College FAQ

7:00 AM

Q: Should I live on-campus or off-campus?
A: I suggest living on-campus freshman year, especially in a dorm that has a large first-year-student community.  This will help you connect with individuals who are in the same position that you are in, and you're conveniently right on campus.  You'll really appreciate this if you take early morning classes.

Q: So should I take early classes?
A: If you consider yourself a morning person or you just want to finish classes early in the day, then I would say yes.  Even if you just know that you can hold yourself accountable for class, then it's worth a try.  If you don't like it, just adjust your classes for the next semester.

Q: When is it okay to miss class?
A: I might sound like I'm trying to be a moral compass, but I'm not.  I promise it is beneficial to be in even the most boring classes.  Studies have shown that just being present can really boost your grade.  I admit that there are classes that I got a decent grade in (think B- to B+ range) that I probably would have had an A in if I consistently attended classes.  Unless you're sick, you seriously need a mental health day, or there's an emergency, try to make it to class.  You'll know when you really just can't make it.

Q: How should I take notes?
A: Research suggests that students better retain information if they're writing their notes instead of typing them, but I still prefer to type all of my notes.  There are awesome apps like OneNote that have useful features and can sync between all of your technology, and it's important to me that I have all of my notes available, together, and ready for editing.  If you know that you don't have the discipline to use your laptop or iPad without shopping online, try the old-fashioned way.

Q: Buy or rent?
A: I highly encourage you to save money by renting your textbooks instead of purchasing them, especially if you're planning on buying them from your university.  If there are textbooks that you might use several times, like the APA stylebook, that's a little different.  If it's a textbook that you only need for the semester, check out a textbook rental site like  I've used this company before and I recommend it to all of my friends.  Seriously, you'll save like 40-70% and you don't have to worry about selling your textbooks at the end of the semester.

Q: Meal plan or no?
A: If you're living in a dorm room, you're probably going to want a meal plan since you won't have your own kitchen even if you do have access to a mini-fridge, microwave, or even a community kitchen.  There's usually a decent variety and honestly, the food isn't bad.  I have a meal plan this year because I've been too busy to go back to my apartment for most meals.

Q: How do I pick a roommate?
A: First you need to decide if you want to live with anyone who you might already know.  If the answer is yes, that's pretty easy, but if the answer is no then you can either look for someone online or go random.  If your university doesn't have a roommate-finder website, check for Facebook pages for your class.  I don't even remember how I met my first roommate, but it was semi-random.

Q: I don't know what I want to major in.
A: That's alright, you have plenty of time to figure it out.  Think about what interests you and what kind of job you can see yourself doing, then pick a complementary degree.  If you're not sure what you want to do, take some fun classes that fulfill general education requirements and see which ones you enjoy!  I didn't pick my first major until my second semester, my second major until my third semester, and my after-college plans until my fifth semester.

I was asked to review in exchange for compensation, so I included it in this post.  I have previously used this service and I recommend it.

Samantha | The Life You Love
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