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What I Wish I Would’ve Known

Kristen McPeek Photo

When it comes to my college experience, I wish I would have found someone to tell me all the secrets. Like how to get connected with future employers, how to talk to a professor about my final grade, or even just what housing would’ve been best for me. My goal is to give you some tricks, tips, and tweaks on how to make your college experience the best it can be.

Buying your textbooks

Allison Corona Photo

Buying my textbooks every semester always seems to be a struggle. No matter how much I prepare in advance, I always learn something new. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years.

My biggest tip is to buy your textbooks used. It will help save money and, hey, someone else’s highlights or notes could help you in the long run. Another way to be cost-effective is to rent textbooks instead of buying them. Typically you will only be using your textbooks for a single semester, so renting will take it off your hands when you’re done.

You can do all of this at the Bronco Shop. They work directly with professors to make sure they have all the materials you’ll need. And – if you bought instead of rented them – they’ll often buy your textbooks back from you at the end of the semester.

Professors totally get that we’re college students on a budget, so read through the syllabus right away. Sometimes teachers create a free pdf or another file of the textbook for you. So make sure to double-check before buying anything.

If you didn’t know, Boise State has Facebook groups for the different classes on campus. Students are always selling their old textbooks, so checking there first could help you find the things you need and help another student make a little cash.

Ways to get involved on campus

Jessica Vargas Photo

Being involved in different groups on campus has provided me with a ton of educational and professional opportunities. It’s also allowed me to meet new people and build friendships outside of school. Whether fraternity or sorority life, a sports and rec program, student government, or cool volunteer experiences, Boise State has a ton of organizations for students to get involved in.

It can be hard to make friends on campus, especially if you don’t know anyone right away. Getting involved in groups or organizations is a great place to start. Research some things that interest you and find your people along the way.

Maybe you know what you want to study, or maybe you’re still exploring your options. Whatever lights a fire inside of you, Boise State has plenty of outlets that help you pursue your passions.

Is your routine getting a little stale? Do you need a new activity, hobby, or pastime? Whether you’re looking to be put out of your comfort zone or just want the spark of something new, Boise State has it all.

Back home, one of my favorite things to do was serve my community–whether it was volunteering at a homeless shelter or playing games with kids at my local boys and girls club. Coming to Boise State, I found that there are plenty of opportunities to serve, locally and even globally.

Tips for studying

Group Study

As someone who struggles with test-taking and gets distracted easily, studying in high school was never really my thing. When I came to college, I was determined to change my ways.

I realized that trying to study at home was too distracting. So my first year at Boise State, the library became my best friend. It’s quiet, but you can still have some social interaction if you want to. And suddenly, my grades started improving. I was doing the best I’ve ever done in school.

Besides the library, there are so many other cool places on campus to study. If you’re looking for something more secluded, finding hidden nooks around campus is your best option. Have a group project that needs to get done? The library has study rooms available to reserve for free.

You don’t just have to be studying for a big exam to take advantage of all the sweet spots on campus. Boise State has plenty of spaces to offer. You can explore campus and become a better student at the same time! Plus, everywhere you go, people are studying on campus. It’s the cool thing to do.

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