For 13 years, you’ve worked and waited for this time to come.

You’ve endured lectures and practices, written hundreds of essays, and passed thousands of papers forward. You’ve slept through more classes than you’d ever admit to your parents. You’ve gotten energized by teachers you’ll never forget.

Now you’re ready for the next step: college. You leave soon and while you’re excited, you’re also scared to your bones.

Will you like your roommate? How will you find your classes? Will the pressure to party ramp up a dozen notches?

Take a deep breath and go find “How to Survive Your Freshman Year” (c.2008, Hundreds of Heads, LLC, $15.95 / $18.00 Canada, 302 pages) by Hundreds of Heads, LLC. This book is going to make the next 10 months the best ever.

Right about now, you’re throwing things in a box, and getting ready to move into your dorm or off-campus housing.

Or at least you’re thinking about it.

The first thing to remember is not to over-pack, particularly if you’re going to be living in a teensy room. Take your favorite blanket and pillow, your music, a really good alarm clock and be judicious in what else you pack. If you can, talk with your roommate so you don’t bring duplicates.

And about that near-stranger you’ll be living with: there’s lots of advice on roommates in this book. First, and maybe the most important, is to ask for a transfer if you absolutely can’t stand one another. Learn to be flexible and accommodating. Don’t choose a roomie you already know.
And for heaven’s sakes, get out of the dorm often!

On that note, beware. Freshman year means going a little wild, but not too wild. Party, but remember that you’re there to go to class and get a degree. Set aside time to study, don’t push yourself into any relationship, and make friends with your R.A. and the professors. Have fun but be responsible. Freshman year is the time to learn more about you, but do it safely.

And the biggest thing to remember: college is not high school.

For parents and students alike – particularly if this is the first child off to a higher education – going off to college can be emotional and difficult. For students, “How to Survive Your Freshman Year” may be a lifesaver. For parents, it’s a relief to have reminders reiterated in print.

Written by hundreds of past freshmen and upperclassmen, this book (updated in a 3rd edition) is filled with words from the trenches. Although there’s plenty of conflicting advice (Take a computer, don’t take a computer. Stay in a dorm, get an apartment.), it’s going to give the Class of 2012 a few things to ponder and some direction in this time of thinking amok.

Keep in mind that this book is for college freshman only and positively not for someone entering 9th grade in high school. Whether your newly-minted college freshman will attend a private school, HBCU, tech school or state university, grab this book. For them, “How to Survive Your Freshman Year” jumps to the head of the class.