Friday, September 07, 2007

On some useful college tips

This list of "Useful Things College Taught Me," from the site The Best Article Every Day, should probably be taken with a grain of salt. There are some truths in it, but there are also some things that may make you wonder. So, with that in mind, here are some of the things I would add or rectify:

  • 1. "NEVER buy your books until you absolutely need to. $500 to buy all of your school books per semester is extortion. Borrow or steal if necessary. Some professors even list their books but never use them." Actually, this is very true. It definitely should be underlined and told to every student. However, we do not advocate stealing on this blog.
  • 3. "Use the library whenever possible. It’s free and you can get your books there. Plus, the lesser used cloisters make for an excellent place to have sex." Partially true. Yes, you should use the library whenever possible. No, they can't get you all your books. Sure, a library will have all sorts of books to support a curriculum, but it does not carry your actual textbooks (that is what the bookstore is for). In our case, we do not buy textbooks, precisely to avoid a bunch of kids who do not want to buy books coming in trying to get them for free. It would not be practical. What you can often do is borrow the textbook if your professor placed a copy on reserve (usually for a couple hours), so you can at least read it or photocopy any necessary pages. But if you go to the library hoping you can simply check out that expensive math textbook, forget it. That's what online retailers are for, which you should be using when possible instead of the campus bookstore anyways. Another lesson: learn to do comparison shopping. As for the sex, I'll let others chime in on that.
  • 5."If you live in the dorms, STAY AS HEALTHY AS POSSIBLE. Come finals week, you will understand why. This includes but is not limited to: using shower sandals, getting vaccinated, eating healthy, practicing safe sex, and hermetically sealing yourself off from your neighbors." This should be self-explanatory and evident. Do take care of yourselves.
  • 21. "The popular group from high school made it into college too. They’re called fraternities and sororities." and 22. "Avoid frat guys and sorostitutes like the plague." Again, another example of self-explanatory. If you were part of the "popular" groups in high school, you may gravitate to this. Otherwise, avoid like the plague indeed. Find your own path and bliss.
  • 24. "General Education requirements are a fact of life. Even though they’re useless and do not apply to your major, they’re usually very easy, so don’t blow them off. The good grades in these classes with save your GPA later on in college life." This is true as well. Those early classes are often pretty easy, and the fact you got good grades on them may well offset that not-so-good grade you got in your advanced class in terms of the overall GPA. Overall, try to balance easy and hard classes.
And I think this line is probably the most important:

  • 39. "Figure out who you are, what you want out of life, and identify your beliefs while in college" In the end, college is your time to grow and make your life. If you are an 18 year old coming in for the first time, it is the time for shaping and making your beliefs. You are away from your parents. Define yourself. If you are older and returning, then it is your time to grow as well, perhaps try out new things. Either way, best of luck.

Update Note (9/27/2007): Another post from The Best Article Every Day blog, this one on "7 Strategies to Raise Your GPA This Semester," provides some useful advice for students as well. It is definitely something for college students to read and put into practice.

1 comment:

Online College Consulting - Applywise said...

Buying books are not really advisable not unless you badly need it. Why? you can photocopy it or download an E-Book of it. Most books of mine from college were just on my drawer and never been use for our class.