Tag Archives: going back to school

The Top 5 Things Every College Freshman Should Know

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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Like, don’t take “no” for an answer, don’t change yourself just to fit in, and – oh, yeah – call your parents.

by Guest Blogger Serena Piper / check out her last post on the coolest backpacks ever

We all know the traditional advice often doled out to those who are college-bound: take a tour of campus before school starts so you know where your classes will be; allow plenty of studying time so you aren’t pulling all-nighters before a big deadline; join a club or two; make new friends – the list goes on.

But when it comes to my own experience, this list leaves something to be desired. Here are the top five things I wish someone had told me before I started my freshman year.

1. Start off slowly. Some students think they absolutely have to start out their first year taking 16 credits or they’ll fall behind and not graduate on time. This is a myth. It’s perfectly okay to take fewer credits your first term. It gives you time to adjust to your new routine, get a feel for how things are done at the college level, and make some new friends. I suggest taking at least two classes just so you can see how you’ll manage your time, especially if you know you’ll have a part-time job or other commitments during the school year. But definitely don’t overwhelm yourself your first term.

by University of Innsbruck

2. Don’t take no for an answer. For example, if you don’t get into a class you want right away, talk to the professor, get on the waitlist, and find out when it will be offered again. Just because a class is full when you go to register for it doesn’t mean that’s the final word. Show that you’re interested because the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get back.

3. Rent your textbooks instead of buying them. Students generally buy their textbooks from the campus bookstore, but it’s often easier and definitely cheaper to rent your books (hello, BookRenter!). Paying big bucks for a book that I couldn’t sell back at the end of the term? Been there, done that, too many times – and I have a pile of textbooks I’ll never need again to show for it.

by Thai Nguyen

4. When it’s party time, keep your head on straight (and don’t let a future employer catch you out on Facebook). It may be a stereotype, but students like to party, and there can be a lot of pressure to drink in college. If you know drinking’s not for you, don’t waste your time trying to change yourself so that you fit in. There are plenty of other things to do on the weekends, like playing ultimate frisbee in the dark, taking a day trip to a nearby city, or doing an art project with your roommates. If you do like to drink when you go out, be safe. For example, many colleges offer a late-night campus shuttle service so that no one has to drive home drunk. Whether you drink when you go out or not, though, keep your head on straight. You don’t want a potential employer or grad school admissions officer to stumble on any crazy Facebook photos three or four years from now.

5. Call your parents. Yes, even if you aren’t homesick. Parents can give you a different perspective on things and remind you of where your focus should be. They know you in a way that no one else ever will, and when you’re away at school, this can be very comforting. Not only did I call my mom when I was homesick, but I also called her when I was feeling ill and needed some OJ, or when I wanted to know how long I should broil the acorn squash I was fixing for dinner. Just don’t let all their advice get to you. There are still times when I feel like I have to do what my mom or dad suggests, but later, when I do things my way, everything turns out just fine.

It’s normal to feel a little anxious about starting college. Take things one day at a time and give yourself time to adjust. Besides, whatever you don’t figure out beforehand, you’ll learn on your own, and someday it will make for a great story!

We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

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Getting Into a School State of Mind…

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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The day when it’s time to pack your bags and return to campus always seems to come a little too soon.

by Guest Blogger Tiana Bouma

Summer is a welcome and necessary reprieve for college students – a time to leave behind the homework and the late-night cram sessions and get back in touch with the rest of your life. The day when it’s time to pack your bags and return to campus always seems to come a little too soon.

And while leaving friends and family is hard – and giving up the luxury of long, unstructured days even harder – to me the most difficult thing about going back to school is transitioning out of that Summer State of Mind and summoning the motivation that will carry you through the next year.

One of my own secrets? Instead of procrastinating – oh, so tempting – I start the process during the last few weeks of summer. My strategies are simple, but they work for me and you might find they work for you, too:

Don't feel like this guy! by Alexandre Normand

  • Start incorporating a School State of Mind into your daily routine. Study and review old (or new) course materials or read for fun two hours every afternoon, for example.
  • Set your alarm clock for the same time that you’ll need to wake up for your first class.
  • Make a list of the things you need to do before – and after – you get back to campus. I know that this is a no-brainer, but keeping track of your most important tasks and their results will direct your energy forward. (Without a constant reminder, it’s way-y-y-y too easy to spend endless hours on Facebook.)
  • Go back-to-school shopping! Buy all the essential binders, notebooks, pens, and course materials. It’ll help your brain and body transition back to school mode when you have the materials in front of you. (Check out Kelsey’s tips for adding a touch of fall to your wardrobe.)

by Mollusa

  • Set up a study station where you’ll have no distractions. Quiet, secluded library desks are usually a good choice if you can’t study at home. Make sure you have the supplies you’ll need, including note cards, highlighters, and sticky notes for marking important information.
  • During the first weeks of school, reward yourself for your hard-won motivation by reading a new magazine or grabbing fro-yo with a friend.
  • On Thursdays, remind yourself that it’s almost the weekend and that you’re only a few hours away from that mini-vacation.
  • And if you still can’t quite get your mojo back and need help with making the most of your study time, talk to a guidance counselor or find a tutor through your college’s resource center – that’s what they’re there for.

What are your personal tips and techniques for getting yourself into a School State of Mind?

We value the diverse voices and fresh ideas that our guest bloggers bring to BookRenter.com. However, the ideas and opinions expressed in guest posts are strictly those of the post’s author and don’t necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of BookRenter.Com. The information in guest posts is often drawn from a variety of sources, and we count on our guest authors to verify and fact-check the content they post. BookRenter.Com makes no claims, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of guest post content or the suitability of the content for a specific purpose.

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My Major and Why I Chose … Computer Science!

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Eric

by Avolore


First, let me tell you a little about myself: I graduated high school in 2005 and chose to go to the University of Oregon.  Initially I thought of pursuing pursue Business or Economics (like BookRenter Mike) as a major. Buy after my first year of college I decided to leave school and work full-time on a small business I started in high school.

Fast-forward 5 years…  The small business didn’t work out the way I had envisioned, and I decided to head back to the Bay Area and back to school.

My first semester back in school I desperately needed to get back in “school mode”, so I promised myself I would only take classes I was interested in. I remember getting up in the morning to register for classes asking myself, “What really interests you, Eric?”  After filtering through hundreds of classes trying to decide on a couple to take I came across a subject I had never really considered before – Computer Science.  I did a quick Wikipedia search for ‘computer science’ and was blown away.  This was exactly what I was looking for!  I had always been a bit of a computer geek, but I had never thought about studying computer science in school.

It’s only been a year since I made the choice to switch my major, but I truly couldn’t be happier about it.  Not only am I enjoying school but I can also see how what I’m working on in the classroom relates to the real world.   Living in the Bay Area my studies will give me an edge when it comes time to find a job.

If you think you might be interested in computer science or want to learn more check out these sites:

  1. College Board’s Computer Science page
  2. Computer Science Wikipedia page
  3. Current projects being worked on in the CS department at Stanford University

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