Going off to College...

PsychicTaco115

I've Been Having These Weird Dreams Lately...
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As the title says, I'll be moving to my dorm for my first year of college this Saturday...

I'm not sure how the feels should be...

What was it like for you, leaving off to go somewhere new? Any tips and tricks for successful colleging?

EDIT: Derp moment on my part, I forgot to put where I'm going!

I will be attending the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (beach-ish town)

Hopefully, I'll be majoring in Film Studies
 

Euryalus

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Well for me personally, going to college for the first time coincided with the absolute worst time in my life, so my experience won't be terribly helpful, but don't try biting off more classes than you can chew.It isn't like high school. XD

Other than that, have fun, and work hard :p

...Christ I sound like a mom or something. Wreck shit up! Is that better? XD
 

Ryotknife

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be careful with alcohol. Stick with watered down (and cheap) beers for the first year and steer clear of liquor of any kind until you know your body's limits with alcohol.

Uh....be friendly. There are no real niches in college, so every person is a potential friend...or at least acquaintance. I remember my freshmen year I would randomly get into long conversations with seniors and such at lunch or whatnot.

Don't forget about hygiene, and be mindful of your diet. It is not called the freshmen 15 for nothing.

And don't be afraid to do harmless stupid shit. College for me was the best 4 years of my life (well so far). Take up some hobbies or whatnot. I personally enjoyed volunteering at my college's news club. I got to watch the hockey games from 5 different TVs, did my part for the program (I was audio director), and got free pizza!
 

Launcelot111

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As someone who's lived in a dorm for the better part of a decade, try to pack light. Don't bring all the odds and ends that you enjoy from your room at home with you, or couches or appliances or whatever. Once you get settled in and get to know your roommate and develop a bit of a routine, then see what type of stuff you'd actually have a use for before filling your room up.

Leaving your door open and putting on some good multiplayer games is a fantastic way to meet people. Smash Bros in particular is gold for pulling people from the hall in my experience.

Also, go to class and do the readings. A shocker I know, but college isn't lightyears beyond high school or anything in terms of difficulty. The biggest difficulty for me was I didn't have the daily assignments of high school to keep me accountable for the readings, so just staying diligent about that will go a very long way.
 

Shock and Awe

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As someone who is also going off to college this week(Citadel) and has seen a brother attempt to go through college, I have one big tip,

Don't fuck around.

Take it seriously and remember you are there to get an education and learn things, not to party with jackasses and become diversified. Thats all well and good, but they are not why you are there.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Your college tuition pays for a lot of things other than just your classes, take full advantage of them. If you get sick, don't just tough it out, go to your college's health center. Go to the gym, you're paying for it whether you go or not, might as well get some use out of it.

Don't buy books for your classes in advance. Always go to the first class, and see if you will actually need the books or not. A lot of professors will put books on your syllabus where you'll only need like one chapter, or won't actually ever use them at all.

Remember, this isn't high school, you can schedule your classes whenever the hell you want. I personally liked to give myself a 3 day weekend. It really helps to give yourself a full free day, rather than just giving yourself some extra time here and there.

If you have professors who don't treat their students like adults get the fuck out of their classes, those people are a nightmare.

That's about all the advice I have, you know, other than the standard "work hard and don't drink too much."
 

Dangit2019

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PsychicTaco115 said:
As the title says, I'll be moving to my dorm for my first year of college this Saturday...

I'm not sure how the feels should be...

What was it like for you, leaving off to go somewhere new? Any tips and tricks for successful colleging?
My sister's going to college as well.

Out of curiosity, where are you going?

OT: Don't fuck around seems like good advice. You shouldn't have a stick up your ass during your free time, but also make sure that you have the right amount of studying time depending on your major (which in 9/10 cases is lots).

When it comes to social environments, college is totally different from high school. There's a club or informal group for any passion or niche, and people are always looking for new friends and hangout opportunities, so (once again, if you have the time) make the most of it.
 

McMullen

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What's your major? That is actually significant for getting good advice.

Balance fun with your studies. If you're feeling just a little behind, yet are tired from working so hard, but are still going to some, but not all, social events, then you've probably got it about right.

It's also easy coming out of high school to think your class schedule looks a lot more sparse than it really is. You may not have as many hours scheduled for class as you think you should, but all those hours are open because they fill up later. They really fill up.

If a class regularly has optional homework, do it or drop the class. I thought I had a handle on this one subject and didn't bother with the optional homework because it all seemed so easy in class. Thought I did poorer than expected on the first exam, figured I still got at least 85% though. The exam came back with a big red 49% at the top. Do the homework or drop the class.

Take a geology class for your general science if one is offered; they usually have field trips. Often, these are weekend camping trips. You camp in national parks over the weekend and get credits for it. There are also usually stand-alone trips offered through the term that are a day to a weekend long, also for credit. Plus geology is a pretty cool science, especially if you're into Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress.

Do not stay in your dorm all the time. Play games alone only when you have 30 spare minutes or so and nothing better to do with it. Free time is much better invested outside your dorm. Hang out with or meet new friends, go to the recreation center (you've already paid to be a member with your student fees, so use it! Swim, play sports, rock climb, work out, whatever, just don't waste it). You can game just as easily when you're out of college.

Do not assume that people will handle your paperwork correctly. Double-check the administrators on everything that pertains to you; I've been mistakenly dropped from classes without being told and had my major changed from geology to biology on my graduation form. Assume that no one in the administrative building is capable of doing their job, but don't be a jerk about it, just check their work.

Make friends with the secretary of your department; when bad things happen, they are your best chance of fixing it, even if it means going slightly outside the regular procedure. They will cut through red tape and make shit happen for you. Piss them off at your own peril.

Don't brown-nose, but show your adviser or the profs you work most with that you are reliable and do good work. You'll be asking them for letters of recommendation later.

Learn email etiquette if you don't already know it.

Don't browse porn on lab computers. Assume everyone else does and treat them as the keylogging password collectors they likely are, especially in dorm computer labs or other high-use areas.

Try to have an exit strategy if you can. Very few do, and most make it afterward, but having a post-graduation plan will give you a lot of peace of mind during your last terms.

Are you planning on grad school? If so, grades are important but not absolutely essential; you can get by with a couple Cs provided you have good explanations for them. More important are your letters of recommendation and the stuff you do besides classes that shows that you're talented, hardworking, or passionate. If your professor has a position for an undergraduate research assistant, apply for it. Join clubs, participate in community outreach, and anything else that says "This is what I want to do and I'm good at it." But only do that if you really do want to do it; if you're apathetic towards your major, then it may not be for you. This is also a good idea even if you're not planning on grad school. Everybody's got degrees these days so they're more of a minimum requirement now. Employers will look for what you did besides get your degree.

If you are concerned that your major might not be for you, do not hesitate to explore other options. The first two years are your opportunity to experiment; spend your electives in what sound like interesting subjects until you find one that really grabs you, and don't be afraid to change your major if you're passionate about this new thing. In addition, even if you don't change your major, pursuing electives in a side subject you like can be beneficial later on. It gave me a career and got me into grad school, and could, possibly, get me into my dream job.

That's probably enough.

Oh, and have a crap-ton of fun.
 

Colour Scientist

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Enjoy it!
That would be my main piece of advice.


I had the time of my life the few years of college.

Make sure to meet new people and try new things. Join clubs and societies, if they're available to you.

Obviously, find a balance between doing things and studying and getting work done. it's vital that you attend your classes and hand in work on time but I honestly think if you don't socialise or engage in college life outside a classroom, you've wasted the opportunity. Take advantage of it, especially in the first couple of years, because once you get to final year and postgraduates there is no fun ever! :D
 

Thaluikhain

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Where abouts? I mean, fair enough if you don't want to tell us which college, but a country, state or city might be helpful.
 

ShipofFools

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Good for you, OP!
It's going to be great, trust me. But you will have to work harder then you did in high school, and this time nobody is going to hold your hand when you screw up. It's your responsibility now.

And don't do drugs during weekdays! Again you just have to trust me on this, heheheh.
 

HoneyVision

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Keep your eyes on the prize. Don't forget why you're there. Never give up, grab it with both hands and PERSEVERE.
 

ShiningAmber

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I've found that wait after your first place to buy your books. You'd be surprised how many professors will say that you don't need the book or you actually need a different one. They won't beat you up the first day for not having your books, if you're using them that day. A lot of people do this just to be safe.

Go. To. Class.

It's important. Literally, one day of attendance can make all the difference between a letter grade of a C to a B. I know you hear people say this all the time, but trust me, they mean it and so do I.

I'm not sure what you're majoring in or even if you're undeclared, but study. It isn't like high school. I studied a little in high school and did just fine and graduated with honors. But, in college, I studied a lot, everyday. Do the reading assignments, no matter how boring they are. Do the extra credit. In college, it matters. Those extra points really can count.

For partying and drinking, we all know freshmen do it and so does the law. I'm assuming you're in the US. If not, disregard this :p That first week when freshmen are moving in and it's their first ever time really being away from mom and dad, the cops are watching. Our campus police at USC, that first week is their busiest week in terms of drunks and sexual assaults. So, just be careful. Some universities have a strict underage drinking and/or drug policy where it could get you removed from the campus. I know you already know this, but I've seen in happen.

I know I am making college and university life sound terrifying, but really, it's a whole lot of fun and finding that balance really is key. Really enjoy it. Meet new people. Know it can and will be stressful, but everyone around you is in the same boat and feels what you're feeling. Don't be a shut in. Just get out there. Find a club that interests you. Make study groups. For me, by just talking to this one guy in my law class opened up so many friendships through him and not much later I met my boyfriend whom I'm still with. You never know who you may meet or the day may bring! :D
 

lacktheknack

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You have two options: Work your ass off and get good grades, allowing you to actually graduate knowing what you're doing, or play it like Animal House and risk expulsion, failure, or graduating "in a haze".

I'd seriously recommend the first one. College partying is overrated.

If you find a good sandwich shop on/near campus, you've found the ultimate lifesaver.

Spend an hour every night doing schoolwork, even if you don't have any assignments due. Constant brushups are always helpful.

Find a club that appeals to you. I never joined a club while at University, and I made one friend while I was there. I joined one in technical college, and I made ten. Never underestimate the power of being social.

Go. To. Class. Don't miss a class unless it's absolutely necessary.

Once you're in class, try not to sleep through it.

If your instructor is terrible, it's worth switching classes. Seriously. I had a terrible instructor in one class and I flunked it, despite knowing the material decently well.

College is fun and exciting, treat it as such! :D
 

WickedFire

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One piece of advice that I have, is expect freshers flu. With so many people coming from so many different places, its almost inevitable that in the first few weeks some kind of flu like infection will spread like wildfire.
 

KOMega

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Shock and Awe said:
Don't fuck around.

Take it seriously and remember you are there to get an education and learn things, not to party with jackasses and become diversified. Thats all well and good, but they are not why you are there.
I can say for sure that this is what you should do.

College will take a long time and you will definitely forget that sometimes through the years (especially through the dull dull routine that you will build around your schedule every semester), but try to remember to always try to learn stuff and keep your eyes on the prize.

Wish someone was there to just slap me on the back of my head a few years back :p

edit: oh yeah, and you WILL get terrible professors. maybe you will be lucky and only get one or blessed to get no terrible ones, but most likely you will get AT LEAST one that just isn't good at teaching you. Make sure you know what you are supposed to get out of them and try to get it yourself. Or just switch if that is a possibility.
 

CriticalMiss

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Use your time well, remember you are there to get an education but you can also do lots of interesting extra-curricular stuff too. Join some sports clubs or activity clubs for things you haven't done before, you'll probably meet a lot of new people that way and might find a new hobby in the process. And remember to leave yourself time to do work outside of lectures/classes, don't leave assignments until the evening before they are due even if you are confident in your abilities.

Also don't buy any books from your reading list without seeing if you actually need them. University level books are almost always expensive if you buy them new and a lot of them you will barely need. You can save quite a lot of money by buying second (or more) hand books and avoiding ones that aren't vital. You're going to be gathering a lot of debt, so you might as well save some money if you can.

And don't become a dudebro who spends all day sleeping and all night going to 'sick keggers'. You'll just end up with a shit degree, a large amount of debt and an unhappy liver.

The final piece of advice is to make sure you are enjoying yourself. If you aren't happy with your course then there is no shame in trying to switch things around or even dropping out if you are really hating it and realise you don't want/need a degree in whatever it is you are studying. It's better to cut your losses early than get to the final year and just give up, better still if you can find something you are passionate about and do that instead.

Have fun!