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10 Ways to Have a Better School Year

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, a new year at college is always the perfect time to start anew. New classes, new experiences, and new connections mean that you’ll start every semester with a blank slate. Here are my top 10 tips for having a great school year. 

  1. Hydrate: It gets too easy to succumb to coffee and soda while on campus, but I encourage you to carry a water bottle around with you! Water, of course, is important for feeling our best, and being dehydrated is not a joke. Invest in a quality reusable water bottle (and wash it regularly!) to bring with you to classes or events. 
  2. Prioritize your well-being: Every college tips article mentions prioritizing your mental health – and rightfully so! Mental health should be taken just as seriously as physical health, so take some time to relax. Whether that looks like puzzles, video games, or YouTube, your mental health always comes first.
  3. Join one or two clubs: RSOs are a great way to meet people, develop interests, and gain leadership experience. There are hundreds of clubs at MSU to choose from, and I recommend starting with one or two clubs. This way, you can focus on what you’re truly interested in and eventually be promoted to a leadership position. 
  4. Go to class: Yes, please go to class. At the end of the day, we’re at university to learn, so take advantage of your tuition. Ask questions during class, actively participate, and feel confident in the material you are learning. 
  5. Get a campus job: Having a part-time job on campus is a great way to earn money. Based on your interests and your schedules, this may look different for everyone. However, getting a part-time job also leads to more connections, more money, and more experience. 
  6. Don’t spend all your money on delivery: This was certainly my largest hurdle to overcome at MSU. Even if I had a dining plan, I would still order meals on Doordash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats weekly. This was a bad habit as I overspent money and ate foods that didn’t make me feel good. It’s important to really consider if you want to spend that delivery fee even if the dining hall is a short walk away.
  7. Use the bus: Controversial opinion: the bus is actually a great resource! It could be raining, snowing, or just a sunny day, and I would still take the CATA buses around campus. Every bus that starts with a 3 (30-39) is free for MSU students, so take advantage of them. I highly recommend downloading the Transit app or the Google Maps app to stay up-to-date with bus line information.
  8. Start saying yes: Something else I struggled with at MSU is saying yes to things. I would feel lazy many times and say no to dinner plans with friends. I soon realized that I should enjoy my time with my friends, and I started getting outside my comfort zone. I’ve had so many great memories since I started saying yes to plans. 
  9. Try something new every week: The campus is big, so try something new! This could look like trying new dining halls, going to an event at the museum, studying in a new spot in the library, or gathering your friends for an impromptu picnic. This will also make you feel more energized and confident around campus. 
  10. Challenge yourself: Let’s be blunt – you’re paying a lot of money to be here right now. Take advantage of everything. In class, challenge yourself to really understand the material and learn. Figure out time management skills by joining clubs, going to events, and having a job while taking courses. Just take advantage of all the opportunities to grow during your time here.

I hope this list inspired you to have a better year on campus. Good luck!

A Michigan State University student by day, an 8-hour sleeper by night Aditi would best describe herself as a "rather simple enigma." As she embarks on her college journey, Aditi cherishes the simple things in life: a cup of coffee, some pastel post-it notes, and her ever-growing succulent.