kit" that you make up of the following items
    Pepto Bismol and Immodium Ad (I like the pills the best) cough syrup because when you do feel sick, there will be no mom or dad to give you this stuff and it sucks to trudge to the store when you're sick.

    have a small first aid kit

    Also keep stamps on hand to write notes home and while it seems like a good idea to bring your favorite stuffed animal from when you were 5, don't. Leave him home and take a less favorite, reason being that someone inevitably will grab your stuffed animal and toss it around or play with it and they won't respect your stuff like your parents should be doing, old stuffed animal = safe at home, and you can bring other familiar stuff.

    Also bring snacks like nutragrain bars and granola bars, perfect for snacking or if you slept in thru breakfast.

    Also at some point in the 1st semester, go to every meal, even sat AM breakfast. I always skipped that 1 meal thinking it wasn't a big deal, about a year later I found out that they served gourmet waffles on saturday morning b/c few people attended, it was like the campus's biggest secret! I love waffles, I felt cheated! but no one else i knew went so no one could tell me!

    good luck

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Athens, GA
    I have a few! says the ten year college student...

    * Live on campus the first year: yes, dorm life can suck. Your roommate could be Satan. The bathrooms could be nasty, and there's never room for all your stuff. But you will learn a lot, and meet so many people who could be good friends for life. Three of my best friends lived in the same dorm as me, and turns out my husband lived in the same dorm as me just 4 years earlier. Good times...

    * Start an exercise program. Don't start smoking or abusing your body. Watch your drinks at parties. Be extremely careful getting intoxicated in public without a trusted friend who has your back. Never ever ever ever walk home by yourself.

    * Just do it. Take the long weekend and go somewhere with a new friend. Take school sponsored trips and for lords sake take advantage of the holy Student Discount! Take interesting electives and classes. Experiment with your clothes, your dress, the music you listen to, the things you might like to do. Read everything you can. In an educated way, do things you thought you would never do. You can always write it off to youthful indiscretion...


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