The first years, avoid the slope

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2001

For the next couple of weeks new college freshmen will enter the world of higher education.

Those early college years, how they make all the difference in the world.

After nine years of studying and three years of teaching higher education, the best advice that

Email newsletter signup

I can give to incoming freshmen is to keep those grades up.

One of the worst mistakes that many students make is to slack off in the beginning of a college career. And then, when the scare of the real world sets in, it becomes common practice to try to bring up that grade point average in the last three semesters.

News flash

it ain't gonna happen.

The most successful students are those that keep in mind that the &uot;good&uot; life doesn't begin as soon as they are out of their parents' home; it begins as soon as they leave the dorm room to face the life that college was supposed to prepare them for.

Another piece of advice for incoming freshmen is to start building that resume. Any position related to a major is something else to write down. Unfortunately, in the beginning, there's not much pay

in fact, sometimes none at all. Paid internships are few and far between, so take advantage of volunteering. It honestly pays off.

Class is also a good place to make an appearance. There's no better way to prepare for an exam than to hear the answers coming straight from an instructor's mouth, not the day before the exam, but on a daily basis.

But sometimes mishaps occur, preventing students from making it to class. At the top of the list is parking. At every college or university, it is an unwritten rule to sell 4,000 more parking passes than there are parking spots. Students who attend class in the evening may not run into this problem. The same pretty much goes for those who have 8 a.m. classes, but the unwritten rule of the day begins at 11 is quickly learned, making the parking problems continue. Best advice

live close, ride a bike.

&uot;My alarm clock didn't go off&uot; is also a common line. "Buy some batteries" is often an instructor's reply.

But, most important, enjoy the years and have some fun. Go to Daytona for spring break. Spend at least one night in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Take that ever famous campus trip to Disney World and to Steamboat, Colorado.

Just remember, don't let a g.p.a. go down the slopes too.

Stacey Killingsworth is the managing editor of The Greenville Advocate.