Once you arrive on campus in the fall, you will spend your first semester figuring out some of your college’s “secrets”. But the truth is, these secrets are pretty much universal truths that apply to most schools. If you want to get ahead of the curve (and perhaps save yourself some time, money, and heartache) read on…
Book buying is practically its own major. Freshman often assume they’ll just head to the college bookstore, buy whatever books are listed on each course syllabus, and pay whatever price is demanded. But after practically going broke on textbooks that first semester or two, they all quickly begin to learn various creative tricks to save money. From then onward, you will find yourself running through your usual book-buying schemes that might include
- Shopping at off-campus bookstores
- Searching for deals online
- Buying older edition of textbooks
- Purchasing used books from another student
- Renting books
- Going in “halfs” on books with your roommate or a friend
- Downloading digital copies of assigned books and readings
- Attending class before buying books at all, to be sure it’s a good fit
- … and maybe even more creative strategies
The laundry room is sort of a war zone. Not only is lugging your laundry up and down stairs and perhaps across the quad a major annoyance; then you have to learn a whole new laundry room etiquette. And let us warn you; people can be awfully grumpy and aggressive about their laundry! Plan to stick with your clothes during washing and drying cycles, or you could find your wet laundry dumped on the floor – or worse.
You might also wish to discover the best times to do laundry, so that you can beat the crowds. This can vary from one school to another, but mornings are often best.
Professors aren’t all cut from the same cloth. In high school, you probably didn’t have much choice over your teachers. But in college, you can often design your schedule to avoid certain notorious professors, or sign up for the popular ones. And yes, it can be worth it! Search the popular review sites and take note of the ones instructors might wish to avoid, if you can. It’s not always possible to avoid frustrating classes, but can make a huge difference in your stress level when you’re able to accomplish this feat.
There’s plenty more to learn this fall, but mastering these three skills early on will help you get ahead of the game.