College 101

School Is Here...

 

Ladies, Gents, and All Others In-between: It is with great sorrow that I announce the return of heavy backpacks and 8AM classes.

BUT FEAR NOT!!!

I am here to bestow upon you my tips and tricks for making it through the year in one piece.

1. Get Organized

Part of the college experience is wanting to be involved in different clubs and sports to find like-minded individuals. On top of that, you've got 6 different classes (maybe 7 if you're utterly insane) that are giving you assignments and/or future things to work on.

The best way to stay level headed is to be organized. I do this with a planner and a white board calendar. Being able to visualize due dates and club meetings and how they'll play out for the month will keep you calm and ready!

 

2. Go. To. Class.

I know you didn't get enough sleep last night. I know going to that 8AM sounds like the worst possible idea. I know you just wanna stay in bed and skip class because """you deserve it""". I know. I know.

Here's the deal: even though waking up at the crack of dawn to go to class makes you feel like a complete zombie, do it. Giving in to the temptation might turn into a bad habit of constantly skipping classes. Even if you don't retain some of the information because you're so tired, a good chunk of your grade will depend on attendance alone. Power through it.

I usually set multiple alarms to make sure I get up for class, and if I'm feeling extra lifeless, I make myself a cup of coffee before I leave my room. Whatever you have to do, make sure you get to class!!!

3. Manage Your Time Wisely

We all know college isn't just constant studying and researching. Being social is also a part of campus life! Finding that balance is different for each individual person.

For me, I like to set aside a couple of hours a day to see my friends and catch up with them. This usually gives me a good break from doing work (which, btw, taking a break or two from extensive school work is healthy for you!) and it gives me time to de-stress so I can focus on my task.

 

4. Save That $$$

Let's talk coin, moolah, cash money. There is one common fact that unites us all as college students:

We're broke.

Whatever money we have flies out of our pockets and into the great abyss.

If you do manage to save a few dollars from the void, prioritize what you need to spend it on. Make sure you have some money set aside for important things like food, transportation (if needed), bills, etc. Everything after that is a want, and that can be put off until you can buy it without skipping meals!

 

5. Collaborate On Note Taking

I've personally never done this before, but I've recently heard about it and thought it was absolutely genius.

Google has this fantastic thing called Google Docs. It's a very similar platform to Microsoft Word in the sense that you can create new documents and you're given different templates to use if you need them, but it differs from Word in one very amazing way: you can share documents and work on them together in real time. I think this is beneficial for two reasons:

1.) Professors will usually put up a PowerPoint slide while their giving their lecture. Most students will write down what's on the board, but by that time, they've missed all of the information their teacher was expanding on regarding the subject. Collaborative note taking on Google Docs solves this. If you and a buddy are taking notes, take charge of getting what you need from the lecture while the other person gets the info from the presentation!

2.) Even though you pay attention in class, there might be a thing or two you're not too sure about. There's a good chance that your classmates have the information that you need. Google Docs gives you the opportunity to ask your partners and get their input so that you can clean up your notes and better your understanding on the subject!

 

6. RENT THOSE TEXTBOOKS

I don't want to have to be the one telling you this, but... textbooks are too expensive. Especially since you will more than likely NEVER open the book you're asked to get for the class.

Since my Freshman year, I've been using SlugBooks to find all of my textbooks for the cheapest prices. A lot of the time you can find them in near perfect condition for half the price, and they give you the option to buy, rent, or sell your old textbooks! So before you go buying books that cost hundreds of dollars, check out SlugBooks!

 

And last but not least:

7. Study What You Love

You don't have to go into college knowing what you want to major in. You have some time to try different things before you find what you're most passionate about. To be completely honest, I switched my major a grand total of four (4) times in the first week of college. I went in as an Art major, switched to Music, went back to Art, and now I'm a third year Psych major with a Music minor, and I couldn't be happier.

Take the time to figure out what you're passionate about so that you can look forward to going to class and learning!

 

There it is, kids! I hope this makes your college life a little bit easier. Good luck!!!