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10 Tips on How to Survive College

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

As a senior graduating in December, I’ve been doing this whole college thing for quite some time now. Reflecting back on my freshman year, I know some things now that I really wish I would’ve known then! So without further ado, here are a few tips on how to simultaneously survive – and enjoy – your college experience.

1.     Start Over? College is the one place, within reason, that you can basically begin again. You don’t have to be who you were in high school. If you’ve been waiting to change your style, your hair or anything else, now’s your chance! But most important of all, just be who you are because that’s the only person you should be!

2.     Branch Out: Maybe you’re the life of the party, or maybe you’re they shyest person you know. Either way, there are plenty of opportunities to meet and befriend all types of people at college. I guarantee you will find some of your best friends; and these people may be someone you meet during orientation week freshman year, or someone you met in a class the beginning of senior year.

3.     Get Involved! There are often many sorts of clubs, fraternities and sororities, sports, groups and jobs on campus. Whether you volunteer at homeless shelters with a school program, play intramural Ultimate Frisbee or get involved with a fiction writers group, there’s always something exciting being offered if you take the chance to look!

4.     Get Good Sleep: I can’t stress enough how important sleep is for success! Facebook might seem like a good idea now, but maybe not at four a.m. when you’re halfway through that history paper you should’ve started at eight! Also, it is more than acceptable to take naps, just as long as they aren’t in class!

5.     Time Management: Going along with getting good sleep, managing your time in college is essential! Procrastinating happens to everyone, but keeping a good schedule can help get you away from that. Personally, I like to use a planner and highlight the things I accomplish after I finish them! Make time for friends, school, work, clubs and homework, and make sure to have some time for yourself! You’ll feel much better not having to rush around all the time.

6.     Eat Healthy: Taking care of yourself in college is a process. It’s a stereotype that college students are filled only with ramen noodles and diet soda, so make sure to get fruit and veggies in as well as your favorite snack foods! Your brain and body will work better on a balanced meal than on a bowl of cereal and a latte!

7.     Try New Things: Don’t be afraid to try new things, whether it be hanging out with a new group of friends, a class you wouldn’t have really considered before, taking a weekend road trip to a nearby state park or trying out for your school’s improv group! Just make sure that you always stay true to you and do what you want to do!

8.     The Art of the Roommate: Living with strangers is an interesting and important part of your college experience. Don’t worry if your freshman year roommate and you don’t end up being best friends. Whether you get someone who is the polar opposite of you or you end up being roommates all four years, living with new people can be a way to learn a lot about yourself and gain new friends as well!

9.     Relationships: There are all sorts of relationships in college. Whether you date for two years, or you only know each other from that one party that one time, keep in mind that not every guy/girl may be “the one!” There’s a chance that (s)he may be, in which case that is awesome! But also, (s)he might not be. Remember that you’re wonderful and that there will be always be another if you two break up!

10. Find Your Passion: And study it! Take what you want for a career and do a major that would line you right up for that job. Get involved, do internships and job shadows, ask your professors for advice, bulk up your resume. It is better to be a well-rounded student than not! It’s also perfectly fine to change your major, (I changed mine three times!), just make sure you’re doing what you can to accomplish your goals!

Everyone’s experience is different, but from my four years here at The University of Portland, these are 10 tips I know to be helpful in getting the most out of college that you can. After all, these are the best years of your life! 

Hi! I'm Avery Aresu, a Junior English Major with a Fine Arts minor at the University of Portland. I'm a writer for the Portland chapter of HerCampus and I'm really excited to be part of the team this year. I'm originally from Auburn, WA, but being here in Portland for these past three years has made me fall in love with Oregon. I love nothing more than drawing and painting, and I spend my free time hanging out with friends and my boyfriend, learning new gluten-free recipes, reading classic literature, going on adventures, bouldering, archery, and going to concerts. Portland is the most wonderful place to be, and I'm excited to share more about it! :)