By: Ruth Petit-Bois
School is approaching soooo quickly. It may not seem like it, but trust me before you know it, it’ll be August and if you have siblings still in public school, they will be heading back and then it’s only a matter of time before it’s your turn.
You’re probably really excited if you’re a freshman. It’s a whole new world! A whole new environment! These are the final years that anyone ever finishes off with “the best years of your life.” Now there is a pressure to making these next four years years all about the stories you can tell your kids and the stories you will keep under lock and key til the end of time (or til you reminisce with the ones who were witness).
I’m here to offer some last minute tips to making college bearable. Things I wish I knew before I entered college for the first time. Things that you learn as an upperclassman through experience (aka: the hard way). Be grateful that I’m telling you these right now.
I’m Studying What?
Fresh out of high school you still probably have this schedule in mind: English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Elective, Elective. Only now that you are going onto college you’re probably going to be thinking like: English 1001, Math 1113, HIST 1111, BIOL 2107K, SPSU 1001, Major Class. You’re going to have to get rid of the mindset that you need to take a bunch of core classes all at once. For one thing, college doesn’t work that way, and two, you don’t have enough time in the day to take a bunch of core classes while trying to complete your degree. If you were to do the schedule I listed above you’d be taking 18 credit hours. You would be pretty much struggling to handle your coursework and your social life. Not the best start to “the best four years of your life” and it will kill you at the end of your college career. Don’t be that person who is stuck in all major classes come your junior year. Your core classes offer a much needed breather in between all the stress. Space these out evenly over the years.
I Wake Up When?
There are only a very few orientations left. This information came a little late, but if you decide to take this advice to heart, there is still some merciful time to change it. If you are thinking of taking 8am-3pm classes on the premise of “I woke up at 6am to catch the bus/drive to school every day at high school and got out at 2pm. I’ll be fine”. Don’t. Take it from someone who made that mistake. My freshman year I signed up for an 8am Pre-calculus class for every day except Wednesday because I thought I could handle it much like I did in high school and the only reason why I don’t regret that decision is because now I know better. Love yourself. Take classes at a reasonable hour. If you don’t have to wake up at 7am every morning to make it to class at 8 because there is another slot open.Don’t. Take the other slot.
I’m Taking That Class With Who?
If you are going to pick a professor for the rest of the semester, please go on RateMyProfessor.com to double check if you really want to take them. Rate My Professor is a biased site as you can get feedback from both the slackers and the triers in one spot, but usually the advice on the site is legit and you can get a really quick snapshot of what the rest of the year is going to be like just by viewing a couple of comments. Sometimes there isn’t a choice in who you want to take, but if you end up getting a choice, it is great to see how previous students reacted to the professor you are about to take.
I’m Supposed to Go Where?
The day before school starts, I always make it a habit to go to the classroom where my classes are going to be. That way, I eliminate the struggle of having to look for the classroom and showing up late because I don’t know where I am going. I also do this so I can grab the best seats in the room. Sometimes your grades correlate to where you are sitting when the professor is teaching. Make sure along with knowing who and what you are going to take, take care to also know where.
I Had To Leave How Long Ago?
I missed several classes at the beginning of my first semester because while I did create the schedule I would follow and who I would take, I still wasn’t used to going to class at say, 2pm. My roommate can attest the multiple times I’d scramble out the door in the most undignified fashion because I found out I completely forgot I had a date with the SPSU’s Hitchhiker’s 1001 class 30 minutes ago. Set up some alarms to make sure you get yourself to class on time. Walking in to your English 1101 class 25 minutes late isn’t a cute look (and it scores you ZERO points with the professor). You’re in college now. Act like it.
That is what I’m going to tell you about classes. Next I’ll be telling you about choosing your friends! I hope you can use this info well! See you next week! :)