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Monday, July 23, 2012

Surviving the College Experience – Part 2

This is the second of a two-part series on preparing for and surviving college from Ahson Hamid, a computer engineering major at the University of Michigan.  Ahson has worked as an IT Support assistant at Community Financial part-time during the school year and full-time during the summer since 2011.  Part One of the series can be found here.

In this blog installment we continue to look at how to make the college experience more affordable and enjoyable. Here are a few guidelines to help you get through college with less stress and less debt:

  •        Surround yourself with motivated people - There are a number of benefits to becoming friends with smart people. The academic benefits are very obvious: if you are having trouble understanding a particular subject, your friends may be able to help you.  Next there are the social benefits. Generally speaking, being around other serious students will help you expand your horizons. Engaging in intellectual conversations and debates will expand your world and challenge, or even change, some of your ideologies, and most important, you will learn about things you never thought about!
  •       Learn how to study - Learn a way to study that works for you so that you will retain information.  There may be no “right” way but try making note cards,  using new educational apps that teach effective techniques, or even studying with friends; all will reinforce what you learn in class and help you avoid cramming for exams. Learning the material the first time will also save you money by not having to repeat courses. 

  •        Learn as much as you can - College is a time to study a wide variety of subjects you may have an interest in or may not have the chance to study later in life. Use your elective credits to explore history, literature or make self improvements.  READ. READ. READ. Textbooks, magazines, novels, or anything else you can get your hands on.  Being well-read may help you ace your first job interview and better prepare you for the real world.
  •        Other real ways to save real money

o   Minimize driving.
o   Buy or rent textbooks online and save more than 50%.
o   Use an on-campus gym as opposed to purchasing an off-site gym membership.
o   Use the on-campus internet connection instead of paying monthly.
o   Become a discount-hawk. Look for deals wherever you shop.
o   Get a free checking account and avoid bank fees.
o   Learn to cook your own meals, so you don’t go out to eat often.
o   Stay away from using credit cards if you don’t pay the balance every month.
o   Be creative, DIY (do-it-yourself). 
  •         Enjoy the college experience!

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