My Declassified School Survival Guide

As of two weeks ago, (more or less), I have officially survived my freshman year of college.  Now I’m a sophomore!  WOO HOO!!  Since I have so much experience under my belt now, (as I roll my eyes sarcastically), I would like to throw out a few things that I have learned in this past year.  Here are ten easy tips that can help all of you upcoming students survive YOUR first year at Embry-Riddle.

Tip #1:  If you are living in the dorms, make sure that you or one of your future suitemates brings a vacuum, broom, dustpan, etc.  You WILL need them sooner or later (it’s your choice if it’s sooner, or later.  My advice?  Sooner.)  Listen to your mom about this stuff.  She’s right.  (And don’t think that if you’re a girl, your room won’t get dirty.  Girls’ dorms were typically just as bad or worse than the boys’ dorms.)  If you decide to ignore these essentials, bring Plan B: a gas mask and rubber gloves.  You’ll need them.  Trust me.

Tip #2:  DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  End of story.

Tip #3:  Chartwell’s is delicious the first week.  Don’t be fooled.  As soon as all the parents leave, you’ll be going to Fry’s to get Ramen and Easy Mac because you’ll get sick of the same thing every day.

Tip #4:  Go do something fun every once in a while.  Hike the Dell’s, go check out downtown Prescott, see a movie, go out to eat with your suitemates; do something fun to help you get adjusted better.  The more you get to know the town and your suitemates, the more comfortable you’ll be.

Tip #5:  If you’re going to burn your food, PLEASE, for the sake of everyone living in your hall, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL TWO THIRTY IN THE MORNING TO TRY TO MAKE IT!!  If you don’t know how to make Ramen or Mac and Cheese, practice now.  The rest of us, er, your hall, would really appreciate not waking up and having to go out in the snow in the wee hours of the morning due to a fire alarm set off by stupidity.

Tip #6:  Get to know the people around you.  Your neighbors down the hall, the kids in your Psychology class, your professors, everyone you possibly can.  The more people you know, the better off you’ll be in the end.  (Especially when you need help in your Psych class… you’ll always have someone to call!)

Tip #7:  Cheap toilet paper is no where as good as expensive toilet paper, but they’re much better than paper towels.  However, if you’re going to use paper towels, DO NOT FLUSH.  Bad things happen.  True story.  Don’t ask.

Tip #8:  Make sure to have a planner.  Even if you don’t write anything down, it’s fun to doodle on it when you’re bored in class!  In high school, I never ever used a planner, because my teachers always told me when the assignments were due.  Professors at ERAU expect you to be an adult and be prepared, so you’re on your own.  Having a planner makes it easy to stay on top of things and turn in assignments when they’re due.

Tip #9:  Flexi dollars disappear at the end of the semester, and don’t carry over to the next one.  Use it all!  And if you haven’t used it all and there’s a week left, splurge.  It’s finals week: you deserve it.  I didn’t know they didn’t carry over until it was finals week, so I got loads of ice cream, chips, and sandwiches just in time for my finals.  It worked!

Tip #10:  And last, but not least: this first year goes by so fast.  Some of it you’ll be miserable, some of it you’ll want to never end, but none of it will last forever.  So enjoy it while you got it!  You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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