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Oh my gosh, Junior Year – is this real life?  I cannot believe that I am more than halfway through college.  I can still remember freshman year for the most part but I will say that of course I was not a fan of it – yet who is a fan of their freshman year in high school or college?  Looking back I can say that I am proud of myself for making it this far, for the material and content that I have learned thus far, the person that I am continuing to become while in college and much more.  I would say that for new students in college, be open to possibilities – be open for new chances that may not seem like the kind of chance that you would take but sounds interesting enough to try out.

College is the place where you can take risks, make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes even before going into the big world, which is great!  Take advantage of the time that you have and explore new areas that you may not have expected from yourself before.  Example, I did not think that I would change majors at least three times like I did, but if I had not thought about different possibilities then I would not be where I am today.  Lastly I want you to think about what Ms. Frizzle said from the show “The Magic School Bus,” which I hope that most of us watched as a kid or else I will really feel odd at this moment: “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”  Though when we get messy, really remember that we need to pick ourselves back up again and that is what our professors, close friends, and family are all for – to help us through the journey of life especially in college with finding ourselves.

Ms. Frizzle


The one thing I wish I had known when I started classes my freshman year was how much more convenient it was to rent books for the semester rather than buy them from the campus bookstore or online either used or new. As a senior now, I’d tell you it’s not bad to buy physical copies, for you’d be at the point where, most likely, the classes you’d be taking later on in your college career would use books that would probably be beneficial to your future career.

Anyway, as I was saying, when I bought my books my freshman year, I didn’t realize later that when you sold them back to the bookstore or online at the end of the semester, it’d be for far less than what you bought them for. I had bought a brand spanking new public speaking book circa 2011 that when I later tried to return online at the end of the year, unopened, because it was the wrong one, the book websites just suggested that I donate it. DONATE A BOOK I PAID LIKE $150 FOR?! I was beyond mad. I had the same problem later on with the science books that I’d buy for like $150 and, when I tried to sell it back, they only want to pay me like $20 for it. I still have those books buried deep in my closest because what’s the point? I mean $20 is $20, but the longer you wait, they go out of date due to new editions and they pay you even less.

Enter BIGWORDS. My lifesaver to this day.  All you have to do is find out the ISBN numbers of the textbooks you need (which Fontbonne’s bookstore page can tell you after you look the books up) and BigWords will collectively (you can put all the numbers in separated by commas in the search line!) show you the best AND CHEAPEST deals from a number of textbook sites on which you can rent, buy used, or new.  IT GETS BETTER THOUGH. They even will suggest promo codes you can use on the websites to get free shipping, extended rental periods, or discounts.  They give you the option for eBooks as well as buying everything from one textbook site compared to a few (By this I mean, they usually have a few books on one site, and a few books on the other, and the deals end up better than putting them on the same).  The website is super easy to use and I’ve found that, over the years, can be more beneficial and cheaper than Chegg.

I seriously recommend renting your books.  At the end of the semester, all you have to do is print out a prepaid shipping label and drop off your books at UPS or whatever and you’re good to go.  I mean, you won’t make money off them, but they’re better off than sitting in your closet because websites or bookstores only offered you a few dollars for them.

Until next week.


So you’ve finally made it. Whether you’ve just started your first semester of college living on campus or living in an apartment or a house by yourself, there are some things to consider as you take this academic year head-on.

1. Make a budget and follow it!

It’s easy to get carried away buying stuff online because you’re that excited about receiving packages or doing fun things or buying stuff from Target you don’t really need. Whether you are working and schooling full time or not working at all, planning a budget can help you manage your money while you live on or off campus! Using a budget app can help you look at your monthly expenses in many areas and help you save money in the long run.

2. Schedule time to sit down and do homework or study everyday.

I mean, let’s be honest, studying or doing homework isn’t that great. It’s easy to get caught up in extracurricular and social activities that leave you at the end of the week having accomplished little homework. But if you take the time to study every day for your classes or schedule time for homework, it will benefit you and help you achieve the best grades you can while managing your time wisely.

3. Do extracurricular activities!

Yeah, I know I just told you to schedule time to study and do homework and all, but doing extracurricular stuff is important too. Join clubs! Do sports! Work a job! Do whatever! Volunteer for stuff that will look good for a future career/graduate school applications later on.  You’ll probably have more time to do this now rather than later.

4. Be yourself! 

This is Lion King-esque I know, but it’s important. It’s easy to let yourself change your ideals to fit in with other people you first meet your freshman year. You don’t need to do that. I mean, people change and you might be still trying to find out who you are and that’s okay.  But you don’t need to go to great lengths to do so! Looking back now, I don’t even talk to the people I met when I started my first semester of college. You’ll find your niche and really great friends can come out of this whole experience!!

I could go on and on with tips and stories I’ve acquired over the past few years, but that’s for another day. These may as well be the best dang years of your life, so make the most of it! Let’s have a great year everyone!! :)


I cant believe that 1/4 of the semester is already over. So far my classes have been going well. Recently I have been invited into ODK, and I’m waiting to be accepted. I have also seen some new people who are freshman. If I could give all the freshman the best advice, it would be to get involved as much as you can. During my freshman year, I joined the Fontbonne Activities Board, and it’s really fun. I have met so many people and look forward to all the events we have planned this year.


Two different worlds.

by Cathy February 18, 2015

High school, at least for me, was not that long ago. A year ago from this date, I was in my home town and attending daily classes as a Phoenix. So how did I transition from a Phoenix to a Griffin? High school attempts to prepare you for college academically, but it can sadly fail […]

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A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (JK, I’m Talking About COLLEGE)

by Alumni Posts April 7, 2014

If I were to give a new student advice on how to survive college, the first word that would come out of my mouth is, “God.” It is crucial to have a backbone of faith – in something. By having faith in our Lord, you will have more faith in yourself. When you have more […]

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“Hindsight is Vibrant, Reality: Rarely Lit”

by Alumni Posts February 18, 2014

So maybe you think that since I’m a senior, with almost 4 years of college life behind me, I have it all figured out. Not really. I’m just making it up as I go. But I can offer some advice based on my past experiences, good and bad.  All things considered, looking back now – […]

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Words of Wisdom

by Alumni Posts December 16, 2013

For days I have been thinking about my future.  What to do after I graduate, should I go ahead and find a job or go straight to do my Phd.  I could do both, but at the same time, I will have to first study  for the GRE.  Fontbonne University does not require Graduate students […]

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Words of Wisdom from a Friend

by Alumni Posts December 16, 2013

Last night my friend from high school experienced her first robbery since she moved to Chicago 6 years ago.  Now, I don’t know what thief was dumb enough to try and rob this girl, my friend is by no means a helpless damsel in distress.  She is about 5’11”, always wears heels, so that makes […]

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Almost Over!!

by Alumni Posts May 12, 2011

Well, I can’t believe it, but my freshman year at Fontbonne is finally coming to a close. The ending is bittersweet – like any student, I’m excited for the coming of summer and reuniting with old friends, but at the same time it will be difficult to leave all my new friends behind. If I […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.