A Few Tips For College Life

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1. Yes, you can live on 6 hours of sleep a night, but be sure to sleep late on the weekends :-)

2. MAKE FRIENDS with important people: Roommate, RD/RA for your dorm/floor, Head of your department (from whom you'll be requesting reference letters later on). If one of these people turns out to be obnoxious, remember that these are the contacts in your current business venture.

3. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses (or dandilions, as the case may be) -- Your future is important, but so is your NOW.

4. Keep some guilt-free snacks on hand at all times (complex carbs with low fat: pretzels, graham crackers, popcorn, etc.)

5. Do some stuff off campus each week so you can feel like a real human, not just some academic automaton. I recommend $1 movies and frequenting coffeehouses or anything else that feels like an escape. Watch out about too much caffiene -- if you abuse it all the time, it won't help you when you really need to pull an all-nighter.

6. You are starting off with a completely clear slate ... you can be anything you want without having to live up to your prior reputation (good or bad :-) ... decide who you want to be and just be it ... not that I'm recommending changing toooo much, just that you have this freedom from your past -- take advantage of it.

7. Never lend your notes to anyone ... walk with them to the copier and let them make photocopies -- never let the originals out of your sight. I recommend taking notes in composition books (stitched together with no perferations) as they prevented me from losing a single page of notes during my college career. You can "staple in" any handouts you receive. I usually put classmate names and numbers in the front cover of mine ... quick reference for study sessions. Staple in your syllibus too.

8. Don't think you have to buy the expensive Bookstore books ... check with your prof to see if another edition (at possibly half the price) would be okay ... I've saved hundreds of dollars this way, sometimes buying the same edition at a regular bookstore, sometimes a different edition which has the benefit of a different introduction / different point of view. The price you pay for saving money is convenience (finding the cheaper bookstore edition, making page references).

9. Be awake for your first class. Some semesters I just stumbled into class less than 15 minutes after waking up. I paid for this laziness in extra studying (since I didn't absorb as much material in class). Seriously consider milling about your room or the dining hall for a minimum of 30 minutes before class ... it really makes a difference.

10. Keep in mind how much you are paying for this education -- it is an expensive purchase which you should respect (teachers, your time, your friends, etc.).

11. Look for summer internships in your discipline ... the National Science Foundation and other entities fund lots of REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates). The ones I went on paid up to $4,000 for full time work for two months in the summer. These are particularly suited for independent students (like me), because they give you a place to live for the summer and a way to earn money without a car.

12. Don't get drunk in public ... especially around boys you don't really know. It sounds dumb, but there's a bunch of @#$%!*s out there these days. If you're gonna really cut loose, do it in the safety of your dorm with a bunch of your hallmates.

13. Know the phonenumber for the dininghall menu line -- it is really convenient to give to boys who pressure you for your phonenumber.

14. Get some CDs of classical music or instrumentals -- it really helps to drownd out the folks talking in the halls.

15. Plan lunch into your schedule ... you'll really appreciate the brain-break.

16. Prioritize your study time (especially near exams). Check out my grade calculator at:


17. Have fun!

18. Have lots of fun!

19. Have bunches and bunches of fun!

20. Be careful and have LOADS OF FUN!

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Questions? Comments? -- Fill out this convenient comment form or just email me:

 © Sunny Snaith -- sunshine@techie.com
Snail Mail:  Post Office Box 503, Decatur, GA 30031-0503
Last revision:  January 29, 2000

Sunny's Awesome Homepage: CREDITS,
with acknowledgements for companies like GeoCities and HoTMaiL.

(Since Jan 16, 1998)

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