Chelsey’s Declassified LBCC Survival Guide


Whether you’re entering your first term or you’re a third year veteran, this guide serves to inform you about some of the tips and tricks for surviving and thriving at Linn-Benton Community College.

Why does Chelsey’s opinion matter? Honestly, in the grand scheme of your life, it doesn’t. But I’ve spent two full years at LBCC and I’ve been very successful, and pretty lucky, during my stay. Can’t hurt to share the wealth. Ultimately, I wanted to build a guide full of information that I wish I had known when I first started at LBCC. A “cheat sheet,” if you will. If you really want to be successful, you’ll read the entire article.

Things That May Help You, A Table of Contents:

  1. School E-mail.
  2. Syllabi-bye, Felicia.
  3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Online Classes.
  4. The Perks of Being a Teacher’s Pet.
  5. Free Stuff!, Vol. 1: Software.
  6. Free Stuff!, Vol. 2: Money.
  7. Free Stuff!, Vol. 3: Food.
  8. Free Stuff!, Vol. 4: Clothes.
  9. Where To-? Vol. 1: Study on campus.
  10. Where To-? Vol. 2: Eat on campus.
  11. Mary Jane Is Not Your Friend.
  12. 11 Credits a FAFSA Does Not Make.
  13. Tutoring.
  14. Satan’s Playground.
  15. You Shall Not Pass.
  16. Matriculating Like a Mother Fucker.
  17. We All Clap for CLEP.
  18. SAT Subject Tests and Other Shit I Have Come To Despise.
  19. Do You Like Being Awesome?
  20. More of a Good Thing Is a Great Thing.
  21. Study Skills That Saved My Life.



  1. School E-mail. ALL IMPORTANT COMMUNICATIONS FOR YOUR ACADEMIC CAREER WILL OCCUR HERE. Can you succeed at LBCC without checking your school email? Sure, sort of. But why make it harder on yourself? This is the only place your professors or administration will attempt to reach you. Keep that in mind.
    1. The email address includes a database with the contact information for every person currently working or attending the school. For students, just start typing in their name (spell it correctly!) and their email address will show up for you. For faculty/professors/administration, double check what their email is by searching for them on the Instructor Website tab on the school website, or by searching for them by name in the website’s search bar.

  2. Syllabi-bye, Felicia. On the very first day of class, you will receive a syllabus for every course you take. Why does this matter? Because the syllabus is a contract between you and your professor. The syllabus explains, rather explicitly, what you can expect from the course: grading method, number of projects/tests/quizzes/essays,/etc., how to contact the professor, when the professor’s meeting times are and where they can be found, etc. Many times the syllabus includes a calendar for the course. The syllabus is your ability to hold your professor accountable for doing what they say they are going to do. For example: No pop quizzes allowed, UNLESS the syllabus states that they may occur.
    1. In my experience, 85% of the questions you want to ask about your class can be found in your syllabus.
    2. Know your syllabus, otherwise it’s “Bye, Felicia!” to your good grades.

  3.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Online Classes. Online classes can be an incredibly useful tool for the student with a more non-traditional schedule, if that student has the right motivation, time management skills, and realistic knowledge of what they are getting into in order to be successful. According to an article on Psych Central by Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., “Only 50% of students who register for online classes succeed. (This is compared to an average of 70 percent of students in traditional campus classes.)” Be self-aware enough to recognize your own weaknesses: online classes might be one of them.

  4. The Perks of Being Teacher’s Pet. I’m going to admit that I’m a little biased on this subject: I have some really wonderful relationships with several of my professors (one of them even starred in a short film I wrote!). My teachers don’t like me because I’m particularly fabulous (which I am), but because I was audacious enough to visit them during their office hours EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. I was relentless and obnoxious. I challenged my professors during class (RESPECTFULLY) and asked for advice or clarification after the lectures. I was just always around, for two solid years. Eventually, my stalkerish behavior wore my professors down. For many students, this sounds like ass-kissing. And to a certain degree, it is. Here’s why you should pucker up: the helpful tips, networking associations, and recommendations I received from my professors have afforded me
    1. straight A’s (who better to ask for study tricks from than your own teachers?),
    2. more than $5,000 in scholarships in one year,
    3. an internship with the District Attorney’s office,
    4. acceptance into 3 four-year universities (now I have my pick of the litter),
    5. really good life advice,
    6. and a job (as a tutor!).

    Not everyone is going to “score” as well as I have by pursuing meaningful relationships with their professors, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from it. Don’t be shy. Your professors are probably more scared of you than you are of them, anyways.

  5. Free Stuff!, Vol. 1: Software. You can get a free version of Microsoft Office on your computer through LBCC. Also, a bunch of other stuff. Check out this link and visit the library to get help with the downloads.

  6. Free Stuff!, Vol. 2: Money. I have yet to meet a college student (no matter how old or well-established) who would be mad about receiving free money. And that’s exactly what a scholarship is: access to free money. You have zero excuses not to apply, unless you’re on the run from the feds. Then you probably don’t need that kind of attention.
    1. How To Apply: Fill out this form. I recommend printing out one version (exclude pages 1 and 2) and writing it out by hand. Then, once you have a fully prepared draft, open up the document on a computer and type in your responses. The neater presentation makes a huge difference to the committee who is deciding your monetary fate. Also, you catch more errors this way.
    2. Fun fact: LBCC scholarship applications are “one and done,” meaning you only need to fill out the application once per term (check out this page to verify the due dates for each term) and you only need to fill out ONE application for ALL the scholarships you are applying for (Simply list out every scholarship you want at the top of page 3).
  7. Free Stuff!, Vol. 3: Food. Hungry? Check out the Linn-Benton Lunch Box (LBLB), located in the Student Union office. The LBLB is a pantry for LBCC students. Free food, up to 3 times per term, no questions asked. This isn’t about whether or not you can afford groceries. This is about making sure you can succeed in college. You need food to succeed, and the first rule of college is to never turn down free stuff.
    1. You are required to be a current LBCC student to receive food. You must use your LBCC X number to get access to the pantry. The pantry is not stocked with fresh produce – only dried or canned goods (beans, vegetables, pasta, soy milk, etc.). Make sure you share with the box preparers (though they should be asking) if you have any allergies.
    2. Fun fact: You can get food for yourself and your dependents (children, elderly parents, and significant others who share the same home).
    3. Funner fact: The pantry is stocked with toiletries, baby supplies (diapers, formula, etc.), and feminine hygiene products.
    4. CORRECTION:Actually, ma’am, there are 3.75: you forgot the Santiam Restaurant in the extreme southwest corner of Calapooia upstairs. Yes, it is a real sit-down restaurant with waitrons in black and a fancy menu containing food and ingredients many students outside the Culinary Arts program haven’t even heard of. Entrees max out around $9, which may seem steep on a student budget–but for a fancy lunch (read “you need reservations”) you can’t do any better anywhere. And our Culinary Arts program ROCKS!!!” – A big thank you to Heather Morijah for reminding me of, possibly, the best food on campus.

  8. Free Stuff!, Vol. 4: Clothes. Got an interview scheduled? Come to the Student Union and grab a jacket or a pair of slacks, totally free, so you can look all adultish for your meeting. X number not required. Come in, try something on, take it.
    1. Fun fact: We have clothes for all occasions (like “cold” or “rainy”), not just interviews. Not everyone can afford new clothes on a student budget. Feel free to take anything that fits you but please keep the Linn-Benton Professional Closet in mind when you are looking to get rid of your own old clothing because they are ALWAYS TAKING DONATIONS.
    2. On a side note, since we’re talking about attire: There is a very popular saying in college, “Dress well, test well.” It’s, essentially, true. Dressing well boosts your confidence, which makes you a better test taker. So, put on your favorite outfits for finals week – it makes the whole process seem less shitty.
  9. Where To-? Vol. 1: Study on campus. There are two spots on campus that I really enjoy when looking for a space to study:
    1. The Library. Pretty standard location for quiet studying on any campus. It’s pretty hard to overlook but if you haven’t found the library on LBCC’s campus yet, stop someone and ask them.
      1. The library offers printing services, computers, and (obviously) books.
      2. Also, the librarians are some of the coolest, funniest people on campus. Weird, right?

    2. The Learning Center. Directly above the library. Filled with tables and outlets and tutors. A haven for purposeful studying (and socializing).
      1. It’s definitively louder than the library so if you have trouble with noisy environments, ask the front desk for some ear plugs or take yourself downstairs.
      2. The Learning Center offers group study rooms with white boards for the classes that make you want to drop out of college.
    3. There are lots of nooks and crannies throughout campus (upstairs, North Santiam Hall, next to the big windows facing South Santiam Hall) where you can park yourself for a study session. Most of these are so small and obscure that I can’t begin to describe the directions to them. Enjoy the hunt and don’t get selfish with your favorite study spot.
  10. Where To-? Vol. 2: Eat on campus. There are 2.75 spots on campus where you can get some grub:
    1. Calapooia Commons Cafeteria. This gathering space is upstairs in the Calapooia center (the same building that the bookstore is housed) and is the plaything of the culinary school. When you need to treat yo’self to financially responsible cuisine, look no further than the Commons.
    2. Courtyard Cafe. Downstairs in Takena Hall (how you could possibly miss this gem is beyond me), the Courtyard Cafe offers a simple, made-to-order menu in a timely fashion. I feel they can be a little over-priced for their pre-made foods but I’m cheap so take that opinion with a grain of salt. Drink selection is on point!
    3. LB Bookstore (which constitutes 0.5 of the 2.75 campus eatery spots). Hot dogs, sandwiches, frozen burritos, microwaveable meals, and snacks galore! Maybe not the best choice for a healthy meal, but it gets the job done in a pinch. The LB Bookstore features a microwave, coffee maker, soda machine, and lots of useless baubles to distract you from your original purchasing intentions.
    4. Hot Shot Cafe (which constitutes 0.25 of the 2.75 campus eatery spots). Specializing in caffeinated drinks and run by LB students, this coffee shop is a pretty relaxing place to sip some coffee or tea. The Hot Shot features a pool table and tons of big, comfy chairs with lots of outlets in case you want to surf the internet between classes.
  11. Mary Jane Is Not Your Friend. At least not on campus. There are signs all over the campus to warn you how unfriendly marijuana is, but you need to understand that it’s illegal to consume weed on school grounds. Even in the smoker’s dens. Even if you’re over 21. Even if you eat your weed instead of smoking it.
    1. Although recreational marijuana use is legal in Oregon, LBCC is a federally funded college and must abide by federal regulations (which trump state laws): DON’T. SMOKE. WEED. ON. CAMPUS.
    2. While we’re on the topic: if you drive while high and find yourself in a car accident with another driver, you will be at fault. If you’re stupid enough to get behind the wheel while intoxicated on ANY substance, you will be at fault for any accident that occurs. Weed and automobiles don’t mix: just ask the Portland resident who is getting charged with manslaughter for driving while under the influence.
    3. If you need help identifying what you can or cannot do with marijuana in the great state of Oregon, check out this awesome guide.

  12. 11 Credits a FAFSA Does Not Make. If you use FAFSA, you know that you need to be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term to receive your money. So, for those of you who may get screwed by the school’s class schedule and can only seem to come up with enough necessary classes (because why would you pay for an unnecessary class?) for 11 credits, let me tell you a secret: LBCC offers 1 credit classes. And they’re cool! If you need that one extra credit to round out your FAFSA requirements but you don’t want to take a full 3 or 4 credit class, check out these options:
    1. Physical Education: Yoga, volleyball, basketball, bowling, soccer, karate, hip hop dancing, etc.
    2. Music: Choir, voice lessons, piano, guitar, etc.
  13.  Tutoring. It’s free. It’s necessary. Why is it necessary? Because you’ve got no reason to turn your nose up at a higher grade and, statistically speaking, students who attend tutoring get higher grades than those who do not.
    1. In one study performed at LBCC, psychology students who attended tutoring regularly throughout the term received a grade that was, on average, 8 points higher than those students who did not attend tutoring. THAT’S ALMOST A FULL LETTER GRADE.
    2. Math and Writing tutoring are available pretty much all day: spaces are allocated specifically for writing and math so you can go in and get help with exactly what you need in a timely manner. Other subjects require an appointment – you set it yourself, when it is most convenient for you. The appointments are 50 minutes long and are offered (to my knowledge) for every single class at LBCC. The best part? Almost all of the tutors are students. I, for example, tutor psychology, sociology, and PE (don’t ask).
  14. Satan’s Playground. Math 111. This class gets its own paragraph because it is in league with the devil. This is, supposedly , one of the most failed classes on both the LBCC and OSU campuses (I’ve never seen the stats but it definitely seems true, based on the horror stories I’ve heard from classmates). Math 111 is terrible and, unfortunately, a prerequisite for pretty much every major offered at LBCC. You may test out of it (good for you, asshole) but most students will take the course. It is worth 5 credits, which means it can make or break your GPA. It is, normally, a 1 hour class every single day of the week. I DO NOT RECOMMEND YOU EVER MISS A DAY OF THAT CLASS. I don’t have any extra studying tips for this class (see the tips I listed above) but I will say that my professor, Kylene Hart, was a wonderful instructor and I would recommend her every damn day.
  15. You Shall Not Pass. Why do good grades matter? First and foremost, your GPA reflects the kind of student you are when you start applying for big kid jobs. Also, your GPA reflects the kind of four-year universities you are eligible to apply for. The higher your GPA, the better your odds are getting the fancy job, big scholarship, or prestigious college you want.
    1. Perks of good grades: Phi Theta Kappa (Honors Society). Putting this on your resume makes you look WAY smarter than you probably are. In reality, being a member of Phi Theta Kappa means you work your ass off. It is not an accurate reflection of your intelligence, so don’t let your head get too big when you’re offered a spot on the team.
    2. Perks of good grades: There are scholarships offered at LBCC that are only available to students with a 3.5 GPA or higher. These scholarships are, based on my own research, some of the biggest that LBCC offers ($1,500 or more). Get and keep your grades up to access this money.

  16. Matriculating Like a Mother Fucker. Did you know that many private schools offer, essentially, free rides for students with good grades and low income households? This bullet point doesn’t apply to everyone but if you’re poor (like me!) and have great grades (also like me!) then don’t hesitate to apply to private four-year universities when you’re ready.
    1. Application fee waivers are available for poor kids – saves you a ton of money and opens up the possibility of applying to WAY more schools (I applied to 19 four-year universities. So far, I’ve been accepted to every school that has replied).
    2. Willamette University is a private university in Oregon that offers a very easy transfer for LBCC students. (They offered me more than $35K a year so you should go apply to them, nowish.)
  17. We All Clap For CLEP. CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program and is offered and accepted at almost every college in the country. What is CLEP? It’s a test-out option for some of your more basic, lower division classes. Each CLEP test focuses on a single subject and gives you, roughly, 100 questions to answer in, roughly, 90 minutes (the number of questions and time limit vary a little for each subject). At LBCC, if you pass the test with a 50% or higher, you will have successfully earned the credits that the test is worth.
    1. For example, the American History test is worth 3 credits. So, you get 50 out of 100 possible questions correct and you walk away with a full class finished after a single test! The same principle applies to the Biology test, which is worth 12 credits (THAT’S AN ENTIRE TERM’S WORTH OF CREDITS!). So much savings! <3<3<3
    2. The best part? The test, no matter how many credits it is worth, will never go up in price. All tests cost $115 at LBCC (price subject to change at other colleges).
    3. The catch: CLEP tests do not positively or negatively affect your GPA. So, if your GPA is low and you need to bring it up: take the actual class. If you GPA is strong and you need to get more credits done in a shorter amount of time: take the CLEP test.
    4. The second catch: Not all the CLEP tests accepted at LBCC will be accepted at the four-year university you end up transferring to. OSU and UO, for example, only accept a few of the tests that LBCC does. Double check the school you want to transfer to so you don’t screw yourself over.
    5. Here is a list of the subjects and credits available for CLEPing at LBCC.
  18. SAT Subject Tests and Other Shit I Have Come To Despise. So, when I was applying for four-year universities recently, I found out that I was REQUIRED by almost EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL to produce SAT (or ACT) test scores. This was a problem because I had never taken the SAT (or ACT) before. I knuckled down and took the test (and could not believe the bureaucratic red tape involved with that stupid assessment) then sent my scores in to all the schools who required it. A couple weeks later I found out that I had made a terrible mistake. While the SAT was required at almost all of the schools I was applying to, the SAT Subject Tests were ALSO required at several of these colleges.
    1. What the fuck? SAT Subject Tests, for anyone else (like me) who had no fucking clue, are specific tests in language, history, biology, chemistry, etc. where students can “amp up” their SAT scores by showing off what subjects they are really talented or passionate in.
    2. This may not be relevant to you, as most of the students reading this guide are going to wind up in an Oregon school that won’t require SAT scores, much less the Subject Tests, but this is information I wish I had had before I started my application process so I felt it needed to be shared. Do with it what you will.
  19. Do you like being awesome? Then come to these locations and share your awesomeness:
    1. Student Union. You are always welcome here and can use a computer/printer if you need to. Quick reminder that this is the place to get the food boxes from the LBLB and free clothes for interviews or if you’re struggling to find warm clothes for the never ending rainy winter.
    2. Diversity Achievement Center (DAC – directly above the Student Union). You are ALWAYS welcome here. Sometimes they have free food and show cool movies and you can take a nap in here if you need to. Also, the DAC hosts the COOLEST cultural events on campus. Broaden your mind, bro.
    3. Veteran Center. Need not be a veteran to enter.
  20. More of a Good Thing Is a Great Thing. Extracurricular activities = more successful and happy college student. (STATS) Student government (grants) makes every resume look better.
    1. According to a Harvard study, participating in an extracurricular activity makes you more satisfied with your college experience. Satisfaction can make a huge difference on your day-to-day happiness, motivation, and overall college success.
    2. At LBCC, some of the extracurricular activities give back to YOU:
      1. Student Government offers grants for your service (from 6 credits per term to 12). No matter your major, putting student government on your resume makes you look like a team player with leadership skills (even if you’re not). There are 16 positions on the LBCC student government team and not all of them require an outgoing personality (like mine). You might just find a spot for you on the team, so go check it out.
      2. ROV Team travels and competes internationally with their underwater robot, The Waterbear. The team networks with some of the biggest names in the business and has a stellar international reputation. Scholarships and internships abound with this team.
    3. Here is a list of all the current LBCC clubs available. Good news? Starting your own club takes you and seven friends. It’s fast, easy, and gives you access to funds allocated specifically for clubs to use for their events (like Anime traveling to Comic-Con!). Join a club. Start a club. Be a club.

      Here are a few of the members of the Human and Civil Rights Club on World Hijab Day. I'm biased, of course, but I think H&CRC might just be the best club on campus. Because I'm in it. Right there. In the front. :)
      Here are a few of the members of the Human and Civil Rights Club on World Hijab Day. I’m biased, of course, but I think H&CRC might just be the best club on campus. Because I’m in it. Right there. In the front. 🙂
  21. Study Skills That Saved My Life. These are tips and tricks I have learned from some of the best and brightest minds at LBCC (so take them with a large grain of salt):
    1. Time management. This should go without saying. But I’m saying it. You DO NOT have all the time in the world. The sun DOES NOT set on your schedule. You probably can’t do all your homework in one night. That’s okay. You’ll figure it out. Don’t panic. You’re not alone. Keep breathing and you’ll find a rhythm soon enough.
    2. Prioritizing. If having a good time is your number one priority right now, then own that truth. You don’t have to pretend otherwise. What’s most important is that you know what’s important to you. For me, what’s most important is finishing college in a timely manner with as little debt as possible. My actions reflect that. Make sure your actions reflect what your priorities are. Otherwise you end up with mysterious tattoos and a lot of unnecessary crying, STANLEY.
    3. Color coordination. I picked this up in my first psychology class. Associate a color, flavor, and/or scent with a particular class. This association is linked to better memory because we start remembering information from the class whenever we come into contact with the color/flavor/scent.
      1. For example, I ALWAYS wore a black hoodie to my math class (because I was in mourning or something. I dunno, I just hate math) and I ALWAYS ate York Peppermint Patties during my math class (because nothing else could get me through that crap). Over the course of the term, I began to associate the hoodie and the patties with my math class. When mid terms and finals came around, my comfort level with the environment was pretty high, because I had these mnemonic devices built in with the specific subject. I munched on Yorks and snuggled into my hoodie for my last test and walked out with a pretty solid grade.
      2. Don’t mix and match your flavors/colors/scents. If you want to use red for anthropology, then go all out and wear red shirts and eat red foods and drink red drinks for that class, and that class ONLY.



I really can’t think of anything else for now but I’ll try to keep this updated as I find new useful tips. In the meantime, APPLY ALL OF THE THINGS I’VE WRITTEN HERE AND BECOME THE BEST COLLEGE STUDENT YOU CAN BE.


My name is Chelsey Mick, and this is how we college.