By: Kerri Musick
I’ve coined the first week of classes “Syllabus Day.” While it may seem like a waste of time attending these classes, it is one of most beneficial days through the semester. All major dates for papers, projects, assignments and their expectations are explained in excruciating detail. This is also a good time to get a feel for the class environment. Does the professor allow laptops? Do they prefer APA, MLA or Chicago? Can you record their lectures? Most importantly, do you really need the book?
Textbooks are a big expenditure for college kids. Professors get that. They were in your shoes at one point. As an eager freshman, I ran out and bought my brand new textbooks from one of the local bookstores the day I received all my syllabuses.
Don’t do that.
There a couple reason for this, the first one related to Syllabus Day. Feel free to check out the recommended text, but sometimes the professor will blatantly say the book is not used or give the OK on an earlier edition of the book. That being said, perhaps your textbook is needed and you’re left to scavenge your book in a matter of 48 hours. No fear! Typically someone else on campus has had the class with the same professor and looking to sell the book. There’s some social networking sites setup to help people sell their old books, sometimes for free. If all else fails, you can always rely on the bookstores and the internet, but why take the risk of spending 600 dollars a semester?
Here a couple of websites that’ll help you get your bang for your buck: