Archive for the 'College Fun' Category
I firmly hold the belief that every college student these days needs a computer. Of course, whether you go for the laptop or the desktop is up to you (I personally use a desktop). However, no matter what machine you’re using, there are certain applications that are a must have. Some are needed simply for school; others are required just to be a hip college student.
1. Microsoft Word – I use a Macintosh, but I still have Microsoft Office for the Mac. It’s an MS Word world, and college students should definitely have this application. Your professors will mail out things in word documents, and if you are sending papers to school computers, you’ll need that lovely .doc extension. It’s true that other word processing programs sometimes allow for conversion to Word format, but if you’re anything like me, the extra effort is almost not worth it.
2. PowerPoint – Yes you’ll need PowerPoint as well. If you go your entire college career without ever having to do a presentation, then you are more fortunate than I. PowerPoint may not be nearly as nice as some other presentation programs, but it gets the job done, and if you have to send it to a school computer, it will need to be compatible. Also, chances are, if you’re working in a group, the other members will also have it. You don’t want to be “that guy” who causes project issues because you don’t have the right application.
3. Excel– I list Microsoft Excel, which is the third installment from Microsoft Office that has college utility. However, it’s not a requirement for every college student. However, it’s needed by many. If you are doing anything with business, statistics, or math, you’re probably going to be required to have Microsoft Excel. In fact, I had to take an entire business class about Microsoft Excel. It would have been quite complicated if I didn’t even have the software.
4. iTunes/Windows Media Player/Other – College students love their music, it’s no secret. So, if you want to be cool, you better have a nice program to play music from your computer, and transmit songs to your mp3 player. If you’re rocking the iPod, then iTunes is a necessity. If you’re a rebel with a Zune, then the windows application will be your saving grace. Either way, you don’t want to be the one to ruin the party because you don’t have any music on your computer.
5. Mozilla Firefox – Alas, I have made my allegiance known. I think Internet Explorer is terrible, and most college students agree with me. If you hate spyware, don’t like viruses, and like neat add-ons, and the ability to customize your web browsing experience, then Firefox is your best bet. Sure, with Windows Vista, Internet Explorer now has “tabbed browsing” (something Firefox has had for years), but wouldn’t you rather go with the innovator, not the imitator? However, keep in mind that some professors and/or colleges may still be in the dark ages of web browsing, so having Internet Explorer is not always a bad thing, just prepare to run a virus check immediately afterward.
6. Azureus/BitTorrent/Other – I’m not advocating illegal downloading, because no one should ever infringe upon the rights of millionaire artists who need the money for their extra mansions. However, many college students, which don’t include myself because I would never download a movie or album illegally, like to download such things. In order to get your torrents, you’ll need a program, so make sure you get a good one. However, be forewarned that the RIAA is cracking down on college students everywhere, and have enlisted the help of some universities to turn over names associated with dorm IP addresses. The last thing you want as a financially strapped college student is a lawsuit on your hands. The point is, download at your own risk, and make sure you have a good program. I recommend Azureus, but then again, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never used it.
7. Google Earth – Well, I suppose college students don’t need this application, but it sure helped me when I was a lost and lonely freshman on one of the biggest campuses in the country. Plus, you can look at cool landmarks, such as your University’s Stadium, from a bird’s eye view. Now that makes it an application worth getting!
8. iPhoto/Kodak EasyShare/Other – Photo programs are definitely a must in college. How else can one organize all those neat photos taken at parties, sporting events, and exciting college vacations? It’s nice to have a great application that may also allow you to eliminate redeye, so your friends won’t untag themselves when you upload it to Facebook.
9. Adobe Acrobat Reader – Professors have an obsession with PDF files. I’m not quite sure why, but the result of this obsession is that you need this application in order to view them. If you don’t have it, then get it post haste!
10. A Calendar Program – I use iCal, but any other application will work great. In college you have a lot to do, and organization is a huge key to success. I recommend updating it frequently and marking in all your class times for the semester or quarter. If you have an appointment, or even something as simple as lunch with a friend, have it handy.
11. Widgets and Gadgets of All Kinds – These fun little applications can be dead useful. Search around for specific ones that can help you. I usually always use a sticky note widget, a weather widget, a Google search widget, and a computer status monitor widget. Find what will help you the most and use it. Widgets and Gadgets are a fantastic invention.
12. Thunderbird/Other E-mail Client – My e-mail client (Thunderbird) is one of my favorite computer applications. It makes my life so much easier. At the moment, I have 4 e-mail addresses that all send mail to Thunderbird. When you are in college, you will generally have at least two e-mail addresses. Your university will most likely provide you with one, and you may have one from high school. If you are really smart, you’ll also set up a Gmail account. Having one application that can put all those e-mails in one place is quite convenient, and beats significant time wasted logging in and out constantly.
13. AIM/MSN/iChat/Adium/Other Messaging Application – College Students like to keep in touch, and although Facebook is trying to steal yet another market with their new messaging system, nothing beats the old school AIM. If you don’t have a screen name, you should definitely get one. How else are you going to IM your roommate who’s sitting in the same room (a favorite pastime of mine, having whole AIM conversations with my roommate sitting a mere 10 feet away).
14. World Book Encyclopedia/ Other Type of Encyclopedia – In college, you will most likely have a plethora of research assignments. While going to the library is sometimes unavoidable, for the smaller projects (and even to add to some big ones), having an encyclopedia handy is always a plus. If you’re making a PowerPoint presentation about a specific topic, you can sometimes get movies and pictures to add. While the internet, and Wikipedia are great tools, some professors are against any type of internet resource that doesn’t come from a site with a .edu address. Therefore, with encyclopedia software, you can still get some high quality information to add to your report from your very own desktop.
So there are 14 software applications that I feel every college student should have on their computers. Luckily, most computers already come with them installed, so the next step is to actually use them! If you don’t have anything on this list, then you might want to get with the times. You just might find that some applications can make your life much easier
May 11 2008 | College Advice and College Fun and College Technology | No Comments »
There are a lot of crazy college sports out there, but Quidditch may just be the craziest. Last month, the first intercollegiate Quidditch match was held. Middlebury defeated Vassar handily (Vassar never even scored), and spectators were treated to a very interesting sort of game. You can read the full article here. I guess College and Finance was exactly right in comparing the people you meet in college to Harry Potter characters.
If the sport of Quidditch truly “takes off,” then we might have a QCS (Quidditch Championship Series). At the end of the season, at least 20 teams will be able to make a valid argument as to why they should be in the championship game. Schools in the SEC would also claim that their form of Quidditch is better than every other form of Quidditch. There could be various coaching changes, which would cause considerable controversy. Several college Quidditch coaches might bolt to the NQL (National Quidditch League) and then find out that they can’t hack it. At which point they would abruptly return to the college ranks. Two notable coaches to realize this would be Dick Fiban, and Jobby Latrino. Oh yes, and the newspaper tabloids will be buzzing once the starting Seeker for a nationally recognized Quidditch program is arrested for some crime, perhaps a DUI. Who knows, maybe the New England Compatriots (a professional Quidditch team that is sure to be founded and coached by someone named Will Handmeacheck), will get caught filming Chaser plays. We here at College and Finance truly look forward to an exciting new sport hitting the college, and maybe even professional, landscape.
December 14 2007 | College Fun | No Comments »
I was reminiscing about freshman year with my friend the other day, which got me thinking, “what the heck did I learn my freshman year?” I suppose I learned a lot of things, I forgot some others things (math being one of them, as I took my last math class ever and decided I was done), and I grew as a person. However, I wish someone had been there in the beginning to impart some real freshman year wisdom on me before I had to learn things the hard way, and watch my friends make some huge mistakes. Perhaps had I had this advice, I wouldn’t have committed any party fouls, or dropped any classes. So, without further introduction, here are some things I learned my freshman year, that I’ve turned into some nice college tips.
1. Calculus and/or O-Chem will be two of the worst classes you’ll ever take, so prepare.
2. All lectures are optional unless otherwise stated, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend any.
3. Make friends with someone in every class, or take class with a buddy, it makes things much easier.
4. If you miss more lectures than you attend, you may not do as well as expected.
5. Unless the class is a 101 course with really attractive people, and athletes in it.
6. The higher the amount of attractive people in the course, the easier it will be (seriously, it’s true).
7. Take advantage of professors’ office hours.
8. Take advantage of any note cards allowed during tests (3 point font works wonders).
9. Prepare to get little sleep the week of finals, because you’ll be studying all the time (especially if you skipped too many classes).
10. Avoid early morning classes like the plague.
11. Don’t become an Engineering major unless you plan on studying on Fridays.
12. If you don’t know the name of your professor, and can’t remember what the class topic is about, you may want to go to a few more classes.
13. If you haven’t selected a major, don’t panic, unless you’ve been in college for 4 years and still are taking random basket-weaving classes.
14. Don’t start a huge research project the night before.
15. Start it at least 2 nights before.
16. If you decide to rush a Sorority or Fraternity, schedule the easiest classes possible during that semester/quarter.
17. If you have a high school sweetheart going to a different school, do yourself a favor and break up.
18. If you have a high school sweetheart at a different school, who you really like, stay together. However, be prepared for ridiculous amounts of stress, because it’s very difficult to stay together, and one person usually will stop trying to work on the relationship.
19. Be careful when entering a serious college relationship, because those grades might end up suffering as you spend every waking moment with your loved one.
20. Don’t hook up with anyone on your floor (unless it’s the last month of school).
21. If you are a guy, don’t allow a girl inside your dorm room unless it is truly clean. If it’s like an average male dorm room, she may not ever want to see you again.
22. Yes, it’s awkward if you hook-up with someone and can’t even remember his or her name the next day.
23. Especially if you still have their clothes in your room.
24. Dread the walk of shame, and always use protection, unless you love getting STDs.
Alcohol and Partying
25. Liquor before beer, never fear.
26. Beer before liquor, never sicker.
27. When having a dorm party, don’t open the doors while beer is in plain sight, no matter how drunk you may be (unless your college is totally cool with that).
28. Make friends with your RA the first day, it might help you get out of trouble in the future.
29. Make friends with local campus police, it might save you from spending a night in jail.
30. Don’t share drinks with anyone who hooks up with loads of people, or who you don’t know (unless you love Mono).
31. Natty, Beast, and Keystone are all terrible, yet effective and cheap.
32. Girls, you can’t drink as much as guys (generally), so don’t try, it will always end up worse for you.
33. Halloween is one of the greatest parties of the year.
34. Halloween also allows girls to dress provocatively without shame, so guys should enjoy it.
35. There are many alternatives to partying every weekend that include; seeing a movie, reading a book, going to a hookah bar, going mini-golfing, riding a bike, working out, talking with friends, studying, writing a term paper, playing video games, etc. Remember, too much of a good thing is always bad.
36. Never party during finals week, unless you love failing.
37. If your entire week (Monday through Sunday) consists of partying, you may need to attempt to remember why you’re at college in the first place (Hint: It’s not “to party”).
Health and Cleanliness
38. Try to keep it to one or two energy drinks/Starbucks per day (more than that and you might start twitching randomly).
39. Designate cleaning responsibilities for all roommates (especially the smelly one).
40. If the trash starts to become a living organism, you should probably take it out.
41. Take vitamins daily, and try not to panic when everyone around you gets sick.
42. When home, eat as much as you can, sleep as much as you can, and do laundry.
43. Better yet, make your mom do your laundry.
44. Set at least 3 alarms in the morning, because you’ll be perpetually exhausted. Grab extra sleep whenever possible.
Making and Saving Money
45. Keep a textbook fund handy, because they’ll cost a lot not matter what you do.
46. Pizza and beer are not very nutritious, but are cost effective.
47. Share textbooks or buy from eBay, or some other used textbook store to avoid getting ripped off.
48. Force yourself to eat cafeteria food whenever possible (if you paid for it).
49. Work like crazy over breaks and limit spending, you’ll need the money for next semester/quarter.
50. Consider an on-campus job, so you can make some cash while you’re in school.
51. Sign up for (and activate) no more than one credit card, unless you’re really keen on getting into debt as early in life as possible.
52. Avoid having to purchase separate shampoo and soap by using shampoo as a body wash.
53. Getting so drunk you don’t even remember the football game is lame (unless your team stinks or loses to a Division I-AA school).
54. About 98% of students involved with Student Government are doing so to boost their resumes.
55. If you are waking up before 2PM on non-game day Saturdays, then you’re too motivated and should stop making everyone else around you feel lazy.
56. If you don’t have the famous John Belushi “college” poster, a poster of some band, or some poster referencing a movie or alcohol, you’re not technically in college, and should be ashamed of yourself.
57. Your college is the best college in the world, despite what anyone else says, or what rankings (either academically or athletically) may be.
58. Your university president will most likely be an idiot who is out of touch with students.
59. Your hometown is better than everyone else’s hometown.
60. MTVU is pretty good (because it actually plays music videos).
61. VH1 and MTV are still terrible.
62. If you go to a huge university, no one cares about Homecoming Court.
63. If your school is ranked high in a certain area, you should brag about it to all your friends in lower ranked schools.
64. College isn’t high school, so almost all dances are lame.
65. No one in college uses MySpace anymore, get a Facebook account.
66. It is very creepy to add someone as a friend on Facebook if you’ve never talked to them and just happen to have lecture together.
67. You don’t really need a car on campus; it just makes some things more convenient.
68. The third time your RA yells at you about the noise level, you can assume he/she is serious.
69. If you have a druggy roommate, inform them that drug deals cannot take place in your room (unless you’re a fan of cops busting in).
70. Don’t forget to bring anything with you to school, because it’s a pain to forget things.
71. Accept all care packages with the greatest appreciation possible (especially if they include food or money).
72. Establish as many rules as possible with your roommate(s) in the beginning of the year, because it will help later.
73. You don’t need to be best friends with your roommate.
74. You don’t have to like him/her either, but you should at least try to be cordial, because he/she knows where you sleep.
75. It’s never too early to start thinking about housing for the next year.
To Do List
76. Memorize your social security number (or at least the last four digits, because you’ll need to put it on many exams).
77. Keep your student ID on you at all times.
79. Keep an iPod (or other MP3 player) with you at all times, for it makes the walk to classes less boring.
80. Check Facebook at least four times a day; double it on weekends.
81. Participate in school traditions!
82. Read the school newspaper occasionally, to at least be semi-informed about your campus.
83. Take advantage of free school concerts.
84. Join a club, team, group, or cause so you at least have something to do, and can meet new people.
85. If you go back to visit teachers, insist that you’re getting the best grades ever and you’re studying hard.
86. Do the same when you go home for the holidays, and whenever your parents call.
Gaming (mostly for guys)
87. Super Smash Brothers/Guitar Hero is a good way to socialize within the dorms by getting new people to walk in randomly.
88. Halo 2 or 3 and/or Call of Duty will be played at least once a week.
89. Playing too many video games (especially RPGs, see below) can kill your GPA and your class attendance record.
90. Playing World of Warcraft can also destroy your GPA and make you not meet or socialize with anyone else (outside of your guild).
91. No one in college can actually afford a PS3.
92. Girls will be exactly 20 times as likely to play Wii with you over any other system.
93. Playing NCAA video games is a good way to exact revenge on a team that beat your school in real life.
94. Get football tickets (even if your team is terrible, or you hate football), because you can at least sell them.
95. If you can’t get football tickets, watch every game (if your school is a football school, so you at least have something to talk about).
96. Never argue with an SEC fan (even if you’re right), because they won’t ever listen to reason.
97. Get basketball tickets (even if you hate basketball, and/or your team is terrible), because you can at least sell them.
98. If the head football coach offers a class at your university, take it.
99. ESPN never covers your universities athletic team enough, and your team never gets respect (note: SEC fans can’t complain here, most ESPN employees love the SEC).
100. The BCS will never get it right, and college football needs a playoff system (and no, the “regular season” is not a playoff, just ask LSU and Ohio State).
101. If your school wins a National Championship (in any sport), bragging rights last for 4 years (although, would you rather brag about a water polo championship or a football championship?).
Hopefully you learned a little something, and maybe won’t make some of the mistakes I made my freshman year. If your year turns out to not be as great as you expected, don’t fret. Remember, there’s always next year!
December 02 2007 | College Advice and College Fun and Financial Advice | 6 Comments »
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