Thursday, August 21, 2014

Adventures with Lea #3: My First Day of College

     After an entire summer of doing work and then a whole lot of nothing, I've reached the conclusion that is school.  I began the day bright and early at 6:30 a.m. with the usual school routine--shower, clothes, food, charge your stuff, etc.  I even decided to do a little experiment and take my 3DS to see if I would streetpass with anyone on campus as a little experiment.  I decided on a dress with pockets so I could keep my phone out of my purse and decided to go ahead and take my laptop just in case.  My school even offers the most recent Microsoft Office for free, so I went ahead and downloaded that!  My sister had also given me a "college prep kit" for my birthday, that had all kinds of useful things like highlighters, a planner, and sunglasses so I gathered up those things too which came in handy later.  Then, I gathered my things and was off.

Taking a selfie to avoid being bored waiting outside
     Astronomy was first on the list.  I left early to get a parking spot but ended up being over 30 minutes early to class.  6 students sat on the steps to the Biology Annex like gargoyles guarding the entrance, giving inquisitive and intimidating stares to those who dared to pass them to enter.  I stood outside, far from them, waiting--thinking the building was locked.  Upon entering hesitantly 20 minutes before class's start, I realized many people sitting on the floor in front of the classroom instead--I even found a friend from school and sat with her.  The class itself was interesting, with the professor being a pretty cool guy overall.  I ended up having to buy a textbook, a pass to the homework website, and I'll have to pay for ink/printing of the lab assignments.  After some super sleuthing online, I found a completely unmarked copy of the book in perfect condition for $3 and added on $7 for 2 day shipping so a nice $10 for the book.  Total Cost:  $50  

    Geography was up next.  Connie had the same Prof. and made sure I got him.  He's a really interesting guy who doesn't use a textbook and focuses on many of the 70 countries he's visited in person!  The room however, was a large lecture hall and it was completely packed.  Luckily, I found 2 more friends to sit with right in the second row.  The entire class was a powerpoint of pictures from all over the world, including statistics about things such as population, oil, consumption of water and melting of glaciers, and a lot of other interesting things.  Total Cost:  $0

   Computer Science was the last class of the morning.  It was in my good old Science Hall home where YWIC was all summer.  Noor and I walked to class where I found Seth!  I sat with him and the prof discussed the syllabus, the lab and grading system, and the usual jazz.  She let class out 30 minutes early, so I went to the library to purchase my books and such.  This is where I discovered the book she wanted us to have was $140.00 at the bookstore on campus and $56 to rent.  I found the exact same book online for $44 and added express shipping, giving me about $51.  Total Cost:  $51

  After some lunch with Jaimi and a visit to the Ywic ladies, I got to go home.  I found out that I street passed 3 people!  I rested, got my scholarship money into my account, and then headed back to school at 6:00 for Trigonometry.  I was hoping to have another easy class but I was WAAAAY off!  The teacher speaks in a pretty hard to understand accent, took 5 minutes to go over the syllabus that was apparently online and not handed out, and then began straight away with notes on inequalities--the thing I find easiest.  The class honestly made me bored and a bit overwhelmed at the same time.  Turns out I have to pay for ANOTHER site to do my homework on, and perhaps even the book as well unless a friend has it.  I left school and headed to the dollar store, but found no notebooks to take notes for my classes in :(   Cost Not Including Book:  $70

   Luckily, my Lootcrate finally came today!  Today's crate was FANTASTIC so I'll have the video of that up soon, but tomorrow is Gaming Con!!!!!!!  My Nintendo Land video might be delayed because of it!

Lea's Tips:
  1. Check your school's website before school begins
    1. Some teachers, like my Astronomy teacher, emailed the syllabus to us this Monday so we could have our books, but my trig teacher only put it on Canvas, the school's homework site.
    2. Make sure to check it and bring your syllabus with you to class  
  2. Make sure you have applied/accepted scholarships, grants, and the like
    1. The #1 cause of college problems is price tag shock from what I can see, so for you and your family's sake, go for some scholarships!
      1. Check out sites like that will help you with this sort of thing!
      2. Talk to financial aid and FAFSA
    2. If you have already received a scholarship, MAKE SURE YOU ACCEPTED IT!  You can usually do this through your college's student site!  Plus, you need to pick up your money!  Maybe other schools mail it to you, but I had to go down to Financial Aid to pick up my scholarship money!
  3. Print out your week's schedule and either walk your day out or be familiar with your classrooms ahead of time
    1. Luckily, I'm very used to my college campus so I knew where all 4 of my classes were, but make sure you know the class room # and building.
    2. If you have questions, ask around and people can help you.  I had to direct 3 people to a classroom in the poorly designed Science Hall.
    3. If you are new to the campus, I suggest printing out a map and going a few days ahead of time and walking through your schedule to figure out how to get from one class to the next and make sure you can do so in the allotted time.  
  4. Have your parking sticker and other mandatory school supplies before hand
    1. I bought my $52 parking permit yesterday and had to stand in line for 20 minutes in the sun.  Make sure you have this or know where to park if you cant afford one.  
  5. Get sleep, have breakfast, and take snacks,
    1. It sounds cliche, but do it.  You need rest, especially if you have early classes like I do.  Make sure you know your schedule and know where you can fit in meals and snacks!  
  6. Go early to find a parking spot if you intend to park
  7. Take notebooks, pencils, highlighters, and a planner
    1. I used my planner to color coat my classes and my schedule.  That way, I can say "Oh, I have a Pink Exam on the 13th, so I have one for Astronomy!  And I have blue homework so Trig!"  
    2. Some teachers will actually make you take notes.  I couldn't find a notebook this morning and Trig kicked my butt.
  8. Make a friend or look for old ones so you don't have to sit alone
    1. Most classes will involve group work, so find a good group!!
  9. Make time for your friends
    1. Find time when you can hang out, get lunch, or otherwise relax alone or with friends
    2. I suggest finding a time to do a physical activity like swimming if you're not in a physical education or sports class, even though walking will help.  
  10. Have fun
    1. Don't get scared.  If things get overwhelming, find some ice cream and have a little snack
    2. Find a place that is easy to go to and relax like the library or a shop on campus
    3. Swim, play games, or do something other than just work to keep you awake and sane.
    4. You guys are welcome to share your first day experiences in the comments or here on my email!  I'd be happy to hear about it and/or give support or advice ^^