The follow are excerpts for The Tennessean, August 9,
2001 Mary Hance Staff Writer
your mother never told you about college
Going away to college can be an anxious
time. And anyone experiencing it for the first time can always use
some friendly advice from people who have survived it.
We've put together tips from a variety
of ''expert'' sources, including area college students who were more than
willing to share some of the things they wish someone had told them before
they packed up and headed out to life on their own
University of North Florida:
''Make sure the instructor knows you
are interested in doing good work, not just in good grades. Learning to
please your instructor is part of your education and will be useful in
learning to please your future boss.
''Sit in the front row, in the middle.
This has several benefits, including fewer distractions. You'll have to
get there early the first week or two, but then the seat is yours.
of Brentwood, recent Emory University graduate:
''Get a study buddy and quiz each other.
With your text books, read the introduction and check to see if your instructor
wrote the book. Don't be the first to finish a test. Nobody likes the (wise
acre). Do your papers well ahead of time and let them have a few days to
cool, so you can make last minute changes if you have to.''
''When scheduling classes, pick the
professor, not the time of day. The person teaching can make all the difference.
''There's a lot of cool stuff on campus,
but you may have to look for it. Don't get so caught up in making friends
and writing papers that you don't take time to look around. Join a club
affiliated with your major. You'll meet faculty and make contacts that
you will need in the future
junior nursing major at Belmont University:
''Don't leave your clothes in the dryer
longer than they should be there. Things will get stolen or disappear.
The 'freshman 15' isn't just from dorm food. It's from alcohol and ordering
pizza when you're trashed at 3 a.m.''
''Never buy new books. Used books are
usually much cheaper and have notes and highlighted passages as helpful
hints.'' (But be sure to check them thoroughly to be sure there are no
missing pages or other problems.)
''Take advantage of free concerts and
lectures. After all you are paying for them.
of Goodlettsville, Winthrop University:
''If you are required to have a freshman
meal plan, use it. Looking back, I can't believe how much money I wasted
on buying food when a hot meal was at my fingertips.''
of Springfield, University of Tennessee Knoxville:
''Take advantage of all of the academic
resources on campus. In high school, I thought I was a great writer, but
reality set in when I received my first F on a paper. After a few trips
to the writing center, my grades improved by three letters. I encourage
all freshmen to use their writing or math centers before it is too late
and to ask upperclassmen for help with classes.''
of Murfreesboro, law student:
Jamie took eight concrete cinderblocks
to UT with her. ''I covered them with some cheap contact paper and I set
my bed in my dorm room on top of them. Not only is it cheaper than buying
a loft for my bed, but it gave me extra storage space.'
''Please be cognizant of underage drinking,
date rape, drugs, overdose, STDs, etc. Amazingly, these are not other people's
problem any more. Keep this in the back of your mind and take appropriate
action as necessary.
''You need to have a goal which you
can actually write down on a piece of paper. If you do not have a goal,
you may be lost throughout your college years.
of Dickson, Austin Peay University:
''Keep your mind open when you are meeting
people. Use this opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and
to learn from them.''
''Don't room with your best friend if
you want to stay friends with him/her.
tips come from Bed Bath and Beyond:
''Ask upper classmen for advice on which
professors to take. You'd be surprised at how much of a difference it can
make if you have a good professor.
You can postpone doing laundry
'til you run out of underwear and socks. Bring lots of each.
Because you will be living on your bed,
your comforter needs to be washable. Check the tag.
Put a dry erase message board on your
dorm door so others can leave messages for you.
Be sure to have an extra set of room
and car keys.
Make two copies of everything in your
wallet. Keep one copy in your dorm room and the other at home.
Memorize your social security number.
You will need it more times than you can imagine.
Rolls of quarters are a college commodity.
Also batteries. You can never have enough.
from Been There, Should've Done That II
Put the school decal on the back window
of your parents' car. They will think of you every time they look in the
Sitting in a classroom is the easiest
part of college and it cuts the study time in half. Why make it hard on
Another place to look is CollegeClub.com,
a college-oriented Web site, where advice includes:
You are basically screwed if you miss
a math class.
Don't accept drinks from strangers at
parties. You never know what's in them.
Get an internship to gain real world
tips were featured in an article by Jen Miller in The Minaret, a campus
newspaper at the University of Tampa.
Homesickness is a normal thing and almost
everyone around you is feeling crappy, too. If you're feeling lonely, look
on the bright side and realize that you fit in.
Be careful about who you date. Remember,
you haven't known these people since kindergarten and, quite frankly, most
people on this campus don't give a damn if someone breaks your heart.
Piercings and tattoos may seem cool,
but think of what your mom will say. Better yet, think of what your kids
Credit cards and check cards can be
The No. 1 one cause of plunging GPAs
is putting partying before studying.
Don't be pressured into sex. There's
more respect for virgins out there than you think and many students wish
they could still be one.
Try to schedule some exercise time.
It is a great stress reliever.
ï Check the attendance policy before
skipping a class.
Have your favorite movies with you.
They're great comforters when you're feeling low.
Not everyone will like you.
Stick with people who do.
You'll do things in college you never
dreamed you would do.
Don't feel pressured to do anything
Stay away from drinking games.
Never go to parties or clubs alone or
with someone you barely know.
Call your parents at least once a week.
Always have a designated driver or enough
money for a cab.
www.makingitcount.com. This Web site is packed with advice.
You'll find tips on getting organized, on developing good study skills,
on finding a good study spot and on figuring out professors. And that's
just for starters.
Mary Hance is a staff writer and
columnist for The Tennessean
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