Not-so-common school year advice

Regina Budden is the new editor-in-chief of the Washburn Review print edition. This is her first official editorial.

Regina Budden

As everyone welcomes the new (and returning) students and staff to campus, the air will be abuzz with some fairly common advice.

Go to class. Get sleep. Don’t drink too much. Get involved. Go to the Rec, don’t just sit at home. All fantastic advice, but it’s stuff that I’ve been hearing since before I started college. So I’m going to attempt to give some less-than-usual advice in order to spice up the usual run:

1. Save plastic bags—For those who will be moving between their parents’ home and their dorm or new apartment, the plastic Walmart bags can be great to use either to carry things or (my favorite use) in lieu of packing peanuts. They are available in large quantities, and are recyclable, whereas styrofoam peanuts are not.

2. Don’t sweat the small classes—Some general education classes are not that important. I mean, yes, it will look terrible on your transcript if you have a 2.0, but taking a class pass/fail every semester or so can make a huge difference. Use the time you would have spent on that class to study for your others. Keep in mind this only works if you can PASS your pass/fail class…

3. Thouroughly understand graduation requirements of your major—Many majors require an internship, senior portfolio, thesis, grand performance or something like that. Don’t let these sneak up on you. If you know that you have a senior portfolio in your future, keep that in mind during your classes. Hopefully, by senior year, you will have kept your eye on projects you were particularly proud of so when your professors demand your work, you have it handy.

4. Double-check what your advisor says—I have a pretty decent advisor. That being said, not everyone is so lucky. And even good advisors don’t always get it right, so when yours says you don’t really need that Spanish class, it’s OK to check the catalogue or run the idea by the Registrar’s office.

5. Get to know your neighbors—It can mean neighbors in class, in dorm life, in your actual neighborhood, or your apartment. You never know who will be good homework help, who likes to go on fast food runs at 1 a.m., or who you should just plain avoid, but since you see them on a regular basis, just finding that kind of stuff out can be incredibly beneficial.