Category Archives: Student Life

Things You Should Know for Your First Semester of College

As a recent college grad, I’ve experienced enough over the last four years to pass on my wisdom to incoming freshman. Here are some of the most important things you should know before packing up the car and starting your new journey. Written by Juliet Rocco

Fotor0811210956Congrats! You got into college and now you’re moving out of your room at home and transitioning into a world of independence. Before you finish all of your dorm room shopping at Target, get in touch with your roommate and find out who’s getting the mini fridge, bringing the TV, paying for the cable etc. Taking care of these minor details ahead of time will pay off.

Get involved: Go to as many club meetings, parties and social gatherings as you can that first semester because that’s when everyone else is trying to find their group of friends too. There is pretty much always going to be free food (pizza) at the first club meeting of the year so plan accordingly!

Also, the “lunch table cliques” that existed in high school really don’t happen anymore. With over 70 people living on your floor, you’re not going to have a problem finding at least one person to grab food with. Someone is always willing to order a pizza no matter what time it is.

Living with other people: I’m not sure if this applies to all schools, but generally, you and your roommate(s) will have a contract that everyone has to abide by. You decide when it’s time for the lights to go out, what happens when your roommate wants to have someone stay the night, how to approach a disagreement, etc. If all else fails, you can go to your RA for help. That’s why they get paid the big bucks.

If you’re nervous that you and your roommate are not a match made in heaven or the honeymoon period doesn’t last more than a few weeks, you can always talk to your RA and request to move in with someone else.

Classes are going to be more challenging: Unless you took classes for college credit back in high school, expect these classes to be more rigorous. On average, I had assigned readings of over 100 pages a week in some of my classes, with an additional reflection paper due, and quizzes/exams each week. Some professors even recommended to spend an extra 5 hours outside of class re-reading the material and working through problems (and they mean it).

In high school, I rarely studied for exams. In college, I had to teach myself how to study because 10-page study guides became the norm. There was one class where the professor told us to read the assigned chapters 3 TIMES in order to fully understand the material before the exam. I suffered the consequences the first exam by ignoring his advice.

Getting homesick is normal: Being at school until Thanksgiving break was the longest I had ever been away from home. It was difficult for my friends and I because we were all going to different schools, making new friends and adjusting to our new lives.

You’re going to realize that you and your friends are on different paths, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch through Skype dates and hang out like old times during your breaks.

Takeaway: Your new journey into college is going to be an eye-opening experience. If you learn how to take advantage of the opportunities early on, get close with a good group of friends, and socialize, you’ll be fine. College isn’t about fitting in, it’s really about meeting people who share common interests and values as you do.

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15 MORE Things College Taught Me

Listing only 15 things just didn’t seem like enough. After 4 years of college, there’s a lot that I learned and wanted to share. Here are 15 more valuable things I’ve learned over the years. Written by Juliet Rocco

1. Having roommates who care about your well-being is important


2. You have a lot more free time during random times of the day. Use it wisely


3. Doing laundry in the dorms is a battle of a task


4. You’re going to learn how to do new things (like pump gas)


5. Or you might be able to teach other people how to do new things


6. There’s always something free on campus


7. First club meeting of the year = always free pizza


8. Keeping up with friends who are studying abroad is simple thanks to Skype


9. You’re going to become an expert at packing up your life by senior year


10. Care packages are THE BEST


11. Support your school’s team, no matter what…


12. Even if that means cramming in the back of a hatchback for 3 hours to get to a game


13. You can draw cartoons as much as you’d like in class. Your professor isn’t going to care, but you really should pay attention anyway


14. Don’t forget where you came from, always be proud, and always keep in touch with those who matter the most no matter how far from home you are


15. There’s no greater feeling of accomplishment than this moment right here


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15 Things College Taught Me

While these may not be the most philosophical answers you’re looking for, this will help if you’re going to be entering college this fall. Check out the photos through the years of my own college experience. Written by Juliet Rocco

1. Just because they got into a great school, doesn’t mean people have common sense


2. Getting involved in a collegiate sport may also have an awesome spring training location


3. Making new friends is fun, so leave your dorm room door open because you never know what’s gonna happen


4. You’re going to meet people who are just like you


5. You’re going to meet people who are much different than you from all walks of life


6. Your relationship with your parents will become stronger, since you’re spending more time apart


7. Trust. No one.


8. Volunteering is fun


9. You’re going to spend thousands of dollars on textbooks, and only open half of them to skim through


10. Embrace the weather


11. Your fridge is going to look like this at some point


12. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone


13. Living with over 60 other strangers doesn’t become so strange anymore


14. It’s still ok to act like this, sometimes

14. It's still ok to act like this, sometimes

15. Saying goodbye after 4 years is going to be tough, but you’ll leave college with a new group of friends to last a lifetime

15. Saying goodbye after 4 years is going to be tough, but you'll leave college with a new group of friends to last a lifetime

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