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Need advice about dorm rooms

  1. Jul 5, 2011 #1
    Hello again, everyone. I got accepted to the University at Buffalo and I'm an out of state student. My tuition is already covered for the fall semester and I'm going to live in a dorm with three different people. I don't mind the people just the survival to get around and trying not to ruin my once in a life time chance. I'm taking four classes and they are physics with calc, chem 2, calc 3, and diff. equations. I know I'm taking my first footsteps in the career in physics. Tips?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2011 #2
    Find friends that're not just in the same classes but with a similar career path. Introductory classes are often a pain with the homework so working in groups is often the best way to tackle things. And if you have friends with similar careers path, you can bounce off ideas for your own future. Not just that, you can learn which professors are better with grading and other similar friends if you have connections to people on the same track as you.

    Also, don't be afraid to go to office hours. Going to a busy professor can be daunting at first but don't let it stop you from getting help.
  4. Jul 6, 2011 #3
    Tips about what? Dorm rooms? I don't know much about interior design myself. If it's tips on physics, I guarantee you that searching will pull up more than a few threads and much more info than you could glean from posting this thread alone.

    Cal Newport's blog seems to be well-received, in terms of academics and how to get through college well without losing your marbles. Give it a google and see if that adds anything.
  5. Jul 6, 2011 #4
    Being someone who has lived in residence for my first year I have to say you need to be really careful how you manage your time. It is VERY, and I mean VERYYY easy to get caught up in the party atmosphere while in a residence. The constant nagging of roommates or floor-mates to join a party 2 rooms down is hard to resist. You're probably worried about not doing well in class from distractions so that's why time management is so important. Make Sunday-Thursday your hardcore study days and party your *** off Friday/Saturday (I guarantee that's what everyone else will be doing). As long as you can keep your head on straight from Sun-Thurs then I don't see you having any problem with your classes, you're only taking 4 so it shouldn't be too hard to keep up with all of them.

    If the dorm atmosphere gets to be too much find a quiet study space somewhere else on campus (library???). Personally I hate libraries so I had a hard time keeping focused because my roommate was a complete knob and had no respect. Due to that I didn't do so well in first year, even with the distractions I still got more work done at my desk rather than at the library. Towards the of first year a few of my friends and I found a really nice quiet workspace in the basement of our residence and spent a lot of time there, only then was I able to get some solid work done.

    tl;dr: worried about the dorm lifestyle killing your grades? Be smart about your time management and ensure all work is done before drinking your face off.

    All in all, enjoy the hell out of this first year, year 1 rarely has any bearing on your next 3 years. In my first year I got a 79 or maybe 80% average, in second year (out of residence) I got 91%. So don't worry too much if you don't do as well as you hoped in first year.
  6. Jul 6, 2011 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Look and see if there's a place in the physics department that is officially or unofficially used as a "study room" for physics students. When I was an undergrad at a small college, most of the physics majors and other students who were serious about their physics courses hung out in a room in the science building that we grandly called the "physics library." The books were just old castoff examination copies of textbooks that the profs had donated, but there was a nice big table with plenty of seats, a chalkboard, and a good desktop electronic calculator which was a valuable tool in the days before personal electronic calculators. A lot of our social life revolved around that room.
  7. Jul 6, 2011 #6
    usually I'm worried about the time management and social life in dorm room life. The other issue is getting a job and maintaining a good balance with my studies. Also, I've been in school for three years(I'm a junior) And all I have to take for the next semester is physics 2 and other science courses. I sometimes wonder how the undergraduate studeies work in other universities as well.
  8. Jul 6, 2011 #7
    That's a great idea! I hope there are study rooms in my new university. I cannot find anyone face-to-face that will major in physics. I'm starting to believe there are only a few who are physicists.
  9. Jul 9, 2011 #8
    "That's a great idea! I hope there are study rooms in my new university. I cannot find anyone face-to-face that will major in physics. I'm starting to believe there are only a few who are physicists."
    That's how I felt my first year too. You should check the department's website, maybe they have SPS (Society of Physics Students) meetings every month or so.
  10. Jul 10, 2011 #9

    Dr Transport

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Having a BS and an MS from Buffalo, if I remember correctly, there are a few study rooms in the dorms. Most likely, you'll have to find a place in the Science and Engineering Library to study. I used to study in the Physics department late at night because they had a couple of classrooms that had nice sized chalk boards to work on. There is an SPS there, but it started after I left, I was president of the Undergrad Physics Club years ago (1986/7).

  11. Jul 13, 2011 #10
    [1] Congrats! My bro is going to start there in the fall as-well. He's a transfer student

    [2] "I don't mind the people just the survival to get around trying not to ruin my once in a life time chance"
    It's good you've come to that realization. In that case I would like to caution you to be very very careful of alcohol, women / men!! (depending on your gender)

    [3] Depending on the type of person your roommate is you could get some unexpected "moments" ex, walking in on them having sex, or when you are sleeping at night you might hear some "sounds" which will wake you up and you'll wake up to realize there's someone in the bed with your rommamte. I'm not sure how the UB dorms are like but where I'm at, it's two seperate bed with two people in the same room. Some places, the two people share a common living space but there are two separate doors for the different rooms.

    [4] Versatility with studying environment will be very helpful! Basically, if you're the type that can only study in a specific spot all the time ex, your room, learn how to adjust to other places and study! The time you'll be studying, your roommate might get "a visitor" and it'll be rude of you to stay in the room so keep that in mind.

    [5] To develop a nice relationship with your roommate, eat with them, etc., I made that mistake and my roommate and I became distant very early on (we were two diff people anyway).

    [6] Good friends help. Some friends, they're always like "let's go downtown tonight, let's go party," but that's only because they've already gotten their work, studying done. If you follow them, you'll be screwed big time. But if you're friends are like let's go the library, let's go study, or when you ask them out they're like naa, I'm studying tonight, those are the friends you want. Seeing how serious they are about their work will motivate you to also work.

    [7] No one cares about you in college!

    [8] Know your roommates schedule, and let them know yours aswell. I say this because as humans we have "needs". I'm not encouraging / promoting you to do anything. But there might be times where you might want to "release a little" (masturbation) or depending on your religious beliefs you might have someone of the opposite sex over for a "time". By knowing your roommates schedule, you'll know when they'll be out and in.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  12. Jul 13, 2011 #11

    Good friends help. I couldn't agree more. But some friends, or people that are serious about their academics can be seriously conceited at times bragging, rubbing their achievements in your face. You don't want anyone that will kill your esteem. So be on the look out for arrogance
  13. Jul 13, 2011 #12
    Bold 1:
    Partying his a** off might not be too smart of an idea (even with his work completed). Why? Most people bring about a side of them when they are drunk. They behave like animals, get recorded by their friends and teased with it later. Do foolish things and end up on probation / with some kind of warning on their record. I'm speaking from experience because what I just wrote described me my first year. It's okay to have a beer, beer-and-half, or even two. But to drink to the point of "sh*t-face" as they call it is pointless. Waking up with a hangover the next day is no fun. Don't do they. Even if you party, leave early, and don't drink to the point of "s-face".

    Bold 2:
    Bad advice to enjoy the "hell out of your first year". That's the kind of advice, thinking that screwed me up. Start off working your tail off this year. Become a work horse now! A good GPA can really help you in the later years. Don't go into thinking this year is a for fun and even if I mess up, I have 3 more years to fix things. Speaking from experience, you can screw up so badly to a point where fixing things might not be too easy. Keep that in mind
  14. Jul 15, 2011 #13
    Thanks for the advice. I'll follow these guide lines and be sure to make them my rules at UB(University at Buffalo).
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