U Chic, 3E: The College Girl's Guide to Everything

U Chic, 3E: The College Girl's Guide to Everything

by Christie Garton

The #1 Women's Guide to a Fabulous College Life!

From the day you set foot on campus until the day you wear a cap and gown, get advice from a source you can trust: the expert team of all-star college students and recent grads behind U Chic. This indispensible, fully updated college resource has everything you need to know, including:



The #1 Women's Guide to a Fabulous College Life!

From the day you set foot on campus until the day you wear a cap and gown, get advice from a source you can trust: the expert team of all-star college students and recent grads behind U Chic. This indispensible, fully updated college resource has everything you need to know, including:

Getting Started—First week advice and tuning out the homesick blues
Sharing Space—A fashionista's tips for fitting it all in
Healthy and Happy—Common campus ailments, staying fit on dorm food, and Sex Ed 101
Sorority Chic—The ins and outs of going Greek
Love Life—Love vs. hookups and surviving long-distance relationships
Head of the Class—Picking the right major, getting ready for finals, and studying tips and tricks

"Lots of clever strategies on how to have a fabulous time at college combined with wise advice on how to avoid all-too-common mistakes. A great resource for anyone who wants to be a chic colege coed."—Kim Clark, Senior Writer, U.S. News & World Report

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Jennifer McIntosh
From applying to schools, moving in, relationships, and friendships to study skills and financial advice, U Chic: The College Girl's Guide To Everything attempts to counsel students entering college on all aspects of college life. Each chapter is divided into brief, easily readable sections covering one part of the main focus of the chapter. Basic information is interspersed with advice from actual college students. Some of the recommendations can appear to conflict with each other. In one piece, students are warned not to Skype or chat with their parents too much while feeling homesick, and in the next piece students are told that Skype is a great tool to stay connected with their parents while feeling homesick. Advice ranges from the silly—organizing the dorm closet—to the serious—safe sex and detecting STDs. Garton's style is conversational, as are most of the snippets from current college students. The book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but rather used as a reference. The clear chapter and subsection titles make this easy to do. There is also a comprehensive index allowing girls to quickly find the information they need. High school girls looking for general college advice will appreciate this book. U Chic: The College Girl's Guide To Everything will make a good addition to public libraries with large young adult nonfiction sections and high school libraries. Reviewer: Jennifer McIntosh

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Read an Excerpt

getting in

I had known from the age of 12 that I was destined to attend Brown University. This had been decided before I had even visited the campus. I’d just read about it in one of my brother’s college brochures, but regardless, I knew I was going to Brown to study theater and to be a free spirit under a requirement-free curriculum. And maybe join a naked protest or two.

Six years and a $70 application fee later, my hopes were dashed. I didn’t get in. When I received that thin, impersonal rejection letter, I went through the Kübler-Ross cycle of grief faster than you can say “safety school.” First there was denial. No way, I totally got in; they got the wrong Allison Davis. Then anger. Those jerks—what do they know about college admissions?! Followed by bargaining. I’ll retake my SATs, do 600 more hours of community service—anything! Next, depression. My world has ended. And, finally, acceptance.

Did You Know?

The schools with the lowest acceptance rates are actually music schools—Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music and New York’s Juilliard School have acceptance rates less than 8 percent. Harvard comes in next at 9 percent.

Honestly, the rejection letter stung. A lot. You spend 4+ years slaving over SATs, GPAs, APs, extracurriculars, and enough community service to be on par with a Peace Corps member just to qualify for consideration at your dream school—the only university or college that you fervently believe matches who you are and, more importantly, who you want to become. It’s almost like an unhealthy romantic relationship; your whole self-worth becomes involved in impressing “the one.” It is disappointing to be so brusquely rejected by what was your collegiate soul mate.


So you did not get a fat acceptance package from your first choice school. Disappointing? Absolutely. But devastating? No. If you get rejected from your first (or second or third) choice school, give yourself some time to be upset, but remember there are about 6 billion different possible reasons for an admission decision. There is almost no way to understand the why, which is really frustrating. Rather than wallow over the unanswerable “why” by tearing yourself and your application apart, focus on what you do have—other college choices.

When I got my rejection letter from Brown, I cried, threw things, tore up the letter, but then I got some sanity back. Brown was 1 school out of 13 that I applied to. And at the end of the whole ordeal, I may not have gotten into Brown, but I ended up with 12 other acceptances and eventually was accepted to the school that I now proudly call my alma mater, Barnard College.

Once you’ve been rejected, you may feel a little lost as to what to do next. Since we can’t all create our own fake colleges like Justin Long did in the movie Accepted, considering other real schools is the logical next step.

What Not to Do When You Get Your College Acceptance Letter

Kylie Thompson, Harvard University

Congrats! You made it through college acceptance and rejection season. Whether or not this was the year your own fate was up to the admissions gods, I’m sure you ran into a few obnoxious Facebook statuses, lost prefrosh on your campus’s visiting weekend, or saw tears from family friends whose hearts were set on a particular school. While the days leading up to finally finding that letter in your mailbox may be some of the most nerve-wracking in a student’s high school career, it’s important to remember not to over share when those acceptances do roll in.

Case in point: Recently college blogs were all abuzz when one student took his excitement at being accepted to a number of great schools a little too far. Updating his Facebook status one night, he wrote: “I just got my admittance letters into Yale, Duke, Northwestern, Penn, and Columbia. Now Harvard is begging my ass to go to their school. FULLY PAID SCHOLARSHIP. LOL. Hmmmm…Ahahahah naw kiss my ass. F@!k Harvard! I don’t need no Harvard or no scholarship HAHA! No really though, I’m going to Harvard guys. Wooooooo =D.”

This is unacceptable on many levels. First off, admissions decisions had not yet been mailed out to students by the night he wrote those fateful words (I should know since I work there). Secondly, NO Ivy League school offers scholarships to students, only financial aid made up of need-based grants. Thirdly, this is just a post in poor taste. Rumor has it, Harvard rescinded this student’s admission, and in my opinion, deservedly so.

While it’s great to be proud of your achievements, Facebook, or any social media site for that matter, is not the venue for shameless boasting of this nature. That should probably be saved for immediate family, grandma and grandpa, or the teacher who gave you a C–in Algebra I in the eighth grade.


If you applied early decision, or early action, and didn’t make it in, go talk to the college counselor at your high school. You have a nice stretch of time to reconsider schools and find new ones. Before you go, make a list of the reasons you fell in love with First Choice University. Was it the rural environment? The ivy-covered brick buildings? The out-of-this-world biochemistry department? Well, guess what? Other campuses have the same things. Your college counselor can help you find other schools with similar criteria and whose admissions standards more closely fit what you have to offer.

Something else to consider is the tabula rasa approach to looking for new schools. By weighing your original reasons for choosing your first choice school, you also have a second chance to evaluate what you actually want out of a college. In high school, especially, it is so easy to be pushed into a neat little box with a concise label. I’m sure you can hear it now: you are “the really athletic girl” or “the really brainy girl.” But maybe there is another girl inside you that you need to explore. College gives you that opportunity. Consider applying to a school that has what you know you are interested in (like a good badminton team) but may also have a strong reputation in something you want to pursue in the future.


I always considered myself the quirky, alternative-theater girl. I thought I wanted to be in a small town where most of your life revolved around the campus. I also wanted a campus with a strong academic history and, yes, with ivy-covered buildings. Once I didn’t get into Brown, I considered other schools just like it—Vassar and Bowdoin were my next top candidates. My college counselor reminded me that I was an active writer and that maybe I should consider schools that had strong writing programs. It was a great suggestion. I had always intended to go to school for theater—something that I had done almost my entire life. But by expanding my college search to those with well-known writing programs, I began to see a whole new set of options, and what I had thought I had wanted out of a school changed. Suddenly, I was attracted to schools in bigger cities, like Barnard. And though I still have my ivy-covered buildings, campus life is no longer the focal point of my social activities. Truly, Barnard helped me discover my real passion and develop into a person I didn’t even know I could be. And maybe this would have happened at Vassar or Bowdoin as well, but the reevaluations I did during my second admissions process opened a lot of possibilities.


If you applied regular decision and didn’t get in, you’ll have other admissions decisions coming at the same time, meaning there are likely several acceptance letters to look forward to. Even though you really wanted to go to First Choice University, there were reasons you liked all the other schools you applied to. Go back and reconsider those reasons. If you have the time, go spend a weekend at one or two of the schools that are your remaining top choices. The most important thing to remember is to stop comparing it to First Choice University. It’s fine to say, “Well, I really liked how that school had eco-friendly dorms.” But if you are comparing the linoleum of the dorm room floors, you are setting yourself up for disappointment in the end. Look at the positive aspects of each school rather than considering what it doesn’t have.

U Chic Tip!

Once you find a school (or schools) you want to apply to, go back to your college counselor and ask for application hints. For instance, let’s say that you play varsity lacrosse during your four years of high school but you also sing in the chorale. Your college counselor can help you work both of those unique experiences into your personal essay. Or maybe you’ll find that your application is perfect already, but chances are, with a reevaluation and some helpful hints from your high school’s resident college expert, you can find some way to better your chances for the second round of applications.

I know it’s cheesy to remind you of the old saying that you’ll end up where you were meant to be, but it’s kind of true. Somehow, even if the school you end up going to isn’t the one you thought you wanted, it may end up being the best fit.

U Chic Tip! Ivy or Not? That Is the Question!

Jill Ravae Scherr, Academy of Art University

Did you get into an Ivy but are still trying to figure out how to pay for it? Did another non-Ivy institution offer you a better financial aid package or even a full ride?

There is so much to worry about when attending college from choosing courses to picking majors to making new friends. These are supposed to be some of the best years of your life and you don’t need financial burdens keeping you down and affecting your overall health and performance. That is why it is essential for you to make smart financial decisions today that will allow you to successfully graduate on time and be able to pursue the career of your dreams without back-breaking debt.

If you can’t afford to attend the Ivy League institution, it may not be the best option. Sure, it is wonderful to attend a prestigious university and call it your alma mater, but it is not the end all, be all. Also, studies show that there really isn’t that much proof that an Ivy education gets you more ahead in life than an education from a state or trade school. Certainly, some extra prestige and clout may initially open up doors for you, but ultimately it is up to you to keep them open and prove yourself and your abilities.

Don’t be afraid to choose the non-Ivy school that offered you a great financial aid package. You can always transfer to an Ivy location at a later time or attend grad school at an Ivy, if it ends up being something you still aspire to do. The bottom line? Getting an education of any kind from a private or public university—or even trade school—in an area you are passionate about is a wonderful accomplishment.


After three years at Barnard, I knew that I loved where I was, but I always wondered, “What if I had gone to Brown?” Well, I went to visit a friend of mine who attends Brown last year. The campus was as beautiful as I had remembered. Providence is a great town, and I really liked the people. But there was something missing for me this time I went back. If I had gone to Brown, I never would have been able to take a writing class where Rachel Weiss made an appearance so we could learn the art of interviewing. I would never have been able to spend my semesters interning at the New York Times, and I would not have been able to hop on a subway and see a Tony-winning play and then come back to campus and hang out at a dorm party later in the evening. I would have missed out on so many different and wonderful opportunities.

And the funny part of this story is that my friend who goes to Brown chose it because she hadn’t gotten into Columbia University in New York City. After I had been going on and on about how much I loved going to school in the city and how much I love Barnard, she said, “If I had gone to Columbia, I would have been lost. Brown was such a better fit.” So, case in point: sometimes the things we ask for aren’t really the things we need. If your first choice university took a pass, be grateful because your second (or third or fourth) choice will most likely be the better choice in the end.

Insights provided by Allison Davis, Barnard College

Meet the Author

Christie Garton is the founder and CEO of UChic.com, the #1 online resource and networking community for high school and college-age women. With its "100% Behind You" commitment, the company gives a portion of its profits to the company's Open Door Foundation, which supports young women in their academic and career pursuits. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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