College tip thread

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
166
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www.slatebrookfarm.com
I'll start:

Treat college as an 8 to 5 job... when you've got an hour between classes, use it to get ahead on homework, research, etc. Don't just sit around watching Geraldo. You'll find that you end up with a lot more free time during the evenings.

Friday and Saturday nights were made for parties. Pick one. Mon-Thur night parties result in a lower GPA.

You can procrastinate about getting that paper done and pull an all nighter on Sunday night before its due with the rest of the kids in class. Or, you can follow my first tip above, get the paper done 2 weeks early, and the best part: many college profs are so stunned that a freshman is that far ahead that they're glad to review it for you and recommend changes. Two positive outcomes from this: the prof gets to know you as a serious student, and your grade ends up higher on the paper.

Related to the previous tip: There's nothing wrong with brown-nosing. That 89 average you earned may end up being an A. If your prof believes in only A,B,C,D, and F, the difference between an 89 and a 90 is HUGE. It's the same as the difference between an 80 and a 100. It's best to be in a position to be given the benefit of the doubt.

Sit in the front row. Sociological studies show that the students with higher averages tend to sit closer to the front of the room, while students with the lowest averages tend to sit near the back of the room. Profs often stereotype students according to this pattern. You don't want to be stereotyped as a slacker when you have that 89.5 average.

Greasy food is tough to get past your mouth, but it does help the nauseous feeling of a hangover. If you drank a lot of alcohol, be sure to drink a lot of water before you go to bed; it helps keep some of those hangovers caused by dehydration away. Never take tylenol while drunk, anticipating it to preemptively deal with the possibility of a hangover. (Unless you don't love your liver.)
 

drum

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2003
6,810
4
81
if you're a douchebag, your roomates will correct that problem for you.
 

TraumaRN

Diamond Member
Jun 5, 2005
6,893
63
91
C's do get degrees but A's and B's get the better job offers. At least in some fields.

Follow directions! I know it sounds simple but so many people overdo or underdo things. Thats a quick and easy way to piss off your prof.

Talk to your classmates, make friends and don't be shy. This isnt high school, people will think better of you if you talk to them instead of just sitting there like a fat ass lump. Not to mention it'll help to have friends in the same class come study time.
 

ric1287

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2005
4,845
0
0
college is meant for sleeping in, skipping all meaningless classes, and pulling all nighters to frantically save grades.

 

everman

Lifer
Nov 5, 2002
11,288
1
0
If you're planning on Law/Medical/Graduate school, work on getting good letters of recommendation early early early early early, because your profs can be slow with that stuff.

Finish things as early as possible, start studying for exams as early as possible. All-nighters do not help, get some sleep.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
69,033
26,912
136
If you drink at 20 like you did at 18 you might have a problem.
If you drink at 22 like you did at 20 you might have a problem.

Noise sucks. Try to create a living situation that is quiet.

Suck up to all professors no matter how obnoxious they might be.
 

ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
19,689
2,811
126
Originally posted by: ric1287
college is meant for sleeping in, skipping all meaningless classes, and pulling all nighters to frantically save grades.

Basically my college life.
 

Sukhoi

Elite Member
Dec 5, 1999
15,300
84
91
Here's a non-teacher perspective. ;)

Have fun in college! It most likely will be the best couple years of your life. Make sure you enjoy them. Sure schoolwork is important, but half of college is growing up as a person and learning how to live. Don't neglect that part just to make a certain number look better.

And for those of you that complain how engineering is too hard to have a life, that's horsecrap. I did a mechanical engineering degree at a top school in 4 years and still had plenty of time to party. I never pulled an all-nighter either. I think the only times I got less than 5 hours of sleep were from drinking or other social activities. It's all about time management. As DrPizza said, get your work done during the day. That will leave the evenings open to do whatever you want for fun. You can certainly party on weeknights without it affecting your GPA if you're smart about it. I'm not saying every weeknight, but a Tuesday here or a Thursday there isn't going to kill you.

Finally if you aren't satisfied with what you look like, get to the gym! Best time of your life to do it. My last semester I went to the gym M-F. Over an hour a day. Just get in a routine and you'll do it. Before class, after class, whenever. It gets really fun when you can go with a couple friends and all push each other. Nothing like forced rep squats to build those quads.

But most importantly, enjoy it! It will make the schoolwork easier and everything else just flows.
 

gamepad

Golden Member
Jul 28, 2005
1,893
1
71
Originally posted by: DrPizza
Treat college as an 8 to 5 job... when you've got an hour between classes, use it to get ahead on homework, research, etc. Don't just sit around watching Geraldo. You'll find that you end up with a lot more free time during the evenings.

I think I'll try to make this my late new year's resolution.
 

Tuktuk

Senior member
Jan 30, 2007
406
0
0
Your grades will reflect how seriously you take school. You should get the mindset that you WANT to study.. that means finding a field that interests you. Even if every class doesn't interest you, get the right attitude about why you're in college and you'll be happy to trek to the library every day.

The first sign of a bad professor is that they count "participation" as 15% of your grade. You'll notice that participation in these classes is really no more than in others, and that this method of grading is highly inaccurate. Also these professors tend to teach little and merely moderate class discussions on the reading, which most of the time simply do nothing but repeat what you've already read piece by piece as the professor waits 2 minutes for a response to each question he asks as everyone sits there bored as hell waiting for someone else to give him his answer. Hey jackass, you're there to lecture me and teach me, not ask for obvious answers that are bolded in the text. Even worse professors will require "class presentations" in classes that are completely unrelated to argument or public speaking. They will make this 10 minute chunk of time worth another 15% of your grade, again highly subjective and inaccurate as they just right down whatever grade they feel like at the time.

Never skip class. No, it isn't just "one day." You'll do it again. And again. Until one day you forgot about the exam and end up on your knees asking for the professor to let you take it, with some sorry excuse like your grandma died.

Also drink a lot of beer because it tastes delicious. Get as much ass as you can because its much harder afterward (from what I hear).
 

her209

No Lifer
Oct 11, 2000
56,352
11
0
"There is a time and place for everything and its called 'college'." - Chef
 

sjwaste

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2000
8,760
12
81
Here's how I got through school. More importantly, here's where I am now: 2 years out, evening law student, great career during the day.

First, learn to plan around your social life. Its inevitable that if everyone's drinking some random monday night, you're going to join them. So when you get home from class, get your work done before heading off to dinner. Second, pick a major that suits you, where the faculty is engaged, and you have a genuine interest in learning it. Third, learn a niche skill in that area. For me, that was SAS programming. It allowed me to take some of my programming skills into a business unit (as opposed to an IT shop), which put me in a position to lead projects and such fairly early because I could "speak" both business and technical. I highly encourage people to go after a business degree, as that's just where the majority of the jobs are. If you want to do engineering or something else, those are awesome too, but I suggest minoring in business.

Last, and most important, have a great time. Stay a 5th year if you want. You'll never have that freedom again, and if done right, you'll do a lot of growing up in the midst of all that partying. I have a lot of great memories, and you should too. Freshman year will probably be the best of your life, and senior year a close second, so make the most of it.

Life sucks right now, doing law school at night and a job I care about during the day. I wish every day I could go back :)
 

sjwaste

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2000
8,760
12
81
Originally posted by: Tuktuk

Never skip class. No, it isn't just "one day." You'll do it again. And again. Until one day you forgot about the exam and end up on your knees asking for the professor to let you take it, with some sorry excuse like your grandma died.

Also drink a lot of beer because it tastes delicious. Get as much ass as you can because its much harder afterward (from what I hear).

Listen to this wise man. I skipped a LOT of class, but I was able to make up for it because I'm pretty quick to learn things, so I just needed to read the book. In many cases, though, going to class will substitute for reading the material. And once you skip one class, you'll keep doing it. GO TO CLASS!

Beer is delicious, but don't neglect malt liquor. And yes, once you graduate, you're on the bottom rung as far as girls are concerned. Right about graduation time, women learn that they can/should date older/more successful men.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
48,414
5,270
136
Just one:

Work first, play later.
That means before doing any play stuff, take care of your homework. Do that and the rest of your time is open and guilt-free.
 

ric1287

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2005
4,845
0
0
Originally posted by: sjwaste
Originally posted by: Tuktuk

Never skip class. No, it isn't just "one day." You'll do it again. And again. Until one day you forgot about the exam and end up on your knees asking for the professor to let you take it, with some sorry excuse like your grandma died.

Also drink a lot of beer because it tastes delicious. Get as much ass as you can because its much harder afterward (from what I hear).

Listen to this wise man. I skipped a LOT of class, but I was able to make up for it because I'm pretty quick to learn things, so I just needed to read the book. In many cases, though, going to class will substitute for reading the material. And once you skip one class, you'll keep doing it. GO TO CLASS!

Beer is delicious, but don't neglect malt liquor. And yes, once you graduate, you're on the bottom rung as far as girls are concerned. Right about graduation time, women learn that they can/should date older/more successful men.

in most cases (in my experience) skipping class is perfectly fine ( frosh/soph year). The only way to blow it is by not reading anything, since there are usually notes or outlines posted somewhere.
 

Gunslinger08

Lifer
Nov 18, 2001
13,234
2
81
College means absolutely nothing after your first job.. and only matters for your first job if you have no connections.
 

chambersc

Diamond Member
Feb 11, 2005
6,247
0
0
Another law school tip.

If you are trying to get into any school of repute, the difference between an A and a B is life and death. DON'T GET B'S! DON'T F UP, EVEN ONCE!
 

eakers

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
12,169
2
0
become active in clubs (especially clubs related to your field like the Math and Stats club or the IEEE or Women in Technology and Trades) it makes for a good line on your resume and you never know who you are going to meet
go to optional guest lectures, you never know who will be there and who you will meet
ask questions

for group work and projects: ALWAYS WORK WITH SOMEONE SMARTER THAN YOU (or someone as smart as you with the same work ethic and similar grades)
 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,246
2
0
Any tips from the Med school grads to people going into Uni this September with that in mind?
 
Feb 19, 2001
20,158
20
81
Fridays and Saturdays are not the only party nights. Thursday nights is where it's all at. Schedule your Friday classes so you have it light in case you get messed up on Thursday night.

C-s are the devil. If you're about to get a C-, and you can afford a retake, just fail the final so you get that D or F and then you can retake for a better grade. Otherwise that 1.667 is gonna kill you.

Don't skip class.

Don't count on webcasts.

Don't skip class even if it's webcasted.

Take notes. In high school my calc teacher said that if we took down every single bit of notes (and he would do periodic checks every month), we could get a dropped test. 90% of the class did this even if they were smart as hell (like me who dropped a test that was like a B+ or something). I tried to do this in college again (except I knew there was no incentive but to learn better through notes). 2 notebooks now. 1 for MWF, 1 for TuTh. They are packed.

Bring colored pens to class. They help especially if you are an engineer... or anything you need to draw diagrams.

Don't bring laptops to class. Only bring them if you're like my roommate and I who have a 9:30-6:00 schedule on select Tuesdays and we really need to stay awake because sleeping at 3am is not good. If you bring them to class, you're probably ognna screw around. Luckily for my roommate and I, we have 3 hours straight in th esame room that's a Faraday's cage which gets no wireless. Only bring laptops to class if you're like a poli sci major or something. The only way I could take notes in that class was to type. Even then most people could not catch up, but clearly my 100wpm skills helped me keep up. And even then, turn off your damn wireless so you don't get distracted.

Sign up for a bajillion classes and drop as you go. You never wanna fall behind and regret you didn't sign up for a certain class. So yes, your first week might be hell with 20 units or something.

Plan a 4 year schedule thing. As molecular bio majors or econ majors you could probably get away just winging it because at least at my university, the college of letters & science majors are designed so that you take only 2 upper div classes (major related) per semester, and the rest you can take anything else. Not so in the college of engineering. Gotta take 4 - 5 techs. If I got ahead a little more in my first 2 years instead of taking fun stuff, I could be sleeping a LOT more now.

Join clubs, organizations. College is diff from high school. You're not gonna meet people left and right unless you're a freshman. It's not so easy to meet people once oyu move out.

LIVE ON CAMPUS for AT LEAST 1 year. I say recommended 2. You're going to miss the dorms. It's not hte ideal place to live once you look back, but it's fun. I went to the dorms last night to celebrate someone's bday and I got all nostalgic.

Eat food. Don't freaking skip out on breakfast. I think ppl are too picky on the DCs. I loved all the meals and I would pay to get back in (only if I lived closer). People say Berkeley food sucks. It probably isnt the best, but I would certainly eat there every night.

Go to office hours. I never went to OH in my first year. I went like 3 times in my 2nd year. I went about 5 - 10 times last semester. I've gone to 6 office hours already this semester, and I plan to attend a lot more. Make use of them. Ask questions. You might feel scared, but just ask them anyways.

READ EVERY NIGHT. Don't fall behind. This was why I didn't go to OH. I felt stupid and if you don't know your stuff, you can't just go in and expect to be taught. You need to have SOME knowledge of what's going on so at least you can discuss and ask meaningful questions.

Avoid coffee unless you must. The addiction will suck.

I have a lot more, but this should be plenty.
 

ric1287

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2005
4,845
0
0
Originally posted by: DLeRium
Fridays and Saturdays are not the only party nights. Thursday nights is where it's all at. Schedule your Friday classes so you have it light in case you get messed up on Thursday night.

C-s are the devil. If you're about to get a C-, and you can afford a retake, just fail the final so you get that D or F and then you can retake for a better grade. Otherwise that 1.667 is gonna kill you.

i don't know where you went/go to school, but getting a D or F is NOT better than a C-.
 

Gunslinger08

Lifer
Nov 18, 2001
13,234
2
81
Originally posted by: ric1287
Originally posted by: DLeRium
Fridays and Saturdays are not the only party nights. Thursday nights is where it's all at. Schedule your Friday classes so you have it light in case you get messed up on Thursday night.

C-s are the devil. If you're about to get a C-, and you can afford a retake, just fail the final so you get that D or F and then you can retake for a better grade. Otherwise that 1.667 is gonna kill you.

i don't know where you went/go to school, but getting a D or F is NOT better than a C-.

Some schools only allow repeat/forgive if you get a D or an F.

Also, all of this not skipping class stuff is BS. If you're relatively intelligent, you can get atleast a 3.0 going to 20-30% of your classes.