January 16, 2011

The beginning of spring semester, changing of classes and schedules, old faces to see again and new to behold. The start of a new semester in college is a lot different than would it be for your return to high school where you’re returning to your same classes and proceeding to learn the material. In fact, the whole concept is different, where normally you would return in college you take the test for the class right before break and it determines if you move on with other courses or maybe have to remediate the course. Of course though there is always a lesson in it all such as buying books for college, and this time I learned the lesson. Upon registering for classes and being “squared away” I neglected one important thing to do, look for my books. Looking for books in my opinion should involve a little bit of your own research in order to save yourself money, time and headaches (trust you will have time for that in the future but that shouldn’t be the case).

So I thought I’d share with you all of the mistakes I made and urge everyone to look earlier at book prices in the bookstore and online (like amazon, half.com, ebay, collegetextbooks.com, and mycollegetextbooks.com) these sites can be great resources for not only buying books but comparing the prices and seeing how much you are willing to spend on the books. Though there is always a chance that the teacher doesn’t use a particular book or is using a newer edition, try to ask previous students and/or the professor (via email) to find out what materials are needed for the class. In all honesty, this is why checking the bookstore is the best move to make first so you can see the books and ask for any assistance you may need from a worker. Also you can get information on what options you have when purchasing you can; buy new, used books, e-books (online), or even rent a book for the semester. With so many options it is also a way that you can find to get the books you need for your course.

Another thing to remember in cutting your price is to start saving now. Yes, I know the money may be burning an invisible hole in your pocket and you just saw the game you have been wanting since release go on sale, but trust it is a very wise thing to save the money you receive for Christmas (if even half) and/or graduation funds to pay towards your books (unless you have a scholarship, grant, and/or loans to cover it), managing your money is the key, trust when the weekend comes and you’re wanting to go out for the night maybe to eat and a  movie you will be so happy that you had some money saved so you can relax and enjoy, besides college shouldn’t be so stressful especially if you’re having to worry about funds the entire  time you’re in school. Planning ahead and managing your money in a smart way is a great way to limit your stress.

In case you are lucky enough to receive a scholarship for school you should still look up your book prices and shop around. It’s not unusual for a math book to be priced around two-hundred dollars (give or take) and if you shop around you can find one and save almost half on the book which means more money coming back to you. I really hope that you all will not make the mistake of waiting to the last minute to get the books you need because during fall my book did run out in the bookstore and I had to wait for them to get in more books; or as with my spring semester I spent the night going through a page of sites to find a book at an affordable price, and though I hope you save, I hope even more you’re saving and having the books out the way and worry free once you enter into the school term. I wish the best of luck to all of you.