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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 I mean $20 is $20, but the longer you wait, they go out of date due to new editions and they pay you even less.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.


Good day, Fontbonne!

This week I wish to discuss how I study for exams. For me, the best way to study for an exam is paying attention in class. If you are unable to understand your teacher, then I would suggest dropping the class and getting into a new one. (There are some classes taught at Fontbonne with different teachers teaching the courses. Find one that works in your schedule.) Since I fortunately am able to understand my professors, I can usually give my undivided attention. What teachers say in class is very important. You can read the book all you want, but most likely what you will be tested mostly on is the information that the teacher has presented in class. There is a chance that you will have a class that does not use the book in class. It is always good to read the book regardless if the teacher does not review from it in class. For example, in my Western Civilization Pre-Historty to 1700 CE course with Mr. McCabe, Mr. McCabe tests his students on both the material that was given in class, and what was not touched upon from the chapters in our book. He will often say in class: “Make sure you read the chapter!”.

I have to admit, I do not always read everything for my classes. It is really only when it is mentioned in class that I read outside of class and homework. What has been working for me lately is studying my notes thoroughly, then skim the book for any information that I might have missed. Once I come across something that I realize that I need to know for the test, I read the section over maybe once or twice up to an hour.I feel that paying attention in class and taking good notes are the best ways for studying for a test. Good luck to all of you, and I hope that you have found my tips useful!


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