Posts Tagged ‘freshman roommates’

5 Worst Mistakes of a College Freshman

Categories: College Life

flagFreshman year of college is big transition year. You’re basically taking off from where you spent most of your life and pioneering to a strange wilderness with new people and a new culture.

It’s also just a really great and exciting time, so we have some tips to help keep you from making the five worst mistakes a freshman can make in college:

1. Making all your decisions based on your group
When you first get to college, making friends is kind of like that pick-up football game in the beginning of Little Giants–as you meet people from orientation, your dorm, classes, the cafeteria, you continually add them to your posse until what started off as just you and your roommate morph into one unicellular amoeba. Soon, you’re not making decisions based on what you want to do or what’s best for you, but what the group decides upon. This type of decision making is the worst kind. You wind up compromising on what you really want. So yes, make friends. But, don’t let big group decision-making keep you from doing things, like, joining a club, or meeting up with friends outside your group, or even studying for class.

2. Managing your free time poorly
Acquiring free time is a power that goes to some college freshmen heads. They take the power for granted, use it unwisely; completely waste it watching reruns of Law & Order from noon till nightfall. Managing your free time is key to having a successful college career. Don’t let the free time power go to your head. The force free time is with you. Use it wisely. 

3. Trying to save money by not buying textbooks
There once was girl of college age who took her studies seriously but found herself stressed out about money. Instead of deciding to skip out on things like custom-made Halloween costumes, fine dining or miscellaneous and unnecessary cute kitchen utensils, she decided that it was her books that needed to go.

“Why spend $100 on a physics book if I don’t even think physics is a great as that leather bomber jacket in the window,” she rationalized.

Perhaps she was right. After all, that leather jacket was pretty great. So, our heroine looked super stylish, the week before her huge, 70% of her total grade physics final, but, she was unfashionably late getting to the library and the last of the textbooks on the shelves were checked out.

A sad, sad story. Very preventable. If you’re short on cash, cut back elsewhere, not on your education.

4. Looking for help in the wrong places
As a college student, you’re bound to get confused or frustrated with schoolwork. That’s totally normal. The mistake that freshmen make with this issue is that they wind up looking for help in the wrong places. Like say, the Internet. Trust us, the Internet is great for things like college search and scholarship matching, but if you’re having trouble with homework or a concept from class, the best resource you have is your professor or teacher’s assistant or other classmates or the library or tutoring center or the student resource center or basically anything your school can offer! It might take a little extra effort to work around your professor’s office hours, but in the end, it will save you time.

5. Going back home too frequently
Is your mom’s meatloaf really that good? Not to offend your mom, but I’m sure you can find something comparable on your college campus. Visiting home can be relaxing and familiar, but the more you’re away from campus, the less relaxing and familiar campus will get for you. College life might be weird and uncomfortable at first, and Pete who lives across the hall from you might in fact really be pirate like you thought, but if you take too much time away from campus it will never become home. And you might miss Pete’s parrot say your name aloud.

Did we catch them all? What mistakes should college freshman be aware of? Leave a comment!

4 Ways to Choose your Freshman Roommate

Categories: College Life

If you’re like me, when one stress source closes, another window of stress opens. So, even though you are officially relieved from the anxiety that is begotten from the college search–assuming everyone reading this blog has been admitted to college and has decided where they’ll be heading–don’t get stressed out that you’re going to run out of things to stress out about.  We have another stress factor for you: Your freshman roommate.

The freshman roommate can turn out to be a(n):

A. absolute nightmare
B. BFF
C. just a person you happen to share a tiny room with

Here are 4 ways to go about choosing your future freshman college roommate:

1. Blind
Rooming blind is for the adventurous. For those who yearn for the surprise and peril of the open sea! It’s also for anyone who is kind of apathetic about the whole thing.
Pro: You could be paired with someone who you wouldn’t meet otherwise and who could help expand your college world.
Con: You have no way of knowing what you’ll be getting in to.

2. A friend
Rooming with a friend is a risk, but not for risk-takers.
Pro: You’ll be living with someone you already know! Having a safety net could help you be more outgoing when making new friends.
Con: Moving from friends to college roommates is an underrated shift in the tectonic plates of friendship. You’ll suddenly be around each other 24/7.  You could risk changing the friendship you have.

3. A friend of a friend
The friend of a friend roommate strategy is the perfect smoothie made from the blind roommate situation and friend roommate situation.
Pro: You have a friend in common, so you know a mutual friend thinks you’re both pretty rad and probably won’t steal things.
Con: If you both have a lot of the same mutual friends, your social circle might not expand the way you wanted it to in college.

4. Facebook or social networking site
For the person who wants to control the roommate issue as much as they can without going through friends.
Pro: You can handpick your college roommate by sifting through different options to find the person that you think you’d get along with while dwelling together.
Con: You might not get what you thought you signed up for.

Do you have any advice or thoughts on choosing a freshman college roommate? Leave a comment!

Studying abroad: Is it Worth Leaving Your College Campus for?

Categories: College Life

093009_study_abroad-1Getting into your college of choice might be one of your proudest accomplishments.  Considering the time it took to find the perfect college for you, get the grades, score high enough on the ACT or SAT, send in all of your admissions materials and figure out how to pay for college,  is it really worth it to leave your college campus for a study abroad program?  An article in USA Today suggests that maybe staying on campus is as valuable, if not more so, than leaving campus for a foreign experience:

Academics:
Remember high school? You spent days polishing your application essays and nights worrying about a rejection letter from the university of your dreams. You’re at that university now, paying a small fortune for the small class sizes, award-winning professors and diverse, gifted classmates that you dreamed about two or three years ago. And now you’re trying to leave?You have probably already started taking those advantages for granted. Unless you’re considering a semester at Oxford, you might be unpleasantly surprised at the academics at your host school. There’s a reason foreigners come to America’s universities – they really are the best in the world.

Classes:
As budgets are cut, so are class schedules. Unless you’re in the biggest major on campus, there are classes that are offered very infrequently – classes that you’ll miss out on. It might be the seminar on women in journalism or on South American popular revolutions. Ever since the spring of my first year, I had been yearning to take a class on natural language processing (don’t ask – it’s really nerdy). I would have missed out on the chance to take that course if I had gone abroad. The kicker is that your junior year is when you start having enough priority to register for the classes that filled up when you were a freshman or a sophomore.

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