Going to college is such an exciting time in life and something most of us look forward to for years. It also is filled with a lot of unknowns that can produce so much anxiety as you are getting ready to start college classes! Fortunately, Christie Garton has come up with a great solution to this part of the college problem.
She has put together a great resource book called College Girls’, Real Advice For Your First Year (And Beyond!). It is filled with practical advice for girls to help them figure out their first year of college. Christie, along with 53 college girls, talk about their first hand experiences and give insight into what college is really like, how to be very successful from the beginning, and all of the pitfalls to avoid as a new student.
Because so many girls have contributed to the book by telling their personal stories and what they have learned it feels like you are getting advice on going to college from a friend and is a very easy read.
One of the first chapters helps girls know what to do the summer before classes start, even giving advice on how to reach out to your room mate before school starts. I love the reminders about how to be a good room mate and the fact that this book is filled with practical advice you can actually follow and benefit from.
Another chapter that stood out to me is ‘Head of the Class’. This portion of the book details the exact strategies that a girl should use to make excellent grades with specific advice on how much and how to study. Christie also talks about how to register for classes, what to do if a class you need is full, how to know when you should drop a class, and how to make a study schedule that will work for you.
Of course, my favorite chapter is ‘Money Matters’. Financial Aid and the best ways to find scholarship money is covered. She explains why you don’t have to have a credit card, how to handle it properly if you do have one (pay the entire balance at the end of every month!), and talks about not feeling sorry for yourself if you don’t have a large income.
There is also some great advice about how to budget and still live a fabulous life. Some of the tips on cutting down on spending are:
*Pack your own snacks in plastic baggies so you don’t have to buy out of vending machines. This is a huge money saver!
*Whenever you go shopping make sure to have a list and only buy the things you really need.
*Learn how to do things for yourself. You can color your own hair or have a friend help, give yourself a manicure or pedicure, etc. etc.
*Treating yourself to something fun on a regular basis is also a great way to stay on a budget. But even that can be done with your budget in mind. Instead of going to the theatre you could invite friends to your dormroom, pop some popcorn, and enjoy a Redbox movie or watch something on Netflix.
There are so many topics covered I could never hope to tell you about everything in this one blog post. If you are headed to college this fall though I would recommend purchasing the book to read through over the summer so you can be really prepared. College is one of the most important things you can do at this stage of your life and it makes sense to invest some time getting prepared.
One of the added benefits to purchasing the book is that it’s also a chance to support a product that benefits girls going to college because the profits fund the 1000 Dreams program by UChic. The goal is to award 1,000 scholarships for $1,000 each to girls who apply and are selected! So many of these scholarships have already been awarded and this is a great way to support a scholarship program that is making a real difference!
What are you doing to prepare yourself for the college experience? It’s really important and I recommend you get started with Christie’s book!