General Question

dazedandconfused's avatar

Anyone have advice about going off to college?

Asked by dazedandconfused (545points) June 16th, 2009

I’m leaving for college in a few months and wondered what advice people would have. I’m nervous about being so far away from home, my family, and everyone that I know. Does anyone have anything that would make me feel better/help me out? Any good experiences to look forward to or important things to do while I’m there/before I leave?

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20 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Invest in a good pair of shower flip flops.

CMaz's avatar

Trust no one. Choose your friends wisely.
Top Ramin noodles are yummy and cheep.

wundayatta's avatar

Research before you ask a question that has been answered so many times before.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Ha! I gave pretty much the same answer in the “ask” link ^^above^^.

jfos's avatar

Try anything once.

jfos's avatar

(At least once)

Les's avatar

Do as many activities as you can: go to concerts, plays, sports events, campus sponsored trips, form a study group in your classes, join a church (if you’re into that sort of thing), be on campus as much as you can (i.e. don’t go home every weekend and try to study in the library or union, not your dorm room), leave your door open on your floor so people can stop by, etc. Just remember that there are hundreds of other people just like you, all trying to find new friends and things to do, so have fun and be open to the possibility of finding things to do that you may never have done before.

cwilbur's avatar

This is a chance to reinvent yourself—you’ll be away from your parents and your high school friends, and you can be whoever you want to be. And your living situation and your immediate circle of friends will change somewhat from year to year as people graduate and new students arrive. And when you graduate, you get to reinvent yourself again!

So try new things. There will probably not be another time of your life where you can try so many new things and change yourself around so much with so few actual consequences.

cak's avatar

Get involved! It’s going to be different than home, so expect the unexpected. This is your first crack of some freedom, don’t waste it! If you get homesick, it’s okay; however, keep in mind, sitting on your bed thinking about it constantly, won’t fix the problem. Get out and do something.

Keep in mind, partying too much, can cost you grades. Go to class! It’s very important!

fireinthepriory's avatar

Definitely go to class. Tons of people don’t, and it’ll kill your grades. Make it an imperative. I think I missed maybe 2 classes at most per semester during my college career, and NEVER missed class if I wasn’t sick. Actually I usually went when I was sick. :)

You’ll still have enough time for fun and joining clubs and things, I definitely did.

Judi's avatar

Teach your mom how to Skype before you go.

Mr_Callahan's avatar

LISTEN to your parents! Bring home good grades AND ASK FOR MONEY.

wundayatta's avatar

Expect to work a little. You can’t coast along as much as you could in high school.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I will re-emphasize some of the advice given by others. Get involved. It helps create a home away from home. In fact those who are involved have better success rates and retention rates in college. And believe it or not having less time due to being involved improves grades (it is about helping with time management, the more you have to do the more you have to manage your time efficiently).

Another piece of advice is get to know your resources. Don’t put this off. Learn them immediately. You can start by going to your academic adviser and asking them about resources on campus. If you are low income or a part of a “minority group” then there are even extra resources. You’ll want to know also where to get tutoring help, where to print, where to go when planning your classes becomes aggravating, where financial aid is, where student support centers are, etc…

Also be aware that having fun will happen your first year in college but don’t let it overtake your studies. College is great. It is fun and enlightening. But it is also a lot of hard work. You really have to learn self-control and time management. I had so much fun my freshman year I ended up flunking out without realizing that was happening. Of course then I realized it and shaped up and got great grades and graduated with awards. But the point is that failing can happen without you knowing it if you are more invested in having fun than learning. There is a happy medium, you just have to find it.

Oh and make use of your professor’s office hours. Even if you have no real questions to ask and really really don’t want to. You will get better grades if they know you outside of class. And you will have professors to ask for recommendation letters when you graduate ;).

Also note that it has been researched and shown that the kids who sit in the front of the class get better grades than sitting in the back. My last two years I forced myself up-front.

Learn good studying skills as well. I can’t emphasize this enough. One tip is that re-call is absolutely essential to actual learning. This means you’ll want a lot of notecards. When I switched to this method it took more of my time up but I also got much easier A’s.

uhh I think i’ve said enough although I could probably continue, lol, sorry so long

kevbo's avatar

It would be helpful to know a little of your background as well as where your school is located, but here goes…

1. This is your first of many chances to figure out who you want to be as an individual, and there is a wide range of choices. Give that process due recognition. Depending on your upbringing, you might find yourself arguing with someone else about an issue and realize that it’s really an argument about your mother’s idea of what’s right vs. his father’s idea of what’s right. Stop and ask yourself what you think.

2. You’re paying for this experience. Chances are you are paying a lot. Remember that when you’re choosing what to do with your time. Get your money’s worth. Think about if someone was paying you a lot of money for you to provide them with something. How would you respond to them if they had concerns?

3. You’re going to encounter a very strong current of thought around gender, class and race issues. Frequently, these topics are incorporated into class curriculums. Depending on your school, this can be one of the sacred cows of the college experience. There’s a lot to gain from diversity education, but you also might encounter some dogma. If you’re of a more or less privileged and white upbringing, the topic can lead to some self doubt. Take it in stride.

4. As much as you can, try to have some mad money available for things like Spring Break or a weekend trip. It’s hard on your psyche to always not be able to afford these things. Do a work study job or find a job in town if you can manage it, or work your ass off and save during the summer months.

5. Get to know the town/region you’re living in and take advantage of its highlights/attractions. You’ll have four years to do this, so pace yourself.

6. Friends are often dictated by proximity. If you’re living in a dorm, you’ll probably be friends with people that live close to you. If those people aren’t working for you, you’ll have to make an effort to find friends who are better suited for you. This can be through a club, activity, major, etc. There are a lot of people to choose from, so it’s okay to be more selective.

7. Having a roommate can be great, or it can be difficult and stressful, especially freshman year, when you’re matched up with someone by computer. When was the last time you shared a bedroom? If you run into problems, do your best to negotiate solutions and try to size up your roommate’s limitations, so you know what is likely to change and what isn’t.

I suppose that’s good for now.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I learned how to party before I learned how to study. You should allocate adequate time for both. When I finally got serious about my grades, I made a standing rule; from the end of my last class on Friday until Sunday morning, I didn’t crack a book or look at my homework. The rest of the time, I was so serious I was grim. I kept that up all the way through grad school, and it served me well.

J0E's avatar

Don’t become a partying douche bag who posts pictures on Facebook every weekend about how you got “so drunk last night”.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Les gave good advice
and you can skip and cut once in a while, it won’t kill you
nor will it affect your grades
not if you know your strengths

mirza's avatar

1. make friends. college is hard and you need friends to make it easy. During your first week at school, keep your dorm door open so that other people can stop by and say hi. Go out and introduce yourself to others in your dorm. Join the facebook group for your school and talk to people there. I met like a quarter of my friends through the umass facebook group.

2. Have fun. From what I’ve heard, life becomes a lot more stressful after college. Might as well live it up. At the same time get your work done. My general strategy is – work monday-thursday. get thrashed Thursday-saturday. sober up on sundays.

3. Get the basic supplies. just about every major retailer will have sales for college essentials at the end of summer. Invest in things like laptop, shower sandals, mattress foam pads, organizers, etc.

3. Get a job. You’re gonna need money in school. not just for books but you have other expenses. Usually i’d set aside $15–20 for each weekend to cover for stuff like ordering food, drinks, etc.

4. be adventurous. do new things. try new drinks. have weird food (like a pizza slice thats one/third of a pie or loaded fries with gravy), go out and chill.

5. you can skip classes. this depends on the class itself as to whether the notes are online or not and whether they take attendence. sometimes it helps (phil 100 – went to 3 classes the whole semester and ended up with an A-) and sometimes it screws you up (calc 1 – had no idea what the final was about).

6. avoid morning classes. lets be honest. most ppl stay up pretty late. early is no longer defined by 8 in the morning in high school. There were times when i was late to my 1am class cause i woke up late.

7. make friends, have fun and get good grades.

JLeslie's avatar

College is awesome! I hope you are living in the dorms—great experience—it is a time to meet new people with differing ideas from different places in the country and world and to laugh and have FUN.

Everyone is in the same boat, so don’t be nervous. Also, if it is a big campus go there a few days ahead and get a feel for the campus and where your classes are and how to get there…walking or bus, etc.

Also, I’ll mention this because a younger person I know didn’t realize these thing: 1) each class will give you a syllabus (maybe they are even online now? I am before the computer age) that will tell you for the entire semester when assignments are due. 2) You will be expected to have your books on the first day of class. You go to the student bookstore and the books will be catagorized by class number, so if you are taking Psychology 101 (PS101) then you just buy all of the books for PS101 that are on the shelf.

Also, don’t endanger yourself…don’t drink too much, or do something stupid to get into a sorority, or walk across campus late at night by yourself. Don’t let anyone pressure you into something you don’t feel comfortable doing.

Also go to class.

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