Been There, Should've Done That II : More Tips for Making the Most of College

Been There, Should've Done That II : More Tips for Making the Most of College - Suzette Tyler This is basically a book of quotes with bits and pieces of advice for the college bound. Most of the advice is from college students, but there are some pieces of advice from college advisors and professors. Having been on both sides of the desk, I will say to readers that are college bound to heed some of the things professors say and suggest in this book. Most of the advice and suggestions are pretty solid, but there are some that you have to take with a grain of salt. There are also suggestions that may seem contradictory. For example, in the section about Greek life, you will find quotes from students that are both favorable and unfavorable to the Greek system. What that means is that going Greek worked for some people, and it did not work for others. In the end, you can get all the advice in the world, but you have to make up your mind and choose the path that works for you. Things like working hard, studying, good time management, and socializing in a moderate way are probably the best pieces of advice in the book. There are also one or two pieces that are not accurate, which is why I say that you have to take a good part of this book with a big grain of salt. One particular quote was inaccurate, and it jumped at me because I am an academic librarian, and I know how things work. The quote: "Know the web address of journals in your field so that you can access the full text without going to the library" --Graduate, Microbiology, University of Michigan (page 94). I noticed the name was not given. He or she was probably in deep crap once he realized it does not work that way. As a librarian, I can tell you that advice is bunk. Most journals (unless they are open-access, and no, not all journals are open-access) do NOT just post their articles full-text on their website for you to use. They charge for that; you can get a subscription or buy the article. Now, if you are a college student, you can still do a lot of research without going to the library (if you must). Usually, your library offers remote access to its databases (it's part of the licensing agreement, and your tuition helps pay for it). Databases have a lot of articles in full-text, and if you find a citation to one the database does not have full-text, the librarians can usually locate it for you free. So, there is no real good way to do your research, especially as a graduate student, without using the library (sure, you can google a lot of stuff, which may or not be good, at your peril). In the end, I will give you one piece of advice not really in the book: become friends with the librarians. They know pretty much every resource out there; they are happy and willing to help you, and they can find stuff you never knew existed. So ends my little pro-library and librarian rant. Overall, the book is nice and amusing. I think it would make a nice gift to recent high school graduates headed for college, but again, take things with a grain of salt.