Real Freshman Handbook: A Totally Honest Guide to Life on Campus

Real Freshman Handbook: A Totally Honest Guide to Life on Campus

by Jennifer Hanson

Paperback(Second Edition)

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In a guide to college life that is a little more realistic than Felicity and a little more fun than Stanley Kaplan, Jennifer Hanson charts a course through the dips and bends of freshman year. Written with the collective “wisdom” of twelve college students from across the country, THE REAL FRESHMAN HANDBOOK is the only one of its kind — a “handy and humorous book that will fit in any first-year’s backpack” (Harvard University Gazette) and that offers an inside look at the real deal on college life from those who have been there — and survived. Hanson gives readers a crash course in avoiding freshman year follies, from filling out roommate questionnaires and evaluating putative hangover remedies to writing papers and studying for exams.
College-bound students will relish the down-to-earth advice, and parents can rest assured that they won’t have to fund a new wardrobe because Junior didn’t separate the colors from the whites. The advice throughout is insightful, smart, practical, entertaining, proving that “Hanson has really done her homework” (U Magazine).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780618163427
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 04/01/2002
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 252
Sales rank: 1,182,082
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Hanson, a proverbial professional student, is a graduate of Harvard University and a second-year law student at the University of Michigan. She has sought the advice and experiences of friends at colleges and universities all over the country to ensure a guide that will speak to all freshmen.

Read an Excerpt


Welcome to college!!! You’re in for the ride of your life—enough ’70s parties to wear down the seat of those vinyl camouflage pants your dad gave you for graduation; all-night rap sessions about men, women, and Pat; moonlight kisses on the football field after the lights have been extinguished. If you’re especially photogenic, you may even find yourself having an animated conversation with a professor in front of a blazing maple tree and, later, in an admissions brochure.
In the above endeavors you don’t need much guidance; just follow your libido and the fashion dictates of Abercrombie & Fitch. But college isn’t all Felicity-style hangin’; as the stacks of forms colleges send incoming freshmen attest, there’s a lot of practical stuff to deal with. How do you go about choosing four classes from a catalog of three thousand, let alone how do you survive them? How do you get a vomit stain out of your comforter and the neighborhood cockroaches out of your Tupperware? What should you do if your roommate develops severe stomach pains and is too weak to get to the infirmary? How can you avoid spending more on books than you did on plane fare? How do you build a loft? How can you maintain fullbody fitness without leaving your Barcalounger? And, most important of all, how can you ensure that your nocturnally foraging roommate is out cold, his coonskin cap covering his face, by midnight the evening before your “rocks for jocks” exam?
We know the solutions to these and other pressing problems because we’ve been there; we’ve been through freshman year and the memory is still fresh as dog doo. You see, my friend, we’re college students just like you, only a little older (juniors), a little wiser, and a little more obsessed with corn. We know that you could find out everything in this book by yourself if you had to and that many of your less literate classmates will, and more. But there is just so much fun to be had . . . why reinvent the wheel when you could be out burning up the road?
We come originally from Minnesota, where we rose out of the cornfields of our youth to attend high school in the lovely but unfortunately cropfree city of Minneapolis. There we lived in friendship, gossip, and a pizza restaurant called Sydney’s; there we parted, each bound for a different part of the country and a different type of collegiate environment. Two years later we came together again, possessed by a mission to spread the lessons we learned from our mistakes and experiences, and the gospel of grain. The result of our reminiscences, Jolt-fed brainstorming, and piety: the book you now hold in your trembling hand.
From our class, our campuses, and our fields to yours, then, our gift.

Copyright © 1996, 2002 by Jennifer Hanson. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

Table of Contents


Introduction vii 1. Avoiding Ex-cons: How to Make the Rooming Questionnaire Make Your Year 1 2. Narrowing the Field: Course Selection 9 3. The Ultimate Packing List 15 4. Word! Computers 25 5. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: Transportation 34 6. Transportation on Campus 46 7. Bonding to Blowouts: The Law of Roommates 56 8. Urban Sophisticate: Apartment Living 68 9. Martha Stewart Meets the Barracks: Room Decorating 77 10. Cheapskating Your Way through College: Finances 84 11. From Break-ins to Ben & Jerry’s Bodyguards: Safety & Security 94 12. Don’t Count on the Premed: Health & Emergencies 105 13. B.S. & Friends: Course Survival 127 14. Research & Romance: The Library 151 15. Get a Job 159 16. The Tide of Love: Laundry 172 17. Room or Ruins? Simple Dorm Maintenance 180 18. Phys. Ed. 101: Sleep & Exercise 186 19. The Glory That Was Greece: Fraternities and Sororities 194 20. The Leisure Class: Student Activities 198 21. Wild Thing: Sex 204 22. Be Your Own Dog: Drinking 213 23. Food(?) 218 24. Turkey in a Toast-R-Oven & Other Trappings of Celebration: Holidays 228 Conclusion: Looking Ahead 239 Acknowledgments 241

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