Friday, April 3, 2009

College Survival Tips 101

By Tiffany Y. Hsia

Were you the nerdy type in school? A band geek? Maybe, you were one of the most popular kids at school? Well guess what? This is college and all bets are off! Everyone starts school with a blank slate, even at a state school like Rutgers where many of your former high school classmates may go. You have the power to determine what kind of experience you will have and what sort of person you will become. College is an overwhelming (but very exciting and fun!) experience, especially when you attend a large university like Rutgers . Here’s a few tips to help you navigate the waters!

If you plan to dorm, contact your roommate before you get to school.

There is nothing worse than being squished into a room the size of a tin can with too many belongings. Make contact with your roommate before you get to school to determine who will bring what items that can be communally shared. If you don’t want them using something of yours, ask them to bring it themselves. This is also a great time to build a relationship, you don’t want to start off on a bad note and have a nightmare roomie!

Make a budget and stick to it! Credit cards are eeeevil!

Credit card companies prey on college freshmen like sharks prey on blood. Yes, it’s easy and tempting to splurge because of your newly found freedom but in the long run you can become burdened down with debt you can’t handle and ruin your credit score for years!

No major? No worries!

Take classes you have an interest in to determine what you’d like to do in the long run.

Rely on yourself.

College isn’t like high school where you are closely monitored. If you don’t go to class, no one will care, but your grades may be another story. Regularly speak with advisors to make sure you are on the right path in your college career. You determine how effective college is for you.

Internships are critical.

Internships make you a more viable candidate for employment and we’re in college to get a job, right? You will get real world experience and if you really rock it out, you may even land a job from an internship!

Get involved on campus.

There are a slew of great activities at Rutgers to get involved with. Joining activities helps you explore your interests and make new friends. These friends may become life long pals and help you to expand your potential work network. It’s a win win situation!

Be safe, healthy and wise.

It’s always safer to travel in pairs or packs in the evenings. If you plan on drinking while socializing, have someone who will look out for your welfare. The best decisions aren’t always made when inebriated.

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