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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

I have started my first semester at NC State and it’s felt like I am on a never-ending roller coaster, to say the least. There have been many moments where I wished someone had told me these things before coming here, so that I would have been more prepared. Like most people, I didn’t think college would be like it is now. So here are my biggest takeaways so far as I have been in college.

Sleep can be your best friend and also your enemy

With all the freedom college comes with, sleep can be your best friend. On average, you may have 2 to 3 classes per day, which leaves a lot of room for sleep. But most times, this isn’t the case. In fact, you’ll be begging for sleep once you find yourself drowning in assignments. When you have a chance to sneak in 20 minutes of sleep, you may feel a sort of euphoria. But at times, sleep can become the enemy. When you are at your neck in homework, you realize sleep is no longer your friend; it has become the enemy. If you cave in and decide to take a nap, you risk not meeting up with deadlines. That is when the real battle starts taking place, you are battling between sleep and staying awake. Being sleep-deprived is real in college, so ensure you have a set sleep schedule as you come into college.

With much freedom comes great responsibility

Transitioning into college is one of the major milestones in your life. You are now an adult, making your own rules on how you’ll live your life; you make your own choices. You decide when to go to class, in fact, you decide if you’re going to class. You decide when you complete your homework, when to study, when to get things done. In fact, it can seem like there is so much more free time available to you. But the so-called “free time” isn’t exactly free, as we have seen in life. Most “free” items have a catch, just like this one. For “free time”, its catch is that the way you utilize it will either positively or negatively impact you. With that, you need to figure out how to use it. Will you dedicate some of it to completing homework, studying, or use it to scroll through social media all day? The choice is yours. 


This is key in college because no one will plan out your time for you. Normally, the week before the first day of classes, professors send out their syllabus. For me, I used that opportunity to write out all my assignments, required readings I would have to do, tests, exams, and deadlines. I planned out when I would complete each beforehand in my planner, so I wouldn’t be caught by surprise. Each week, I recheck the syllabus to see if there were any changes made, so I can make those changes in my planner. If a professor announces a change, I also make that change in my agenda IMMEDIATELY (so I won’t forget!). The amount of times my planner has saved me from turning in a paper late is tremendous. In addition, I have a set schedule for when I study for each subject. I planned out my reading time in a way that it not only helps me in digesting the weekly material but if a professor threw a pop quiz, I wouldn’t totally fail. This particular tip I learned from someone and it has helped tremendously!

Procrastination works, to an extent

Take it from me when I tell you procrastinating can work, in some situations. Depending on the subject and the assignment, procrastination could work to a degree. But let me reiterate something–this is college, not high school. What worked then may not work as well now, especially since some professors may be very strict graders. To be honest, I have still held onto my procrastinating ways up until now, but I don’t enforce it as much as I used to.

Go to class

I strongly advise you to not go down the path of skipping class frequently. In fact, you shouldn’t be missing any class, period. Most professors take attendance for these classes, with some awarding participation points which can affect your grade. For some of my classes, if you have less than a certain number of absences, you can have your lowest test or assignment grade dropped. This can boost your average in the class, positively correlating with your GPA. Going to class also helps build relationships with your professors, especially if it’s a smaller class size. You may not see the significance of it now, but this can help when you need a grade-booster, reference letters, or the like. Another important thing is they may make important announcements that they may fail to email the entire class about or give out assignments that are due by the end of class. That is why it’s essential to attend class. Skipping class also puts you behind in the coursework, and trust me when I tell you it is very hard to bounce back once you fall behind!

I hope these tips can help you as you make the transition from high school to college. At times, it can be easy or it can be tough, but these have helped me to stay sane throughout.

Ony Otiocha is the Co-Senior Editor of Her Campus at North Carolina State University. She joined during her freshman year, making this her third year on Her Campus as a writer. Outside of Her Campus, Ony is a third year at North Carolina State University, studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology and minoring in Forensic Science. She works at two different hospitals and volunteers at a local clinic--taking care of patients from all walks of life. Ony is also a staff photographer with NC State University Student Media, where she takes photographs of different news and sports events for outlets like Technician, Agromeck, and Nubian Message at NC State University. Ony was also a teaching assistant for biochemistry during the spring semester and will continue to do so for next semester. When she is not in class or working, Ony enjoys listening to music, painting, photography, and reading novels in her free time. She is a huge fan of books written by James Patterson, Karen Kingsbury, and Jodi Picoult. Ony also loves volunteering with children at her local church, which she has been doing for almost three years! She is passionate about not only creating safe spaces for children but also advocating on their behalf.
Junior at NCSU majoring in Communication Media Lover of strawberry ice cream and classic rock VP of Her Campus NCSU