“How can I go out, drink and have a good time without going into debt or donating plasma?”

--JoJo Jenkins, 18

Well, JoJo, that’s actually quite simple. Take two weeks and go out to every club, bar or nightlife spot that has ever sounded appealing to you. Pick three of those establishments, one you like during the week and two you like during the weekend and only go to those places on the allotted days you like. That saves you money, because it establishes and “going out routine.” Your friends will end up going to the same places on the same nights you do and you will enjoy yourself immensely. Plus: if you frequently habit a particular place and tip marginally well, you get acquainted with the owners, bouncers and bartenders, saving yourself even more money when they start letting you in for free and slipping you complimentary drinks. Here is an extra tip for the ladies: there is at least one “ladies’ night” drink and admission special in Gainesville every night of the week. If you find one you like…go there! It’s free drinks, usually free or discounted admission and that will save you unbelievable amounts of money.

“What advice can you give me about college classes? I don’t know what university course load is like.”

--Ima Brainiac, 19

There are three important bits of advice I can impart to you about college classes. First, begin every semester with the expectation that you are going to work hard. Despite what people tell you, there are no easy As or even easy college courses—at least not here at the University of Florida. Second, you must put effort into your classes. It’s true what they say, “every hour (or 50 minutes, in this case) you spend in class amounts to three hours you must spend on assignments outside of class per week.” Third, purchase and read your textbooks. Any time I have ever bought the textbook for a class and used it as an $80 paperweight, I have made a letter grade less in that class then I should have. And that’s painful. At least, if you know you are not going to use the book, don’t waste good beer money on it.

“What general advice do you have about college?”

--John Doe, 18

That’s easy: sleep is undeniably underrated! When I came to UF my first year, I signed up for classes at 7:25 a.m., thinking, “Oh, this is just like high school. I got up that early then, I can certainly do it now.” Wrong. College is wholly different. You will come to value every precious hour of sleep you manage to get, especially if you have a job or are a consummate procrastinator (like myself). Don’t set yourself up for an immediate failure when you create your first schedule. You will not make it to a 7:25 a.m. class, and you may even have problems attending an 11:45 a.m. class. Set your classes for as late as possible that first semester and then gauge how you should proceed in subsequent semesters.

"Leslie, I have heard of the "Freshman 15" phenomenon and was wondering how I could avoid it. Can you help?"

--Daisy Danroo, 17

Certainly. To many, this may seem like a trivial issue to be concerned about, but frankly, your first year at college and the adjustment it entails is hard enough. You don’t want to make an already difficult situation more complicated with a self-esteem problem. The answer to this one seems to be common sense, but it’s amazingly easy to lose sight of that with the chaos that is your first semester at college. The main points are: don’t fall into the habit of eating unhealthy foods simply because they are readily available and in abundance. Don’t order pizzas at 4:00 a.m. Don’t drink excessive amounts of beer or liquor, because alcohol calories are empty of any nutrients, sustenance or value. Exercise at least three times per week. If you don’t like jogging, walking or working out at a gym, the student recreation centers on campus offer a vast myriad of fun, free, group fitness activities, like kickboxing, step classes and karate.