STARTING THE by wuyunyi



                                          They are like a road map to the
You've made it this far and now you       school, and they will keep you from
can't wait to leave home and your         making too many time-consuming
parents are probably excited about it     wrong turns. They are also a great
too, but have you thought about the       way to meet other people and start
actual process of leaving home and        making friends. Of course,
setting up a new life in another place?   orientation sessions at some schools
You're going to be on your own: no        are a lot more fun than others, but
parents, no curfew, no set schedule to    even if they are a little boring, you
follow, and very few rules of behavior.   can still learn some valuable
So, sounds too good to be true, huh?      information and shortcuts.
But how do you plan to survive without
the safety nets that your parents and         PREPARE FOR DORM LIVING
high school have always provided?
                                          Most schools ask you to list your
The following are some tips to help       dormitory and roommate preferences.
make the transition a little easier.      You will be asked to choose between
Many of them have been suggested by       single-sex and coed dorms; if you
former Goddard High School                want coed, you may be offered the
students.                                 option of coed by floor or by room.
                                          Other options may include all-
           GET ORIENTED                   freshmen or mixed-class dorms,
                                          dorms with designated "quiet" floors,
If one is available, do the orientation   and "substance-free" dorms. You
program for incoming freshmen.            might as well get used to the fact
Some are held in the summer, and          that there will be noise and confusion
some are held a few days before the       in all dorms, but some are better than
start of the fall term. Some summer       others for actual study conditions.
programs offer you the opportunity to     Many students do their studying in
enroll early as part of the orientation   designated study lounges in the dorms
activities. If they do, take advantage    or in the library.
of this opportunity since you will have
better course availability.               The roommate situation: Most
                                          freshmen have to learn to live in a
Orientation sessions offer valuable       room with a total stranger, deal with
information about the campus and its      constant noise, and cope with the fact
programs and facilities, security,        that clean laundry no longer reappears
organizations and activities, etc.        automatically in their dresser
drawers. You and your roommate will      electrical appliances such as
probably have different values,          microwave ovens, small refrigerators,
outlooks, and habits....and this can     etc., before you load them into the
mean trouble if you don't learn to       family van for the trip to campus.
discuss and compromise. If you find      Most dorms allow some small
out your roommate's name and             appliances, but you'd better read the
address or e-mail address during the     fine print on the housing regulations
summer, write a letter of introduction   first.
and suggest an exchange of
information to help start the term       You will really need the use of a
off on the right foot. Talk about your   computer and a good word processing
study habits, sleep patterns, and        program at school, but check out the
standards of housekeeping (just how      availability of computers before you
deep does the pile of clothes on the     consider taking your own. Some
floor get before you bother to pick up   private schools offer computers in
a few things?) so that there are no      the dorm rooms, but most schools can
unpleasant surprises.                    only offer labs in the dorms, library,
                                         etc. If you have to use a lab, you may
RESPECT is the key to successful         have to wait....and if you have to wait,
roommate relationships. If you are       you may miss a deadline.
unlucky enough to get the roommate
from another planet, seek help from      Laundry. You will probably be doing
your RA, dorm director, or student       your own laundry (it's a sad thing, to
services director. A bad situation can   be sure, but Mom just won't be there
make your life miserable and affect      to take care of it for you). If you're
your academic success.                   smart, you'll take a crash course on
                                         the finer points of doing laundry
Stuff. When you get in touch with        before you leave home. Pink jockey
your roommate, work out who's            shorts (for those of you who have
bringing what. Rooms are often quite     never done laundry, pink shorts are a
small with very limited storage space,   by-product of washing your white
so you may not have enough space for     underwear with your favorite red
both of you to bring every conceivable   sweatshirt) tend to cause a ripple in
convenience from home. Consider          the men's locker room!! It's a good
sharing certain items especially ones    idea to take a couple of laundry bags
that take up a lot of space like         or plastic baskets with you and stock
appliances. Make sure you are aware      up on quarters!!
of dorm regulations regarding
Security. Crime is a growing concern      looking over your shoulder to make
on all campuses. Be smart and protect     sure you are meeting your
yourself and your property. Keep          requirements. This is your
your door locked and your valuable        responsibility!!
property out of sight when you are
not in your room. Learn how to            If you are at a large school, try to
contact campus security in an             choose at least one small course (one
emergency, and find out if an evening     in which there is only a small number
escort service is available. Most         of students) in your first term so
campuses have some sort of security,      that you can get to know at least one
and those that are larger and/or are      instructor well and a few people with
located in or near a city tend to have    whom you can work closely. This will
many security services available.         make you feel less like a number and
                                          more like a real person.

The college catalog will become your      Even if your parents are paying the
guidebook. It tells you everything you    bills or you are on scholarships, all
need to know about the policies of the    expenses are in your name. Take
school, which courses you need to         responsibility for monitoring these
take, and what your degree                and see that they are taken care of in
requirements are. You (not your           a timely manner. Check all statements
parents nor your advisor) will be         and receipts for accuracy since
expected to read it and be                schools can make mistakes. Keep all
responsible for your own progress         receipts and statements in a special
toward graduation. Ignorance is no        file in case you have to provide
excuse at this level. Study the           documentation. When packing for
catalog and then meet with your           college, make sure you take along
advisor. Making poor class choices        copies of your financial aid
can cause you to have to take one or      statements and receipts for college
two extra terms of classes.... and this   bills already paid.
means more $$$, as well as extending
your graduation date.

Make it a point to meet with your                SET UP A MEAL PLAN
advisor regularly and well before each
registration period. No one will be
Most schools offer a variety of meal      looking over your shoulder making
plans, including special plans such as    sure you go to class or do your
vegetarian meals. Some meal plans         reading!!! Assignments will be given
are covered as part of your housing       weeks in advance and no one will hover
contract. There is a variety of           over you to make sure that you work
options available, so make sure you       every night. For most freshmen
understand how many meals per week        there comes a dangerous moment
are provided and in what locations.       when you realize that if you can't
It's a good idea to get a meal plan for   make yourself work, then you might as
the first year so that you are            well pack up and go home. The key to
guaranteed at least a couple of well-     making it all work is to get organized
balanced meals a day even if you have     and practice time management skills.
overdrawn your account!!
                                          Use a Planner. It doesn't have to be
There is a popular idea that freshmen     one of those fancy things that cost
automatically gain 15 to 20 pounds.       $50, but use some kind of planner or
Unfortunately, this is true in most       assignment book to keep track of
cases, but it’s not the fault of the      everything especially assignments,
meals provided on the meal plan. It's     projects, tests, papers, etc. Get in
the result of poor eating habits and      the habit of using it everyday to write
too many junk-food meals. So if           down all obligations.
nothing else, taking advantage of a
meal plan might keep you from putting     Use your course syllabus or outline.
on unwanted pounds!                       At the start of each term, the
                                          professor will hand out a syllabus, or
  LEARN TO BUDGET YOUR TIME               course outline, which tells what will be
                                          covered in each class session and
The biggest mistake that most             gives reading assignments and the
freshmen make is misuse of time.          dates of papers, quizzes, and tests.
The typical freshman takes 15             Transfer these dates and deadlines
credits-or 5 courses, or 15 hours a       into your planner immediately...and you
week-compared to about 30 hours of        will save yourself a lot of wasted time.
weekly class time in high school. That
sounds like a lot of free time...until    Set up a schedule: Your time in high
you discover that for every hour of       school was structured...classes all day
class time, you may have to do two        and homework at night. In college,
hours of reading and studying.            you will have much more free time
Another shock is that no one will be      during the day in between classes.
Don't waste it. Set up a daily            also offer help sessions prior to
schedule that includes study and          exams. Also, there are always study
reading time in between classes so        groups you can join. The bottom line
that you don't save it all until the      is that help is there if you ask for
evening.                                  it.

Upperclassmen will tell you that as        LEARN TO BUDGET YOUR MONEY
freshmen, they had trouble going
from the structure of high school to      This is another area where no one will
the lack of it at college. Many           be looking over your shoulder telling
freshmen with limited study skills and    you what to do. You and your parents
time management skills (Mom always        should sit down well before you leave
reminded them to do things!) simply       for school and establish a realistic
fall apart when tempted by the            budget. Make sure you settle who is
constant availability of social           responsible for paying what
distractions. They party too much,        (telephone calls, trips home,
skip too many classes, and suddenly       unexpected expenses).
it's too late to do anything but panic
and fail. Former students have said,      Most businesses will not accept out-
"Don't make cutting class a habit. If     of-town checks, so plan to open a
you do, you aren't getting your           checking account in a bank near
tuition's worth and you'll regret it at   campus or have a debit card available.
test time."                               Keep your checkbook balanced and up
                                          to date...and don't abuse an ATM
Save yourself the anguish by setting      card!!! Most freshmen say this was
up a daily schedule that includes time    their biggest mistake next to time
for study. You will discover that         management.
having a daily schedule actually frees
up time for you to do other things.       It's not a bad idea to "hide” a couple
                                          of hundred dollars in your bank
Get help. When in doubt, ask for          account for an emergency. Don't add
help. Every school has some kind of       it in...just pretend it isn't there.
assistance for students experiencing      Most freshmen say that you will
trouble - tutoring programs, writing      experience some kind of money
centers, math centers, online             emergency, and you will be glad you
homework assistance. Some dorms           did this.
even have these programs available        AVOID all offers for low-interest
within the dorm. Some professors          credit cards. You will be swamped
with offers for these...and they will    broaden your knowledge base and help
sound very attractive and enticing,      you meet people.
but they are a fast road to needless
and painful debt. JUST SAY NO!            LEARN TO MAKE WISE CHOICES

     TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE               You will not only be called upon to
          SOCIAL SCENE                   make good choices about your
                                         courses, your use of time, and your
Yes, you are there to get an             use of money, you will also be faced
education, but you are also there to     with many other situations where your
meet new people and gain new             choices can have far-reaching
experiences. Take advantage of           consequences. The temptations will
opportunities to meet people such as     be many and varied. Keep your wits
orientation activities, mixers at your   about you and your priorities straight
dorm, and, if you're interested in       and make decisions that reflect your
Greek life, the activities involved in   values and your objectives for your
rush for fraternities and sororities.    education.
Meeting people right away is the best
way to fight homesickness.               College is more than a place to get an
                                         education. Most students rank their
   EXPLORE EXTRACURRICULAR               "learning-from-living" experiences as
          PROGRAMS                       just as important as the 'learning-
                                         from-books' experiences...and most
At large universities you will find a    reflect that their success was highly
wide range of free and inexpensive       dependent on their attitude and
activities to attend. Also explore       motivation.
such offerings as radio and television
stations, newspapers and literary              MEDICAL AND DENTAL
magazines, debate teams, choruses,                INFORMATION
theater ensembles, political groups,
etc. Smaller schools will also offer     If you're going to a school that is a
many opportunities for you to indulge    considerable distance away, you might
your special interests. Sometimes        want to take copies of your medical/
this type of exposure helps you          dental files just in case...and
decide on a future career, so take       especially if you have any ongoing
advantage of the many things that are    medical/dental issues. Check with
offered. These kinds of activities       your parents so you know what your
                                         medical/dental coverage is before you
go off to school...especially emergency
care coverage.                            Eating-related Items:
                                          Dishware and utensils (plastic)
   SUGGESTED CHECKLIST FOR                Drinking glasses/coffee mugs
    RESIDENCE HALL LIVING                 Snacks

Appliances:                               Laundry Supplies:
Hair dryer                                Detergent
Radio with alarm                          Fabric softener
Stereo/CD player                          Hangers
Microwave (if allowed)                    Iron and ironing board
Small refrigerator (if allowed)           Laundry bag/basket(s)
Blanket/Comforter                         Room Furnishings:
Pillows and pillowcases                   Bedspread
Sheets                                    Memo board
Towels                                    Posters/pictures
Toiletries                                Small rug
                                          Extra wastebasket
Normal clothes/shoes                      Extras:
Rain gear                                 Backpack for books
Swimsuit                                  Paper towels
Athletic wear                             Games/cards
Comfortable shoes for walking/playing     Sports stuff
Desk supplies:
Calculator                                A little bit of home:
Wall calendar                             Photos of family/friends
Daily/weekly planner                      Stuffed animal(s)
Desk light (portable)                     Personal mementos
Dictionary and thesaurus                  (These aren't necessities, but they
Paper clips, pens, pencils                help fight homesickness!!)
Ruler                                        Keep in mind that dorm rooms are
Scotch and masking tape                       usually small with limited space.
Paper and notebooks                           You can’t take everything.
                                              a great help carrying all that soap,
   Plastic storage boxes or crates are       shampoo, conditioner, etc., back
    a handy thing to take and can be          and forth down the hall to the
    stored under your bed.                    bathroom.

Handy things to take that may not            First aid kit and small sewing kit.
be on a dorm supply list:                     It's amazing how handy these two
                                              items can be. Remember, Mom's
   Power strips and extension cords.         not there to take care of you!
    There are never enough outlets in
    dorm rooms. Make sure, however,          Umbrella(s). You will be walking
    that you don't overload the               everywhere...and it does rain at
    circuits. It's embarrassing if you        some time in every city or town.
    become known as the kid
    responsible for the dorm's three-        Flashlight. A handy item when the
    hour blackout.                            electricity goes out...which can be
                                              frequently, especially in older
   Fan(s). Older dorms may not have          dorms where the wiring may be a
    good air circulation even if they         little outdated.
    are supposedly air-conditioned.

   Hammer and screwdrivers. These
    will come in handy when you're
    getting your room set up.

   Bathrobe and flip-flops. No, you
    probably don't use a bathrobe at
    home...but it's a long walk down
    the hall to the communal bathroom.
    And the flip-flops are for standing
    on wet (and sometimes slimy)
    floors in the showers where lots of
    other people have been. Take'll be glad you did.

   Shower caddy. Another thing you
    don't have at home because you
    have your own bathroom. They're

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