I’ve done a few polls on Twitter and you guys wanted me to post about college and I am more than happy to share my experiences. Stay tuned to learn more about my own college experiences in May.
All of the tips I am giving are from not only me, but a few friends as well since we all had different experiences. My experiences come from going to a community college, and then transferring to UC Davis, and then transferring again to attend a CSU which I’m choosing not to reveal for privacy reasons. My friends that gave me their insight also attended UC’S however, they attended UC Davis, UC Merced and CSU Fresno, right after high school so they had entirely different struggles as I did being a transfer student. Hopefully you don’t have the same experiences as my friends and I did.
You looked for what books are “required” for your classes and according to the bookstore you have to spend $300 to BUY all of your textbooks.
Tips to help: Do NOT buy your textbooks ahead of time unless it’s cheap!!! Biggest NEVER to do in your college career, because although professors will say, “You need this book and this book is required” chances are you’ll open it once and waste on average $100 per book if you buy it from the school. The only exception for my rule is I would buy a “book” ahead of time if it is for an online class and it’s an access code which is explicitly required for the class, which is a huge pain. If you absolutely need the class, then go ahead and buy the code ahead of time. Rent your textbooks through a company, search there before anywhere else. Definitely look at your university’s library to see if they have the book! Some universities have programs to help you with your textbooks. I recommend Chegg, Amazon, Cheaptextbooks and Valore. You can also look on Facebook for a group to join which is usually under your university’s name. For example search “UC Merced buy & sell textbooks” and you’ll be able to find used textbooks which are much cheaper if not the same price to rent a textbook. The upside of buying a used book is being able to sell it to someone else the next semester or sell it to Chegg, Amazon and as a last resort your university’s bookstore because they’ll most likely give you nothing for it.
Registering for classes
When it becomes that time in the semester when registration is around the corner and it is your first year there are two main problems you’ll run into. One of the problems being you won’t get into your classes, or you get all of the classes you need except for one leaving you to search for alternatives times and days for the previous classes you had on your schedule.
Tips to help: Have alternatives preselected just in case, because according my friends who attended universities right after high school it happened to them often. One of my boyfriend’s friends is a senior at a CSU and it’s still happening to him. The reason I never really experienced it is because I’m a transfer student and I started at UC Davis and my CSU with more than enough units to qualify for priority registration. Look for honor society’s in your major and other programs that offer priority registration. Take more than your standard 12 units that way you’ll graduate sooner and have a little bit of a lead when it’s time to register. The more units you have completed, the earlier you register for classes which is why first year students are last. Don’t let that get you down if you’re about to start college soon, first year students have so many classes offered because you guys are the biggest class.
Taking a class with a professor you’ve heard is tough, taking a difficult class, or both.
Tips to help: If you feel uneasy about a class, and you don’t know what to do, you can post on the Facebook group you joined to hear about what students have to say about the class and professor. You can also learn about your professor through ratemyprofessor, which is a website where students can rate their professor on a scale to help other students learn about the professor beforehand. Ask your advisor in case they know, at smaller universities they usually know the professor personally. It’s a little bit harder to learn about professors through advising in larger universities.
Traveling home and back to UNI
You plan on going home for the holidays so you look up how much train, bus and plane tickets are or how much gas will cost you if you have your own car. You learn it’s a whole lot of money that you don’t have at the moment.
Tips to help:
Sign up for travel rewards cards on Amtrak, Greyhound and other websites of your liking. More than likely they have a student discount or by buying a card, you get a discount! I’ve used the Greyhound and Amtrak myself and the prices aren’t too bad. I also worked part-time on campus so that paid for my trips. Utilize Facebook and find a ridesharing group on there by searching “UC Davis Ride Share” join the group and make or comment on a post to get you to as close to your destination as possible. It’s cheaper than the Amtrak and Greyhound, you’ll be going with someone from your university, which means it’s usually safe. I wasn’t as fortunate to find someone to get a ride back home to back to uni, but my housemates drove other students to their hometown and made some extra cash. So it’s definitely safe.
Free Food & Household Items
Are you struggling to get household items and healthy food?
Tips to help: Go on your university website and look for something along the lines of a “pantry.” There’s usually one place on campus where you can get free food products usually based on a point system designed by the school. For instance, at UC Davis, you had 3 points a day where you could get 1, 2, or 3 items based on what you desired based on however many points it was valued at. I would often get oatmeal, canned veggies, and packaged fruit for 1 point each equaling my 3 points. The pantry also has days where they have FRESH produce for FREE, definitely try to make time to grab those veggies! At these pantries there are also items such as toilet paper, toothpaste, tooth brush, deodorant, razors and etc. Most times they often have free items in front of all the other stuff. All of the products they have are usually donated from students or companies in the community. Take advantage of programs like this because every little bit counts and it saves you so much money! Pads, tampons and condoms are also offered at the pantry for no points, no strings attached. I always stocked up on those because girl pads be expensive, and if you’re dating a girl that would be a nice gesture to bring her some pads. 🙂
Subscribe to Campus Events
Want to meet people, join a club, learn about cool events on campus.
Tips to help: Subscribe to your school’s event page so you’ll get an email about it. Or find their Instagram page or twitter that way you’re always in the know. If your uni has an app download it, because there are so many useful things on there that you won’t always hear about.
Free Printing & IT Services
Printing can get expensive as a student and sometimes the library is always packed so you can’t always rely on their printing services or their printer is out of service what do you do???
Tips to help: Ask on Facebook groups, and search for it on your university’s website. There should be at least one place on campus for free printing, if not at least a place that allows you to print if you have paper. In Davis, my apartment offered free printing which was pretty awesome, the complex was bougie AF though lol There are also places that offer help with your laptops and electronics for free or a small charge depending on your university. Always call ahead, because policies change faster than websites do. I found a place on campus at UC Davis where I could get a t-shirt made for as cheap as $10, so what did I make with it. I made a shirt with my face on it for my boyfriend of course, best 1st anniversary gift ever. LOL
If you have any other problems and want some tips comment below and I’ll do another post about it! Which one of these tips did you find most helpful?