Ah, college. Days spent scrawling notes from a rambling professor’s lecture; afternoons spent trying to decipher said notes and wondering what the professor’s heart surgery 20 years prior had to do with the War of 1812; nights cramming for an exam in the local coffee shop while hoping to God that the guy bumming for change outside didn’t major in the same subject as you.

And somewhere along the way, trying to fit in a social life and scrape together enough money for a taco.

Yes, college can be stressful. To ease the transition somewhat from the carefree high-school years or the lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer to the halls of higher education, the GO staff put their creative heads together and came up with tips for everything from scoring cheap textbooks to staving off the late-night munchies. You can find them on Page 27.

It’s been a while since I’ve been an undergraduate student (stop your snickering), but I remember some tricks that are timeless when it comes to making those college years more enjoyable.

1. Don’t buy the textbook until you’re sure you will need it. Every class has a list of “required” books, but what they don’t tell you is that a lot of professors — a lot — teach from their own notes. I bought two $50 history textbooks that were rarely used before wising up.

2. Don’t try to remake your dorm room into the room you have at home. You may think you’ll need your entire CD collection and your set of Red Sox drinking glasses, but you’re more than likely going to have to move it all after every semester. Think essentials: mini-fridge, microwave and enough clothes to last before the next trip home (also known as laundry day).

3. Use both straps of your backpack, unless you want to be like me and have back problems all your life. Seriously.

4. If you don’t get along with your roommate, find another. He or she may be a great person, but if you’re not compatible, you’re going to be miserable and end up arguing over everything from choice of music to boyfriend/girlfriend visits.

5. Become friends with the resident’s assistants. They’ll be more willing to help you (and let some of the more minor transgressions slide) if you’re not constantly on their bad side.

6. Have one of those fancy bottles that’s not a screw-top and finding yourself without a bottle opener? Two words: Door jamb.

7. Study. Yes, I know, now I’m sounding like your parents. But here’s a fact: a good majority of the fun-loving, hard-partying freshmen won’t be back sophomore year. And eventually, you’re going to have to embark on the next stage of the game of Life, and you don’t want to spend it behind a Fry-O-Lator.

8. Speaking of parents, call them, for cryin’ out loud. They raised you for 18 years, and are probably paying for most, if not all, of your college adventures. You owe them, pal.


Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]