Stuff Every College Student Should Know

That’s the title of this book I stole–I mean borrowed, from one of my friends. It has so much information in it, giving how-to’s from dorm living, to academic life, to social life, and even something they call “The Real World”. I thought I’d review some of the book – it’s super long and if I tried doing the entire book, I’d have to start a whole series – and basically let you know if they have any validation.

Dorm Living and Personal Care

I’ll begin with the fact that I’m not living in a dorm, so this whole section on spicing up your dorm room for free doesn’t apply. But microwaving food? That totally applies.

Eggs: It says to “nuke” the scrambled eggs for one minute and then for 30 second intervals until it’s done. I tried it, I do not recommend it. Maybe it’s because I’m old-fashioned and love my pan method, but I found the texture more rubbery than I like it. Plus it made my kitchen smell weird and I am so not down for that.

Chocolate Chip Cookie: YES. YES YES YES. THESE ARE THE BEST THINGS EVER. I hate sharing cookies and I’m also super lazy so I don’t actually make cookies often, so this recipe is a blessing. Here’s an online version:

It does involve egg yolk, and if you don’t like that, I have a recommendation for an egg-free recipe right here:

Popcorn: I burned it. No shame in saying it, even Macklemore burned his popcorn. At least I didn’t cause a hotel to evacuate. Anyway, stick to the popcorn bags that the grocery store sells. They have instructions and also better flavours.

Academic Life

How to e-mail a professor: This mentions everything my professors have told me over and over again. Don’t wait if you have a question, avoid vague subject lines, say hello properly, introduce yourself (this is a big one), get to the point, be specific, don’t be cute (this is such a sassy way of saying “You’re not texting your friends, don’t use emoticons”), and say thanks before signing off.

Social Life

How To Find And Make Friends: This is perfect timing after my lonely post, but I have to admit to cringing while reading this. Not that the advice was wrong per se – no, you shouldn’t stress; yes, be yourself; sure, connect online – it was just hilariously cringe-worthy. I will have to point out my favourite line, however, where the advice was to “sit down” and to talk about how bad the food is because “almost no one will disagree, even if it’s pretty good.” What? If it’s pretty good, I sure hope they disagree! Nobody wants a liar for a friend, especially when it comes to deal-breakers like food.

The Real World

I’m going to pause here for a second and complain about the repeated use of “the real world” when referring to life outside of school, as if the past 18 years of my life have been a free trial. I digress.

How To Get Discounts On Everything: Oh, now we’re talking. This is the kind of thing I look for whenever I find anything that revolves around tips. Please, save me the little money I do have. Advice is the following:

  • Student-geared events will offer discounts
  • Rewards programs
  • Clothing stores have discounts (Roots does)
  • Computer software comes with the school (it does, you can download Word off of your email)
  • Transit lowers fares (hello UPass)

I concur with all of the above. Great job on that chapter, Blair Thornburgh. I’ll leave you with a direct quote from the introduction: “Oh, and you can do anything you want. You’re a college student.”


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