1. Get enough sleep
I can’t stress this enough. Not sleeping an adequate amount each night can take a huge toll on your body, both physically and mentally. Even though skipping class is taboo, I fully support skipping class (only when absolutely necessary!) to catch up on sleep. Start by getting seven hours of sleep a night. Even though this can sound nearly impossible, your mind will sharpen and your skin will glow.
2. Stop procrastinating
Waiting to study until the night before your midterm will… I’ve learned that dividing and conquering ??? is a valuable tactic. Try reviewing a chapter a night the week before, because cramming five chapters into one all-nighter can do more damage than good. Find a buddy to study with and it’ll make it less overwhelming.
3. Laugh at yourself
This is the one piece of advice that has single handedly gotten me through my first month of college. I’ve tripped up stairs in the library, went to the wrong math class (hi Calculus 3!), and have worn a dress inside out. At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is laugh. If you spend too much time thinking about what other people think of you, college won’t be as much fun. Take a deep breath, laugh so hard that you cry, and remember that people aren’t as concerned with what you’re doing as much as you think that they are.
4. Getting sick is inevitable
Living in the dorms with hundreds of other freshmen almost ensures that you will be sick at some point within the first month. Between sharing everything from water bottles to bathrooms, the dorms are a hot spot for a collection of germs. The “freshman plague” is not a myth; almost everyone I know has tangled with some version of the plague, whether it lasted a couple days or a full week. Remember to wash your hands, fall in love with Vitamin C and always stay hydrated.
5. Find your study spot
Everyone warned me before coming to Hopkins that I would be spending a lot of time in the library, yet this idea of nights in the library did not settle in until I actually spent a full night immersed in neuroscience notes and overly-sweetened vanilla lattes. I found my study spot by the second week; Brody Learning Commons seems to be a balanced mixture of a social and studious atmosphere. The Brody Cafe, located on the the top floor, serves the most glorious Red Eyes and freshly made granola bars (try the samosas if you’re feeling adventurous). My roommate likes to do her homework in our dorm room which can also be a less distracting environment for some people. Try different spots around campus and find what setting is most beneficial for you.
6. Go to Late Night
Late Night at Hopkins, which is from 9 p.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday at the Fresh Food Cafe, has been something close to a lifesaver for me. Whether it’s a pumpkin spice waffle (with the Johns Hopkins logo, of course) or a freshly made omelet, Late Night gives me a last minute boost before I run to the library to study. Some choose to substitute Late Night for their dinner meal swipe, while others use Late Night as a fourth meal (I’m guilty).