Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Post: sLe from Bourbon Pearls and Wildcats: College Advice

Hello Readers! We called in a pro for this post-sLe from Bourbon, Pearls, and Wildcats! She has some super valuable advice any college student can use! Thanks again, sLe for writing this post! Be sure to check her blog (linked) to see our post on 5 For Fall Favorites!

Hello Readers!! I’m Sara from the blog, Bourbon Pearls and Wildcats, and I am so excited to be posting today for A&C! My post today will be about advice for all the college freshman out there! I promise that I’m more than qualified as I started my senior year of college this past Tuesday. Don’t forget to stop by my blog to check out A&C’s post on their Top 5 Wearable Fall Trends! Alright, let’s jump right in!
Dorm Life: By now you’ve either already moved in or will soon be moving into your dorm. Congratulations on your first “home away from home”! The best part about dorm life is it opens up a whole new world of independence but also responsibility. Here are my tips on how to make the best of dorm life:
1.     Respect your roommate: Living in such close quarters with someone you might not have met until moving day can be hard at times, especially if y’all don’t hit it off immediately. Some of you will become insta-BFFs with your roomie and some not so much. No matter which relationship you have, it’s still important to respect them. If there’s mutual respect, then conflict resolution will be a LOT easier.
2.     Follow the rules: Yes, you’re an adult but there are still rules that go with living in a dorm. Typically the only strict rules have to do with visiting hours for the opposite sex (if you’re on a same-sex hall/floor), alcohol & drugs, animals, and quiet hours. These rules exist to benefit EVERYONE on the hall/floor and not to try to control you. Follow the rules and you’ll be golden. Don’t follow the rules and you’ll end up dealing with your RA and possibly further disciplinary action depending on the severity.
3.     Keep it clean: A clean dorm is a happy dorm! In college, your dorm room is your bedroom, kitchen, and living room all in one. Chances are you’ll have people over to hang out, study, etc so make sure it’s kept nice & tidy. You don’t want to be stressing about if you have clothes everywhere or random trash when you invite people over on a whim.
*another tip for dorm living is do not spend an arm and leg on bedding. Your bed also doubles as a couch if you’ve got people over so I recommend shopping at Target or TJ Maxx. They both have reasonably priced and cute bedding that you won’t mind if something happens to it. Also, bring a 2nd set of sheets. That way you can immediately put clean sheets on when you go to wash the ones that are currently on.
Social Life- Being in college offers ENDLESS possibilities as far as social activities go. There is seriously something for every interest. A few things that go for most schools:
1.     Greek Life: Being a sorority sister, going Greek is always my go-to when it comes to giving advice about how to get involved on campus. Not only does being a member of a Greek organization provide you with skills and networking that will benefit you post-graduation, they also provide lifelong friendships and a support system as an undergrad. Yes, they are a significant commitment and yes, there is a financial obligation but all of that is so secondary to the bonds you will form with your sisters/brothers. Of course, if you don’t go Greek, there are still PLENTY of options to be involved!
2.     Student Government: What is better than being the voice for your fellow students when it comes to communicating your needs to the administration? It is very easy to become involved in SGA because most start out your involvement as Freshman Class representatives. From there, you can move up and run for offices that you feel passionate about. Having a competent student government is so crucial to the success of the students.
3.     Intramurals: Did you play sports in high school or maybe just as a pastime? Intramurals are perfect for you! Common intramurals at school are: flag football, soccer, basketball, tennis, and softball. It’s easy to join a team because typically your dorm will field a team OR you can field your own if you have enough friends interested. Intramurals can get pretty competitive but they are all in good fun.
Academics: You’re fresh out of high school and might think that college will be easy…you’re in for a reality check. Yes, some classes are easy but a lot of them are HARD. It’s also an adjustment from having a very personal relationship with your teachers in HS to having a college professor that might not know your name at the end of the semester (especially relevant in huge lecture classes). Here are just a few tips on how to be successful while you’re getting the hang of college!
1.     8 am classes are the devil: You might think that just because you woke up early for HS that it will be easy in college…nope. When you’re responsible for waking yourself up and actually making the decision to GO to class, it’s a whole different story. I highly suggest not having a class before 10am, 9:30 at the earliest.
2.     It is OK to drop a class: Let’s say you’re in a core class that didn’t seem so hard at first but now you’re drowning. Don’t panic, you can fix this. You’re able to withdraw (drop) a class before a certain date (typically 6 weeks into the course). You’ll receive a temporary W for the course but once you take it again, it will be replaced with your earned letter grade. Dropping a class does not affect your GPA but does affect your earned credit hours & attempted credit hours. Talk to your advisor before dropping a course to make sure it doesn’t affect any scholarships you have. But typically, dropping one or two classes in your time at school will not have a negative impact. It is much better to take a W and re-take than get an F (that WILL affect your GPA) and still have to re-take it.
3.     Communicate with your Professors: Going up to your Prof at the end of your first class & introducing yourself will go a long way. They will be able to immediately put a face to the name on their roll which in freshman core classes, can be 150+. This will benefit you when final grading comes around, especially if you need a little boost to get a higher grade. If they can remember your face and the fact that you made it a point to communicate with them the entire semester, chances are they will help you out. It’s also important to utilize their office hours if you have questions on any material. Make sure you don’t skip out on their appointment and come prepared with specific questions. Both your time and theirs are valuable.
4.     GO to class & make friends: I cannot stress enough just how important going to class is. There will be mornings that you just don’t want to get out of your warm bed or times you’d rather skip and hang with friends…but don’t. Missing one class sets you back more than you imagine. On top of that, it can also affect your grade if there is an attendance policy. Don’t let laziness hurt your GPA. But, if there is a time that you’re ill or have an emergency, it’s always good to have a dependable friend in all of your classes. It’s an easy way to get notes you might have missed and also form study groups.
Health: Staying healthy during your freshman year is critical. For the first time you’re 100% on your own when it comes to nutrition, exercise, and going to the infirmary when you’re sick. Easy tips to avoid going on a downward spiral health wise:
1.     The freshman 15 DOES exist: As a freshman, you’ll be on a meal plan which means you eat almost all your meals on campus. Most of the time, the unhealthy options outweigh the healthy ones but it is still possible to maintain a balanced diet while on a meal plan. Just because you can eat hot dogs, french fries, and pizza everyday doesn’t mean you should. Easy rule of thumb is to have a protein, veggie, and fruit at every meal. Also, drink lots of water. I highly suggest a Camelbak water bottle with a built in filter so that you can fill it up from any tap or water fountain. Keeping healthy snack options in your dorm is also a good idea that way you’re not running to a vending machine whenever you get a little hungry.
2.     Work it out: Colleges usually have amazing fitness centers because they want their students to be healthy. Take advantage of it! You’ve already paid for it in your tuition/fees so don’t waste your money. The gym is a fabulous place to meet people, especially if you take a group fitness class. Zumba, cardio kickboxing, and hip hop dance are my personal favs! These are typically taught by students who have been trained and certified.
3.     The Infirmary is your friend: If you’re feeling a little under the weather, get yourself to the health clinic ASAP! A lot of college students brush off minor colds as nothing until it turns into something serious. Getting an infection taken care of soon is very important so that you don’t get worse and potentially miss classes.
Well that’s all the crucial advice that I have for y’all! I really hope that this has been an informative post. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at pearlscurlsandasoutherngirl {at} gmail {dot} com
Big thanks to A&C for letting me post on their amazing blog!

1 comment:

  1. Great advice! I'll have to remember this all! Big fan of your blog, by the way, Sara!