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Reading any course prep info and lecture plans for the semester/year/term generally gives a good idea of how to deal with books/textbooks etc.

 

For example I did English Lit and module handbooks we could access early on you could see the order books come up in and when and where we were being directed to essays/textbook we are supposed to have so it is quite easy to sit down and make a list of dates of when the various books are needed by (factoring in reading time and such), but generally in the first year there is more leeway because as people mentioned last minute switches and often first year they can't/don't get booklists and such too you as early on. In my first year we only got the book lists in the first lecture of each module, compared to 2nd and third year where reading lists and rough module handbooks are put online around exam season so we have all summer to prepare/buy stuff.

 

2nd hand book advice is good if you can bear books with notes in, some people (like myself) cannot STAND books that have been written in and thus 2nd hand is often not the best choice (unless literally from an actual shop so you can leaf through it).

 

In terms of getting yourself established socially any skills/belongings you can use to garner social connections are handy. Like if you have a games console and some multiplayer games thats an easy way to lure in people and establish early friendships, with cooking skills when people start to get hungry you can help them sort out a decent meal, taking a good supply of medicine is wise too (not only for yourself) but it's the kind of thing many forget and can be helpful to garner early social connections if people need an aspirin or a plaster or the like and you can be like oh I have them. It does get easier later on of course, especially as you meet course mates as you have an instant connection there (eg on my course everyone likes books so we all had that straight away compared to room mates etc.) and in the later years you are more established of course. I think a key thing to hold on to is that everyone is in the same boat early on.

 

Having your own printer is a god send! Even if the printing charges seem low when you do some math they would cost you a small fortune over the years if you have a lot to print.


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Having your own printer is a god send! Even if the printing charges seem low when you do some math they would cost you a small fortune over the years if you have a lot to print.

 

I bought about 3,000 sheets of printer paper for my house [i live with my family, my brother's in middle school, my sister's in highschool] and we ran out completely about 3/4ths of the way into my second semester this year.

 

You will need a printer.


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Having your own printer is a god send! Even if the printing charges seem low when you do some math they would cost you a small fortune over the years if you have a lot to print.

 

I bought about 3,000 sheets of printer paper for my house [i live with my family, my brother's in middle school, my sister's in highschool] and we ran out completely about 3/4ths of the way into my second semester this year.

 

You will need a printer.

Well it depends what your major is tbh. My first two years of college I used <100 sheets of paper (over the whole two years). Maybe even <50. This past year I used about... 5 or 10, but it was all for printing non-uni related things.

 

So yeah, definitely depends on your major. In some cases, it's hardly necessary. If you're doing like an actual English course or any other writing-intensive course, then it's definitely better to buy your own printer.


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Having your own printer is a god send! Even if the printing charges seem low when you do some math they would cost you a small fortune over the years if you have a lot to print.

 

I bought about 3,000 sheets of printer paper for my house [i live with my family, my brother's in middle school, my sister's in highschool] and we ran out completely about 3/4ths of the way into my second semester this year.

 

You will need a printer.

Well it depends what your major is tbh. My first two years of college I used <100 sheets of paper (over the whole two years). Maybe even <50. This past year I used about... 5 or 10, but it was all for printing non-uni related things.

 

So yeah, definitely depends on your major. In some cases, it's hardly necessary. If you're doing like an actual English course or any other writing-intensive course, then it's definitely better to buy your own printer.

 

Yeah it is very course dependant. I needed one for definite I did English Literature with Creative Writing, even putting essays etc. aside that meant I had to print several copies of my creative work each week for workshopping which was like 20 or so sheets a week alone.


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Maleficus do you go to SF state? I'm starting there in the fall.

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Thank you for all these tips. I am starting College/Uni in September and I can't wait to start fresh in a new city. :) I've been excited for it the past two years and I know I'll be scared to hell within a week going.

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Get an on-campus job ASAP and join as many on-campus groups as possible-- preferably a fraternity. Don't join any of the frats that haze.

 

I would recommend against a fraternity. At least at my school, everyone in them are generic douchey bros who are just annoying. Also, I kind of just see them as paying for friends. Don't see the point.

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Your first day at college is always a little awkward. None of the freshmen really know each other (all of my buddies and people I knew from high school went to other colleges), so that's the time when you'd want to introduce yourself and meet new people. In my opinion, college is fairly laid back in a sense (you won't have daily homework assignments unlike high school), but I wouldn't put things off. Do them ASAP. Finishing a paper 1-2 weeks early is better than putting it off until the last minute. Some professors will even let you hand them your rough draft so they can quickly find some general mistakes (if you hand it to them at least a week early of course) and allow you to correct them. This has allowed me to easily ace papers in the past. Your professors won't always tell you that they allow you to do this, so it doesn't hurt to ask them. The worse they can say is no. Believe it or not, but the majority of professors aren't [wagon]. I know in high school, people like to scare you and tell you horrific tales about various professors, but this isn't exactly accurate.

 

Oh, and if you plan to go to medical school or pharmacy school, I would strongly advise against joining frats or engaging in any activities that might potentially get you in trouble/distract you from your studies. It's honestly more important to focus on your studies, get straight As, and do everything you can do in order to get accepted into professional school. Avoid alcohol and drug use. If you get on the wrong side of the law, you might as well kiss your chance of getting into med school/pharmacy school/etc. goodbye.

 

With that said, don't neglect friendships, just don't let them get in your way. Socialize with people in your degree field, join clubs associated with your degree field, and most important of all: Have fun. :)

 

Good luck.

 

EDIT: Also make strong grades during your first two semester. Your GPA later on in college can greatly depend on your performance at the beginning. Just because it's an intro course, don't blow it off. Study at least one hour every night, especially for those science courses. Oh and summer classes are bullshit.


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Simply having a printer will get you SO many friends.

That's nice, but I don't necessarily want friends who are only friends because I have a printer, haha. It does seem like a good way to meet new people though!

 

 

 

Having your own printer is a god send! Even if the printing charges seem low when you do some math they would cost you a small fortune over the years if you have a lot to print.

 

I bought about 3,000 sheets of printer paper for my house [i live with my family, my brother's in middle school, my sister's in highschool] and we ran out completely about 3/4ths of the way into my second semester this year.

 

You will need a printer.

Well it depends what your major is tbh. My first two years of college I used <100 sheets of paper (over the whole two years). Maybe even <50. This past year I used about... 5 or 10, but it was all for printing non-uni related things.

 

So yeah, definitely depends on your major. In some cases, it's hardly necessary. If you're doing like an actual English course or any other writing-intensive course, then it's definitely better to buy your own printer.

Well I'm done with English classes, and hopefully math and science as well. Not sure how printer-intensive my architecture classes will be, but I'm pretty sure I be writing a number of papers for my history classes.


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Printers are absolutely worthwhile. Even if you don't plan on printing more than 10 pages a semester. You can get a printer from walmart for literally $20-$40, and it's only that expensive because of the ink it comes with. It's worth it just so you can print without leaving your room.

 

Plus it'll last you all of college, easily.


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Eh. Spend $80-$100 and get yourself a decent printer with a scanner on it. A laptop might be useful, too. I use a laptop, desktop PC with HP PhotoSmart printer, and an iPad for school.

 

Also, some good image-editing software might be worthwhile, although not necessarily something you'll use all the time. Personally, I'm an over-achiever, and I despise using Excel in order to create graphs. I have statistics programs, Photoshop, etc. in order to make nice graphs. Why provide something that "gets you by" when you can take pride in your work and feel good about yourself?

 

EDIT: Oh yeah, invest in a voice recorder, preferably a digital one that can transfer recordings to your computer. Record EVERY lecture.


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You take school way more seriously than I do apparently. I didn't go to most of my lectures, never mind recording them and listening to them again :lol:

 

And on a more related note, I think my printer was like $45 and it has a scanner, decent quality and low ink usage. So by no means is spending a fortune on a printer something that you need to do (although if you're going to use it a lot, $100 is probably worth it).


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All I can say is Start. Assignments. Early.

 

You will hear this from profs and upper year students to the point where it becomes a mindless drone of meaningless babble, but never forget this advice.

 

Unless your time management skills and work ethic are absolutely impeccable, you will run into the situation of "Oh...wait...this is due tomorrow isn't" very often. You need to start assignments and work on them very gradually from the day you are assigned them. It just seems like such a simple principle that everyone tells you, but it goes a really long way, especially in regards to the quality of the work, your ability to find help, and stress levels.

 

I was another one of those students who pulled 90s in HS basically doing nothing and that attitude absolutely curbstomped me first-year, first term, for my first few midterms. You need to work and you need to do it soon or you will be in a very undesirable situation.

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Oh god, do everything you can to avoid procrastinating. Staying up to 4 in the morning writing a paper is one of the worst things ever. Start it the day it was assigned, no excuses.

 

And printers are pretty useful too, so you can print something out at 4 am and not have to worry about forgetting to in the morning.

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Get an on-campus job ASAP and join as many on-campus groups as possible-- preferably a fraternity. Don't join any of the frats that haze.

 

I would recommend against a fraternity. At least at my school, everyone in them are generic douchey bros who are just annoying. Also, I kind of just see them as paying for friends. Don't see the point.

 

Like I said-- that isn't an issue if you join a fraternity that isn't full of the stereotypical boneheads and doesn't haze. Joining my fraternity was easily the best decision of my entire life. I've got about a dozen "best friends" now thanks to the fraternity-- I'm closer to them than I was to my best friend prior to college whom I hung out with constantly. And no, I certainly didn't "buy" them.


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I had sort of a different experience of Uni when I went to live in a flat in my second year. The place was decent enough but my flatmates sucked, they left mess in the kitchen, used my things, came in at 3am screaming and bullied my friend who was living with us. You're not going to get along with everyone. Not everyone is suited to the typical uni student life - going out partying and shit like that. Don't MAKE yourself drink or party if you're not into that. If you are, sure, have fun. But don't force yourself to be someone you're not because you think you're going to miss out. I don't feel like I missed out.

 

People on my course, however, were wonderful. I would suggest talking to everyone when you first start - our uni even encouraged it by setting a group project at the start so you'd get to know people. You definitely won't end up hanging out with everyone you meet but you'll find some good friends - hopefully with the same sort of interests as you :) I did find that everyone was much more grown up. I've had bullied all the way from primary school to sixth form so when I went to University it was wonderful to see that nobody there hated me straight off - yeah students can be daft but most of them are adult enough that you don't have to deal with the childish crap that even Sixth form (16-19) students do.

 

DON'T PROCRASTINATE. If you have an assignment at the end of a module, please don't leave it till the last minute. Of course you probably will, but it's not good. I've managed to make it through this second year with only a few almost-all-nighters and being able to get like 2/3 hours sleep before a deadline. My bf is even worse at procrastinating and had to stay up for more or less 2 days straight - he was hallucinating a little by the end of it. Our friend procrastinated badly too and he had to hand in a few assignments late because he just couldn't do it. After staying up for days, the night before a hand-in he fell asleep and in the end, didn't get it finished. :unsure: Just saiyan.


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Start planning for the end of college straight away. Getting an internship in the summer of first year is important in order that you can get a better one at the end of second year, in order that you can get a job by the end of third year.


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A couple points.

 

I too would like to join in on the emphasis of not delaying work. One of the things you also need to account for is that (a) you are going to get plenty of routine assignments that were absolutely not designed to be done in one go, and you will have a very harsh awakening when you first discover this. You also need to account for all the work that hasn't been assigned yet. Once you get a feeling for it, you should be able to guess at the mystery workload that will be coming your way during the week though. I know for my physics and chem first year, they pretty much gave us the schedule for homework, and all you had to figure out was the workload. For Calculus, it was 3 classes a week, and every one of them would assigns work due at the tutorial of the next class, which was the hour before. You started those assignments the day you got them, so that you didn't end up trying to do them all in one day, or because doing homework on saturday sucks almost as much as sunday. Trying to work on them on due day, even though it was an afternoon class, was not really an option, though people did keep giving it a try for a while.

 

But even more important than not procrastinating is GO TO CLASS!. You will find that as soon as you decide one day your tired and you would rather sleep than go to your break of dawn lecture, that your brain will imeediatly learn that classes are now optional, and it becomes increasingly easier to skip them. You can do it once or twice, but if you do it too much, too often, one day you will wake up and realize you haven't gone to a lecture in a class or three in 2 weeks, and you are now royally butt[bleeped]. I've watched many people make this mistake, and skipping a class is the start of a one way street to becoming a Christmas graduate.

 

You colledge life will just go so much better if you decide that CLASSES ARE NOT OPTIONAL and you never sway from this, unless you are legitimately sick.

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Start planning for the end of college straight away. Getting an internship in the summer of first year is important in order that you can get a better one at the end of second year, in order that you can get a job by the end of third year.

 

I would agree, you can't entirely rely on your degree to get you a job after you graduate, most companies require 1-2 of prior work experience in their particular industry before they'll even consider you for their "entry" level jobs and internships are a great way to gain that experience and even earn school credit at the same time.


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Someone told me that I shouldn't buy any textbooks until I attend at least 1 day of class, because sometimes the teachers don't even use them, and it saves money to wait in case you don't actually need it. And another word of advice would be to buy flip flops. Never walk anywhere barefoot in college because you're almost guaranteed to get athlete's foot. Especially in the bathrooms...

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Definite yes to the first one, wait to see.

 

The second one is confusing - I didn't realise people think you don't need footwear O_o


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I've used 3 different college communal showers multiple times barefoot and came out fine. They have staff that clean the bathrooms.


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People on my course, however, were wonderful. I would suggest talking to everyone when you first start - our uni even encouraged it by setting a group project at the start so you'd get to know people. You definitely won't end up hanging out with everyone you meet but you'll find some good friends - hopefully with the same sort of interests as you :) I did find that everyone was much more grown up. I've had bullied all the way from primary school to sixth form so when I went to University it was wonderful to see that nobody there hated me straight off - yeah students can be daft but most of them are adult enough that you don't have to deal with the childish crap that even Sixth form (16-19) students do.

When I went to university the first time round (two years ago, I'm going back in September), I definitely noticed that difference. I think the pressure of being in a new town, potentially hundreds of miles away from home, and also doing a course which requires far more work and effort than anything they've done previously and where they're constantly being assessed alongside their fellow classmates puts most people out of their comfort zone, and that vulnerability shows, especially during the first few weeks of the course. Cliques will establish themselves everywhere, that's just how we organise our social lives, but people are definitely much more open to others when they're at university.

 

DON'T PROCRASTINATE. If you have an assignment at the end of a module, please don't leave it till the last minute. Of course you probably will, but it's not good. I've managed to make it through this second year with only a few almost-all-nighters and being able to get like 2/3 hours sleep before a deadline. My bf is even worse at procrastinating and had to stay up for more or less 2 days straight - he was hallucinating a little by the end of it. Our friend procrastinated badly too and he had to hand in a few assignments late because he just couldn't do it. After staying up for days, the night before a hand-in he fell asleep and in the end, didn't get it finished. :unsure: Just saiyan.

There's also the health factor; you start feeling depressed, socially you withdraw because you can't stay awake or concentrate hard enough to hold down a conversation, your appetite goes out of the window because your body clock's all over the place.

 

Med school recognised it was an inevitability that at some point during the year, we would all probably have to do an all-nighter to complete something, somewhere. They told us to keep it to two nights over the whole year, maximum. Anything over that and studies outside of the assignment you're staying up for in the first place start getting affected, so you've got to pinch hours from the night to study them properly too, it's a snowball effect, and in a surprisingly short time you find yourself too far behind to realistically catch up.

 

It's basic study skills really. For everything you study you can pretty much follow this model so long as you start it the day you receive it: Background reading, plan ahead, do it, get some sleep and get ready for the next one.

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