What you need to know as you begin college


By Claire Hettinger

So if you’re new to campus and are wondering about how the place works. Here are a few tips to help make your life a little easier.

Don’t buy your books before class starts.

It’s a common misconception that students should buy all of their books before classes even start.

But for the majority of electives or general education classes, students don’t need to own the book and can simply rent it or can get an earlier edition to save money.

It is best to go to class on the first day and usually the professor will tell you if you need to buy the book or not.

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Don’t feel stuck in your schedule

If you end up in a class that you don’t like, isn’t challenging enough or is too hard, don’t be afraid to drop the class or switch to a different class. There’s no point in sticking with the class when there are so many other options that can better suit you.

If you have an 8 a.m. class and you don’t make it during the first week, take that as a sign that maybe you should switch to a different section and save yourself the heartache later on.

Don’t go to the bookstore right after class on the first day

Unless you want to wait in line for 20 minutes. It will be packed and hectic, so if you can, try to go to the bookstore in the evening after dinner to save yourself the hassle.

Don’t feel like you need to drink alcohol

As the number one party school in the nation, there is so much pressure to drink on campus, and sometimes those events can be fun.

But if that’s not your scene, or you’re not sure it is, then don’t feel pressured to join in. There’s no need to do potentially illegal activities, especially if you wouldn’t enjoy them.

Don’t worry— you’re not stuck with the people you meet during the first week of college.

It’s stressful to move into the dorms and try to make friends, especially if you don’t like any of the people you meet.

But it doesn’t last. These people you think you’re stuck with may be great, or you may just wave at each other in the hall in two months.

And if you do end up with no dorm friends, it’s OK. You’ll make friends once you get involved with things that interest you and those will be the people you stick with.

Don’t try to impress anyone

You’re at college now; you don’t have to worry about what others think anymore. This really is the time to do whatever you want to and not worry about what other people think.

If you want to stay in and do homework instead of go out to parties, believe me, I’ll be right there with you. There is no point in trying to impress other people at school. Do what you want and what makes you happy, and that’s the end of it.

Claire is a junior in Media.
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Columnist Claire Hettinger offers some tips for your first few days on campus, from textbooks to schedules.