Back to School: University

by August 31, 2012
filed under Life

I love university because I love learning about what I’m interested in. It may sound nerdy, but if you’re going to university, you have to want to go. For those of you heading to university in September, whether it’s your first year or last, I’ve put together a small back-to-school guide for you.

We’ll start with my first love: School supplies. School supplies get me super excited for school! To get the best deals, check out your local flyers. There’s a new office supply store opening up near my house and they have a big opening sale with 20% off. It’s a good time to score some deals. But don’t be afraid to spring for some things! You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but I bought a $15 agenda from a bookstore because I instantly fell in love with it: Coil bound (much easier to write in than one without coils), purple (my favorite color), lots of space to write in, and a zip pouch in the back. Buy things that get you excited to go to school.

And now my second love: Organization. Make sure you keep track of all your assignments, exams, and any other important dates (in your fancy agenda!) because profs don’t always remind you (those sneaky buggers). Keep a clean desk at home and make sure you have easy access to anything you’ll need for class, homework, etc. I have a couple small drawers in my room devoted to stuff I need for school: Pens, pencils, whiteout, printer paper and ink cartridges, note cards, and sticky notes.

Textbooks are probably my least favorite part of university. They’re heavy, bulky and cost an arm and a leg. Fortunately, there are ways to save on them! You can buy books with friends and share them by designating who gets them on which days. You can look on sites like Kijiji, where sellers can post ads for items and buyers can respond directly. I got a used textbook at a third of the price of the new one on Kijiji. You can also rent textbooks online by using a site called Chegg. You can even save a few bucks by buying your books from bigger bookstores (like Amazon or Chapters) rather than your school bookstore. Ask your profs if you can get away with buying older (aka cheaper) editions and they will always tell you whether the textbooks are even required or recommended.

Attending lectures is important because that’s where you get a lot of clarity on the material. Sure there are notes online, but your prof will go into more detail in class. I like to sit nearer to the front because it’s annoying to constantly peer around people’s heads to look at the projector or the whiteboard. I’d also recommend staying off your phone since this seems to be a worse offense than occasionally browsing the internet.

Since I drive to school, I didn’t see the point in getting a locker so I make sure to have everything I need in my backpack. It may sound like a lot, but it’s not that bad! I’m a gurl and I have essentials that must travel with me everywhere.

And here are some other tips:

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