5 Tips for this Year's "Prepas" Via "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams is a comedic novel/radio show/TV show/movie/comic book/video game. In an Earth about to be destroyed by an alien species, Arthur Dent and his alien friend, Ford will hitch a ride on an intergalactic spaceship in order to survive the Earth’s impending destruction. This book is a guide to survival in these very particular situations in which one must hitchhike across the galaxy but it also proves to have many useful tips for the “prepas” making their way into the “colegial” family this semester.

Tip #1: Don’t Panic!

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So you’re new here, new environment, different professors, maybe a few of the same people but in general, as my old Geography teacher used to say “you might be top dog here but in college, you’re the bottom of the food chain.” Something important to keep in mind despite all this is “don’t panic”! In most situations involving new surroundings, bigger workload, more people, a lot more on the line, etc., us humans have the tendency to stress, get anxious, freak out or just, well, panic. Remember to make time for some relaxation (reading, board games, sleeping, going out, etc.). Don’t lose your head (and your social life) doing nothing but studying! And remember that if your stress levels get up to peak or you feel like you can’t handle your current workload, reach out to your counselor or even the psych office for some extra help whenever necessary!

Tip #2: Never Forget Your Towel.

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One of the most important tips you could get is never forget your towel or, in this case, your umbrella. It rains, basically, every afternoon in Mayagüez and running across campus through a baby thunderstorm is just not the best idea. Aside from that though, don’t forget your actual towel. If you take sport class or have to shower on campus, remember your towel but also your shoes. Bring an extra pair of flip flops to wear while you shower (nobody wants to catch some sort of foot fungus from the occasionally dingy showers).

Tip # 3: Two Heads are not necessarily better than one

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In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Zaphod Beeblebrox has two heads but that doesn't make him much the wiser. A lot of other students/people might give you A LOT of opinions on what professors are “good” or how many credits to take or when to go out, etc. However, keep in mind that at the end of the day, your academic career is your own, so take people’s opinions and put them in the suggestion box in your brain but maybe don’t believe everything you hear.

Tip #4: Remember the answer to all of life’s questions is “42”.

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Even though the universe’s smartest supercomputer calculated the answer to all of life’s questions to be “42,” that may not be your best bet when answering questions on a test. A lot of people are going to tell you “you’re not in high school anymore” and though it might get annoying that doesn't make it any less true. College level classes and tests tend to be a few levels above what HS was like. What I’m trying to say is unless you’re some sort of super computed that can calculate the answer to life, the universe and everything, find the best way to study early on and you’ll be a lot more successful throughout your academic career.

Tip #5: “Just when you think life can’t possibly get any worse it suddenly does”.

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As a sad robot named Marvin would've said “just when you think life can’t get any worse it suddenly does.” In college and in life in general, it is best to be ready for anything because sometimes “life happens.” Whether it be a “huelga,” raise in tuition, hurricane or who knows what else; positivity will get you through a lot. “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”