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Preparing for college, part I

April 28, 2010 - Nikki Younk
In about one month, hundreds of our local students will graduate from high school and go forth in the world to seek their fortunes.

First, I wish congratulations to you all. You’ve made it through those four years and it wasn’t that bad, right?

Second, I impart to you some advice. I’m focusing on those of you who have made the decision to attend college (in particular, a large university), as that’s the path I took, after all.

-Plan your summer wisely. There are only three months to earn money, pack up your belongings, purchase dorm room necessities, and get in contact with your roommate(s). Time will go by much faster than you think.

-Study maps of your college campus and the surrounding city well before the first day of classes. Nothing screams “FRESHMAN” more than a kid who carries around a map.

-Do not, I repeat DO NOT, purchase your textbooks before you attend your first class. The reasons for this are many: you won’t need any materials aside from a pen/pencil and pad of paper on the first day; you might decide that you really don’t want to take the class after you attend the first session; college bookstores are famous for over-charging students, at many colleges, professors will place the required reading material on a special hold at the library, and you can check it out for a limited period of time to do your homework. By following this last reason, I was able to save literally hundreds of dollars each semester.

-Get to know your roommate(s) before fall move-in day. With sites like MySpace and Facebook, this is much easier than it used to be. Make sure to coordinate who brings what so you don’t end up with two mini-fridges or three television sets. Also, try to get to know their personalities. Better to know sooner than later if your roommate(s) is/are insane, bizarre, repulsive, etc. Then you can try to get on a room switch list before anyone else.

-Don’t be a drunk freshman. This is the most annoying part of Welcome Week every year at the University of Michigan. Hundreds, even thousands of 18-year-olds who have never drank alcohol in their lives finally get their first taste of freedom, and the results are abysmal. Lots of vomit, lots of crying, lots of confused people waking up in stairwells. I am by no means encouraging underage drinking, but please, if you drink, take it easy and know when to stop.

Stay tuned for part two...


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