College Tips from A First Year

I’ve been in college for about two semesters now, and I have, shockingly, learned quite a few tips and tricks to survive college that aren’t taught in all the guidebooks your mom made you read before Welcome Week.

 

I think, as a current first-year, I have a pretty unique perspective on your first year in college since I’m experiencing it right now. So without further or do, here are my tips to keep in mind when entering your first (or any other!) year of college, organized by category.

 

Studying/Classes

  • All your syllabi are like the Holy Bible. Consult them whenever you have a question. Always have them on hand.

  • If you know you’ll get distracted and just start shopping on Amazon, don’t use your laptop to take notes.

  • Do your homework as soon as you can. You’ll feel better once you have it done plus you’ll have more time to do what you want after you just get to work and finish.

  • Don’t try to fool yourself into thinking you can study with friends. Eventually, you’ll all be discussing the old flash games you used you play as kids and you'll be spending the next 3 hours on Poptropica.com.

  • Sleep is more important than cramming for a test. All-nighters aren’t something to be proud of.

  • If you’re a night owl, don’t try and convince yourself that you can get up for an 8am.

 

Roommates

 

  • If possible, go random. If you want to be roommates with someone you’re best friends with before you even start the year, that’s fine, but just know it’s very likely that you’ll get into a fight early on and spend the rest of the year being awkwardly tense around each other. This isn’t always true, but college changes people. It changes your relationships too.

  • Take the living habits survey seriously. If you blow it off, you’ll most likely end up with a roommate who’s the polar opposite of you in regards to bedtime, cleaning, having friends over, etc. Again, even if you think you can handle it, you’ll probably end the year on a sour note.

 

Partying

  • It’s up to you whether or not you decide to drink underage. If you do choose to, just know you’re still breaking the law. Don’t complain about getting caught when you know full well what you’re doing is wrong.

  • It’s also up to you whether or not you’re going to college for education or partying. If you’re going to spend your time getting crossfaded all the damn time, just know that others around you are in college to continue their education and might not be interested in how you spend your time.

  • Don’t feel guilty about heading out for a night every so often, though. But don’t overdo it. Everything in moderation.

 

Self Care

  • Use a real alarm clock. Don’t rely on your phone. Keep it across the room so you’re forced to get out of bed.

  • Keep a “self care” box full of things you know will calm you down when shit hits the fan. For example, fidget spinners, a favorite book, coloring sheets, an emergency candy bar - things like that.

  • It’s okay to take a break and go home for the weekend or miss one class because you just don’t feel like you can handle it that day.

  • It’s okay to say no to your friends when they ask you to go out with them. If they’re really your friends, they’ll understand.

  • Call your parents. They miss you a lot.

 

Well, that’s all I have for now. I’m still learning how to be independent myself, and it truly is a lifelong process. But I hope these tips helped you in some way. Always remember that it’s okay to ask for help. Everyone needs help at some point, and college is full of people willing to help.