Survival Guide 2012: Warnings from The Towerlight staff
Textbooks are easily the first test of how frugal you are with money at college. If you’ve all ready bought them, you’re a bit screwed, but keep this in mind for next semester.
First off, do you really need the book? Wait till the first day of class (unless your professor emails otherwise) and see if they even mention the book. If they do ask if you can get an earlier edition, I saved $100 one semester this way.
If you do end up having to buy it don’t just go to one place. Shop around, check all the textbook stores in Towson and online. It may seem like a chore but think about it this way – if you end up spending about three hours shopping and saving around $120 (As I often do) then that’s $40 an hour you just made for yourself.
Their are tons of other ways to get around needing textbooks but some techniques are specific to certain majors. Make an upperclassmen friend and use their knowledge to your advantage.
Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
With the humid air, countless tank tops, and fresh tan lines, it may still feel like the middle of July. However, summer has ended and once again, or for the first time, students find themselves lugging boxes of clothes and Ramen noodles into their dorm rooms. With a difficult week of new classes ahead of them, students look to the weekends to provide fun.
However, this will only be a good time if one returns to class Monday morning without regrets from the weekend floating around in their head.
If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is. That little voice in the back of your mind, it’s called your conscience, and it can be a great tool for figuring out the difference between fun and stupid. Chances are if you are having second thoughts about what you are about to do, it is probably not a good idea.
If your idea of fun is getting a group of friends together and dressing up as Tetris blocks and climbing all over each other around campus, I give you my full support because that would make for a very enjoyable walk to class. However, if you are contemplating doing something that may be slightly more damaging than falling off your friends shoulders, you should take a step back and think about none other than dear old mum and dad. Whether they helped financially or provided moral support, parents are not who you want to call to come pick you up when you have been thrown out of your residence hall.
Lastly, get involved in as many things as your heart desires. When you have a lot to do it leaves little down time and less time to get into trouble simply because you are bored.
Make realistic gym goals
Going into college, almost everyone worries about freshman 15. They freak out and make unrealistic expectations for exercising at the gym. So when their routine falls apart, and their goals aren’t met, they are left unsatisfied. Students need to set realistic goals of how many times they should exercise a week. A reasonable goal will be to go three times a week. While you may think this is too little, there are other things many don’t factor into their goal, such as walking to work, taking the stairs or taking a short jog around campus, outside of those three gym visits.
Many people limit themselves to weights and the cardio machines. These mundane tasks become dreadful after a while and if you are just looking to stay in shape and be active there is room to be flexible. So before falling victim to treadmill woes, think of ways to excite you.
Try a class with some friends to go to once a week. Make your exercises fun so they’re something you look forward to. Go to the pool for some swimming, play a game of basketball or soccer with a group of friends, or try out the rock-climbing wall! These will work muscles that you may not even think of while you’re attempting to pump iron or burn rubber on the treadmill. So you can pat yourself on the back the next day because of that great sore feeling. So just remember to not expect to go everyday and switch it up!
Take time to study
If it were up to our parents, we would spend all of our time outside of the classroom buried in our books. We would study our hearts out and scrape up every bit of knowledge that we could to make the most of our expensive college education.
But let’s be real, college is college. If you spend all your time buried in a textbook you won’t be getting the full experience. College is the time to meet new friends, try new things, and to find who you are as a person.
But at the same time you can’t forget the real reason you are here: to get a degree.
Moral of the story is don’t be an idiot. Don’t go out to a party if you have an exam the next day. Don’t blow off your homework to go to the mall. And don’t skip class because your bed is calling your name.
Man up, get your work done, and then go out with your friends. You’ll be much more relaxed if you don’t have a 15-page paper hanging over your head.
Make studying enjoyable by getting together with some friends and meeting up at the library or common room. Ask that cute boy in your math class to help you with your homework at Starbucks. Enjoy the nice weather and bring your books outside to study.
Studying doesn’t have to be spent alone in your bedroom with your textbooks for company. Make it fun, but make it worthwhile. Get your work done during the week so you can spend your weekend away from the books.
Unlike in high school, your college professors and your parents won’t be nagging on you to do your homework and study. In college, it’s on your back. So use your time wisely, get your work done and then have fun.
It is college after all.
Don’t be a hermit
It may be nice to have a few friends on your floor, whether you want someone to study with or you need an emergency roll of toilet paper, a friendly face will make things easier. It’ll be easy to meet people during the first few weeks. Offer to help someone move in, leave your door open, and compare schedules with the people you meet. Free food is the best way to start a friendship and popcorn is easy enough to share over a movie. Make use of your common rooms, they are there for a reason and it’ll help get you out of your room. Don’t be a hermit!