Oh, yes, you are finally in college! Congratulations and welcome to college life which can be relentless and unforgiving. (Evil laugh). But we love you and we want to give you a smooth-sailing college experience (with as few of those awkward and embarrassing moments as possible). So here are some tips you might find handy!
Bye, Amazing Aloha!
Oh yes, we are miles from civilization so you might have to live without Jollibee or Chowking. Going to the nearest mall to grab lunch would not be practical especially since you're still a student stretching his/her allowance and also because a lot of time is lost commuting. But ifmayaman si Papa, there is a coffee shop nearby where you can have lunch and study.
Eat on campus.
You don't need to go to the mall, really. Our canteen serves very good food as it is now operated by Big Joes Café. Not bad, huh? Not only that, there are several food stalls giving you a variety of foods. The good thing about eating inside campus is that you are assured the food you eat is clean, safe, and nutritious because we personally see to it that they are.
Well, you can also find good food in the cafeterias outside school that have good reviews. One disclaimer, though: we cannot guarantee their safety. But, don't let it stop you. You can easily tell by the cleanliness of the place and by the serbidoras' sanitary practices (watch for long fingernails, no hair net worn, cavities, etc.).
Ask your friends who have been here long enough.
Use that lunch box.
Baon is not the in-thing anymore but is has lots of advantages. First and most obvious, you get to save. Second, you are sure the food you eat is safe as it is prepared by mommy. However, it has its downsides, too: food has turned cold by lunch time and we often forget to wash our lunchbox leaving an obnoxious and really persistent smell in our bags the next day. DMC Canteen encourages students to bring their own lunch box. You can get P1 off in any food purchase if you bring your own lunchbox and utensils. That way, you get to help save water.
As students, one important habit you should master is time management. And this is especially truer now than you were in high school where you were forced to a daily schedule with the rest of the class. Now it's different, your schedule is not necessarily the same as that of your classmates' and your schedule is more under your control. And unlike in high school, your day is not usually fully packed with subjects. You may have long free periods between classes. Here's how to make sense of this new schedule:
Find out how to spend your free time.
In college, you see, free time is not entirely free. Look at it not as time to kill but time to explore new things inside campus. The library holds many exciting books on various interests. Spend time free-browsing on books (browsing not for research or homework but just for fun). Some diligent and focused students may spend this time doing homework and this practice is very efficient.
Don't go the mall to kill time.
There is nothing wrong with going to the mall but going there in school hours is counterproductive. First, as mentioned earlier, you lose time travelling to and fro. Next, you get distracted by many many things. What do you get? Yes, you get to buy those Nike's on sale but you miss your next class. A truly focused student has his/her priorities straightened out.
Never skip classes—not even once
Once you start to do it, it becomes a habit you get used to doing. Just remember that your parents are investing for your education. You are actually paying for each class hour. We won't really lose anything but you will. Now make the most out of your student life.
Never ever have alcohol during your free time.
The consequences are dire. If you have alcohol, you will have to skip class because coming to school inebriated (drunk) is a punishable offense (Refer to your Student Manual). So don't even try. The guards will not let you in and trust us, we can tell. Spend your time doing productive things and save socialization for later when you're done with your classes. This about brings us to the next tip.
Resist peer pressure
Yes, you will meet new friends. You will enjoy their company. But there are times when friendship becomes unhealthy. It's when you are under peer pressure. It's when you cannot decline friends' invitation; it's when you feel compelled (forced) to do the things they do even if you are not really comfortable doing them. Learn to say NO and also respect others' decisions and choices. Your security or insecurity must not be because of your friends.
Plot your schedule on a table.
One easy way to plan your tasks for the week is to plot your weekly schedule. Draw this on your notebook and post one on your door or wall.
Our campus is admittedly in the countryside. Think of it this way: we want students to have a quiet study environment far from the hustle and bustle and the distractions of the city center. But, yes, transportation can be a little problem though generally it is easy to travel to and from school. Common problems would be tardiness and absences. Here's how to avoid them:
Estimate travel time to and from your residence. Allow extra time for other factors such as traffic and the wait for a cab (--err, motorcab). Kung mayaman si Papa, you may have your own vehicle but still you should leave early. We'll never know what happens on the road eg flat tires, bottlenecks, and (God forbid!) accidents. See to it that you arrive at least 30 minutes before your class. That way you still have time to prepare in case you forgot to study for the announced quiz or forgot to do your homework. (Wink!)
Always go with a friend
There are occasions where you cannot avoid going home late. The safest way to go home is to have someone you personally know pick you up. When this is not possible always go home with a companion or with a group especially if you're female. If you go in separate directions, take the same cab to downtown area and take separate cabs from there. Go with friends who live in the same direction to your house. Take the plate number of the cab your friend rides in and ask him/her to do the same. Males should also be gentlemanly and offer a ride if your friend's house is along the way.
Familiarize habal-habal drivers
Funny as it sounds, this is a tip that has worked for many students although it is better and safer to take the cab. If you take the habal-habal frequently, you will eventually know some of the drivers. Tell them of your safety concerns and ask them if they know all the other drivers in their group. The ones lining up outside campus are usually regulars in the area. Soon you will establish trust but always be cautious. Avoid taking random habal-habal drivers passing by.
Consider living nearby
If transportation has been a lot of trouble for you, you may want to consider living near campus. There are several inexpensive dorms and boarding houses nearby. Take time to tour the area and ask friends about how their accommodation is.
Time to get serious now. You are now part of an academic institution and you should hold your head high with pride. But wait, not too fast. There are many things you should know first as a member of this prestigious academic community.
In high school your teacher would give extra credit for those fancy page borders you drew with your fancy color pens and for those Dragon Ball-Z or Hello Kitty stickers but in college, these are a big NO-NO. Stick to standard and classic designs. Better yet, don't put designs. They do not count except in art classes or unless your teacher asks for a creative output. In most essay submissions, what counts is your work's content. Keep it formal at all times.
This may be taught in your writing class but you ought to know this ASAP. Know the basics in formal writing—capitalization, formatting, indentions, margin size, and suggested paper size (usually 8 ½ x 11 or A4). Just the basics. If you don't know much about formal writing, well, uhm... there's Google.
Remember in high school and grade school where you always felt excited about buying new school materials like notebooks, pencils, crayons, and cartoon character pencil cases? Good news is we still have that in college although you probably have outgrown Barbie and Spiderman by now. A college student always carries these:
a notebook for each subject
at least three ball pens (because you easily lose them)
It is not an immediate necessity but it is highly useful. Unfortunately, not all of us have a PC but do not make this an excuse for failing to submit work. All students actually have access to computers. Library PCs are open to students during library hours (7:30 am – 7:30 pm). But of course, you have to have some consideration to other students lining up to use the computers. So as not to take too long on the computer, compose your work first using an outline on paper and then finalize it as you work on the computer. There are several internet cafes outside campus where you can have your work printed at a minimal price. But in order to transfer your files you have to have this thing calledflashdrive. It is something you must invest in. We don't recommend you doing the encoding in the net café because, first, you can be distracted by other web pages especially Facebook (because pages load very fast in cafes), and second, because it may take time to finish your work and thus it can be costly.
Plagiarism is practically copying or borrowing someone's work or ideas without acknowledging your source. This is a serious academic offense as it is a form of cheating. This must be avoided at all times. Sadly, many students commit this offense even without them knowing it! Learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it. You'll have a more detailed discussion of this soon. For now, you may want to ask our dear old friend Google about plagiarism.
looking and acting prim and proper
Now we see some of you sulking because they cannot wear their trendy clothes every day. Good news is, you can wear your casual clothes on Wednesdays. Just make sure you do not violate the dress code or the guard will have no choice but to deny you entry.
It is not unusual for students to hold and attend formal events. These events require students to come in corporate attire. At times, some mean teachers delight in seeing you suffer in those uncomfortable high heels.But why corporate attire? Some of you may ask. Well, we groom you to be future professionals and leaders. We want you to get used to wearing corporate attires so that by the time you step inside the room for your first job interview, you will feel confident and smart. At first you may come out looking and feeling awkward in your long-sleeved polos or in that very tight long skirt. Soon, you'll get the hang of it and actually enjoy being in that outfit. Eventually you will learn how to power-dress and appreciate how it can help you in your future career. Here are some tips on corporate dressing.
"Oiliness is next to ugliness"
While we mustn't spend so much time on superficialities, it wouldn't hurt us to look and feel good. It is useful to have with you at all times a small kit containing baby powder, cologne, facial wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, sugarless chewing gum, an extra shirt, and paracetamol. There's this amazing invention called oil film which you can buy in the department store.
Several white shirts
These are some of the basic items you ought to have. They can be useful especially in occasions when you need white shirts for printing. Just be sure they are of the right thickness. Don't buy shirts from the underwear section, the ones where we can see through your moles.
A long-sleeved white polo short
There may be sudden semi-formal school events where you need to look formal. But you must be cautious in choosing a good polo shirt. Fit is very important so choose one that is your size. If it's too loose, it will be very hard to tuck in your pants. So don't borrow your father's polo shirt unless he is your size. Don't choose one that is too tight either or you will come out looking like budbud (suman). Have more than one so you don't use it over and over in several occasions. It does not have to be expensive or branded. Tip: Ukay-ukay. (Wink!)
Pairs of nice pants
Pants are important items for males and females. Both need at least one of each of the following: black or gray slacks for formal events, brown khakis as alternative, and jeans for everyday wear. Be sure they are your size. Be sure they're not too baggy nor too tight.
A blazer is also a very useful item which can add accent to your outfit especially in women. Men do not need to have suits as these can be expensive. Men can buy blazers instead. With suits, as well, you have to have them in your size or you risk looking funny. Besides, would you really want to wear a suit in our hot tropical weather?
You need three kinds of shoes: black shoes that are closed for formal events, casual shoes you can wear every day, and sports shoes for PE. More than their appearance, the most important thing to consider is their fit and comfort.
It's a must in any formal outfit and it has many many uses.
Ties are very good accessories. Be sure your tie suits your shirt's color and pattern. You may have to think twice about wearing a tie with a Mickey Mouse or Spongebob print on it. The tip of your tie should hit the top 1/3 of your belt.
Carry it with pride. Now go on, don't be shy. Don't worry too much about what others think. The best thing you can wear is your confidence.
Never chew gum in class
Take off your hat when inside class and when talking to an instructor or head of office.
Greet your instructors, not because you want extra points but because it is a polite thing to do.
Never scream or raise your voice in any area inside campus.
Never use invectives (cuss words) inside campus especially in class.
Never pick fights inside campus. This is a punishable offense!
Never smoke or drink inside campus.