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STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Advice for freshmen 

Go to your professors' office hours. They may seem scary at first, but most of your professors actually do want to talk to you. Make relationships with them now so you can go to them later for letters of recommendation, a fellowship, or an independent study.

Rent your textbooks. No matter what you're studying, textbook costs can really add up. Go online to websites that let you rent textbooks for a lower price. You can also usually find somebody online who has taken the same class and kept their books.

Join a club. Even being treasurer for a video-game club looks good on a resume, and clubs are a good way to make friends. Start as a freshman and you'll have plenty of time to work your way up the ranks by senior year.

You are not the only one who would rather stay in and play video games or board games on a Saturday night. There are lots of students like that around, they just may be harder to find than the party animals.

The person you are assigned to live with freshman year does not have to be your best friend for the next four years. Sometimes you are placed with someone you just don't relate to. It's not their fault, it's not your fault, and don't think it's wrong to try and meet different people.

Get your money's worth. You know all of those random administration offices around campus? You're paying for them. So go to your school's academic counselor, go to health services, and go to your RA.

Do not procrastinate. So your only assignment for a class is a 20-page paper due the day before Christmas break? Start it now. No, seriously.

Make to-do lists. Studies show crossing an item off of a list releases endorphins and lowers stress.

Don't be afraid to take different kinds of classes. You never know what you'll find interesting, and it's a good way to find a minor.

Bring an umbrella everywhere. This is Rochester, people. The weather changes every 10 minutes.

Please, please back up your computer files. People have lost entire honors theses pulling out a flash drive without ejecting it first. You should have an important document saved in three different places. Online storage systems like Dropbox and Google Docs are free.

Always wear flip-flops in the bathroom and shower room. Because people are gross, and you don't want to end up like them.

In This Guide...

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Introduction

    Totally radical
    I was never a math major, but if my calculations are correct, 18-year-olds starting their freshman year at college this fall were born in or around 1994. Which means you whippersnappers might not fully appreciate the super-cool concept for the cover of this Student Survival Guide, because you weren't alive for any of the 1980's. Which means I feel sad for you. So for your first college assignment, I task you with (legally) downloading music by Duran Duran, The Go-Gos, Culture Club, Erasure, and their contemporaries. You will thank me later.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Education

    Make the most of your education: Why easy A’s and a light course load might rob you in the long run
    I first came in contact with that daunting, incomprehensible piece of paper in elementary school. The vast combinations of letters and numbers seemed like a language I would never decode.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Art Gallery Guide

    Broaden your palette: Get off campus and out into Rochester’s vibrant art scene
    In case you didn't know, Rochester is a city practically bursting with art and creativity. Whether you're an artist yourself, an art enthusiast, or just in need a break from your studies, the Rochester art scene is home to many popular venues -- as well as exciting hidden treasures -- that will open your mind to new ideas, and possibly give you a new perspective on how to view the world.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Off-campus fun

    Feel like a kid again: Blow off some academic steam and have a blast with these off-campus outings
    You're finally in college. You've gotten a taste of that independence you've been craving your entire teenaged life.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Volunteering

    Helping others, helping yourself: Why college is the perfect time to get involved in the community
    All those hours of community service in high school paid off: you've been accepted into college. You did your good deeds for the world -- and let's be honest, to brighten up that application -- and you're done.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Health Services

    Take care of yourself: Make the most of campus health and safety offerings
    You have arrived at college, your new home away from home for about 10 months out of the year. Everything is new, especially if you're living on campus.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Food and Entertainment

    More than a meal: Stretch your dollar by grabbing food and entertainment off-campus
    I remember my first week at college, when the dining hall seemed like some heavenly, endless supply of food I could just pick up and eat at any time. That feeling didn't last.

    STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '12: Special events calendar

    COMPILED BY ANTOINETTE ENA JOHNSON As incoming students will soon discover, the Greater Rochester area is absolutely bursting with special events -- this town loves its festivals -- and there's never a shortage of interesting things going on in the region.

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