What I Wish I Knew When I Started at SCC…


Talk to your classmates and make friends! You can ask about homework, or just have a chat.

International students can get involved in clubs or groups, to immerse themselves in the English language.


Don’t hesitate to talk to your professors. Even if its via email. Making that constant effort to communicate with them matters, even if you’d think it won’t.

So, we advise that you find your teacher’s office at the beginning of the quarter. They need to be available during office hours, and always appreciate a visit. Don’t wait until you need them to ask questions, either. By the way: teachers generally give good advice.


For art classes, buying supplies as you go can save money. Buying in bulk with other students can save money, too.

Music Building

Deep in the woods on the eastern side of campus is a little building that seems out of the way. It houses the music department.

They’ve got lots of equipment, a program that places people with jobs in their field and even a teacher who used to write songs for Heart. If you like creating music, don’t let this source go untapped.


Cut your bus fare in half! Go to the cashier and purchase a $200 value ORCA card for just $100 at the beginning of each quarter (the supply is limited!). This can be used for all local buses, Sound Transit trains and rail, and also when walking or even driving on the ferry.

Also, the parking pass can save a lot of money, and make life more convenient.


Teachers are often more willing to negotiate than you could imagine. You can ask your teacher for permission to do an alternative assignments instead, one that you would find more interesting or relevant. Sometimes, it’s better than not asking at all.


For out-of-state students, getting your residency can give you a huge discount on tuition.

Start your FAFSA sooner if possible (it can take forever!). To do so, head to the FOSS Building (5000).


There are so many options in the library. Remember that you can rent out computers, calculators and textbooks. You can even use their wide range of stationery for classes and projects. When taking an online class, the computers can be checked out for the whole quarter even if you live remotely (they can be shipped to you!).

Once, a staff member for the Ebbtide forgot her scientific calculator during a math test. Her lifeboat: during the short restroom break before the quiz began, she ran to the library and managed to rent one out for a few hours, and made it back to class just in time (and out of breath.)

In addition, it’s helpful to have a few extra copies of the multiple choice answer sheet in your backpack, as some professors use it for quizzes. I mean, they do tell you in advance, but better safe than sorry. There’s a tendency for students to forget the little things, as they’re so engrossed in “studying.”

An earlier version of this article misused the word “semester” to refer to a quarter, said “international students” when it meant “out-of-state students” and directed students needing help with FAFSA to “the Administration Building” instead of to the FOSS Building.

by Ebbtide Staff

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