Top Ten College Tips

tt1Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 “…Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh… Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.”

For those of you who have yet to go to college, you may not completely understand how true the first statement is. You can have anywhere from 1 to 10 different books for the quarter/semester, particularly if you have some kind of English-related subject. And the studying doesn’t end. Most of the tests will cover the entire quarter/semester so you have to keep reviewing everything. For those of you going to college, remember to have fun in between the studying! I thought I’d do something a little different this month, offering my top 10 college tips:

1) Buy a Brita pitcher. The water at my school was not only bad tasting without one, it was possibly mutagenic.

2) If you live close enough to home, wash clothes and dishes there. Washing clothes at school gets expensive in a hurry – depending on the college, it can be $2 or $3 to complete a load. As for washing dishes, again, you have no idea what is in the water!

3) Don’t rely on school food to keep you healthy. It can be full of fat, sugar and all other kinds of unhealthy items! (And beware of the ‘vegetarian’ line––vegetarian does not necessarily mean healthy. I personally was left with the choice of salads and grilled chicken for lunch and dinner for 4 years – yikes). Remember – most schools allow you to have a mini fridge and a microwave – put them to good use, especially for healthy snacks.

4) School books are expensive; don’t buy them from the school – they mark them up over the price of a new one. Usually you can get by without the books the first week. On the first day, they will give you a syllabus (I have some that have been five or six pages long) and it will list the books you need. Find them online! (Amazon is a great resource.) You can also buy them used from most school bookstores or other textbook providers. Unless they are in awful condition, they are just as good as a new one––and so much cheaper! Also keep in mind that some teachers will never refer to the textbook, so ask ahead of time to determine whether or not you even need it.

tt55) If you have a hobby (video games, books, PC games), don’t go out and find a new one to read/play right before a test or finals week! I have all of these. There have been times when I have gotten myself into trouble because I couldn’t put the book down or couldn’t stop playing. Staying up all night to study is generally not a good thing right before a test.

6) Have fun making new friends – try joining some organizations. If you don’t want to join a sorority or social club, check out the service clubs or academic groups that correspond with your field of study. (Make sure you consider if the club is consistent with your values and beliefs.) You can share all the ups and downs of college life together.

7) Enjoy being a college student: don’t just focus on the studying, no matter how important. My college offered many ways to get together and have fun. Free movies, multicultural fairs, ethnic nights, foam parties, cooking classes, etc.

8 ) Don’t let your new-found independence go to your head and forget to call home. I called home once a week to find out how everything was going and how everyone was doing. You’re less likely to get homesick.

9) Find a way to relieve your stress. College can be fun, but it’s still a lot of hard work. Find an outlet that works for you, such as reading, going for a walk, or writing in a journal.

10) Remember: You are representing Christ! Show your friends and the people around you Christ living in you. Don’t compromise your beliefs and actions to please anyone but God.

By Megan Skinner

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