Tips for Freshmen

Although only about 20 freshmen may pick up this newspaper in the first two weeks, I still feel putting this information out there will help. Here are some nice tips I wish someone would’ve told me when I first joined college. I had to find these tricks out the hard way. For the lucky few who picked up the paper, enjoy!

First of all, don’t buy books! Really. If you still haven’t, do not buy books. They sell it to you at orientation that you must be prepared that first day, book in hand, ready to learn. This leads to long lines in the bookstore where you quickly empty your freshly filled Rocket Card. First of all, wait to see if you really need a book. Some classes require books they only use once, as a reference, if at all. Second, if you do really need the book, try sharing with a friend you met in class. Splitting a book two or three ways can help the wallet.

Finally, there is a source of free books. That is right, I said free books. The state of Ohio has a wonderful, interconnected library system. It’s called OhioLink. All the libraries in the state will ship you books from their catalogs. Once again, for free. You can easily find the book you need from a collection as large as the state of Ohio. And if you can’t find the current edition, you can find an older one that will still give you all the information you need. If anything, you can borrow someone else’s book for your homework problems. I haven’t purchased a textbook for class since sophomore year! And since I already found my books for this semester, I don’t mind sharing this secret. Remember, search for your books on

Also, do not sell your books back to the bookstore at the end of the semester. Did you ever think about how they sell books at full price, buy them back at only 40 percent and then repeat? That is one sweet deal on the part of the bookstores. Skip the middle man. Sell your books to fellow classmates and younger students if you can. Or even just do a book swap. This will save time, effort and some money for all involved parties. This is assuming you actually had to buy the book.

Another tip: get to know your teachers – both in and outside of class. In class, you can discover what they deem important subject material. The more you know what the teacher stresses, the more likely you will know what will be on all the tests. This can simplify your study time. You won’t need to waste time on material that likely won’t be on the exam. I had a professor whose system was pretty simple. The homework assignments were the hardest examples, but they were graded easily. The quizzes were the easiest examples. The exams were redone quizzes. Once you learn the system, you can beat it.

Outside of the classroom, professors are normally helpful. During office hours, you can get many of your issues and questions worked out. And if a professor knows you by name and face, they normally take a much more vested interest in your success. This isn’t high school anymore where the professor is the bad guy. They are doing their job and trying to help you learn the material needed for you to get a job.

Finally, get involved on campus! Go eat all the free pizza you can find and join the club, society or organization that sounds the most interesting. Make the most of your college experience. Get out of the dorms and get to meet new people. Get to know older students. Join an organization such as a professional fraternity like Theta Tau, a technical society, a service organization, et cetera.

All of the recent graduates I’ve talked to like to remind me college is the best time of one’s life. And I apologize for the clich?, but it does go rather quickly. So, as a last tip, live it up!

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