Everyone learns more in college than they thought they would — whether it be academically, socially, or mentally. Oftentimes, lessons come from mistakes; however, these following tips will save you from the stress and heartache. Here are tips that are so subtly important that you won’t think they are a big deal at all — until you skip one! The best way to be prepared for college is to know what’s coming, so here are the “do’s” and “don’ts” of college life!
Go To Office Hours
I admit, sitting one-on-one with a professor is scary. Unless you are struggling, there is no reason to go, right?
No! Everyone should go to office hours, at least once or twice a semester. Make up a fake question if you have to — give the professor a chance to know who you are, and how hard-working you are. Showing up to office hours could make a world of difference: the professor will recognize you in class, better understand your ideas and thoughts, and just like you more! Besides, everyone needs a little extra help! You could also make a great connection; college is as much about networking as it is about academics.
Do Your Laundry At A Specific Time
Picture this: you want to go to the gym, but all your t-shirts are dirty. So, on a Sunday morning, you pack up your laundry, grab your Tide Pods, and head to the laundry room. Good luck finding an open washer and dryer — Sunday morning, laundry rooms are packed! You are better off planning ahead of time and making a laundry schedule for yourself. Go during the week, when you don’t notice as many students in the laundry room. I recommend a Wednesday morning if your class schedule allows it!
PSA: college kids are ruthless They will take out your wet clothes and just leave them on the floor, simply so they can use the washer. Therefore, you must be timely when doing your laundry!
Don’t Buy Your Textbooks
I made this mistake; there’s nothing worse than dropping $300 on textbooks when you don’t have to. First of all, do you even need a textbook? Can you get through this class without one? More often than not, you can. The internet has many, many resources that can render a boring, old textbook useless.
Now, if you do need a textbook, consider renting/buying a used book. The difference between a new and old book is largely negligible — especially when you consider how much money you are saving. Your school library may also have a copy of the textbook that you can check out!
Diversify Your Schedule
If you are going into college knowing your major, you may just want to take as many of your “major requirements” as possible. However, you will probably have to fulfill some general education classes as well. You should diversify your schedule so you are taking both classes that you love and ones you may not like as much. After all, you don’t want to take a whole semester of classes you dislike! Beyond that, too many classes in the same subject can be overwhelming — three English classes, for instance, would swamp you with essays. Adding perhaps a math or world language would balance your schedule more!
Find Your Favorite Study Space — Besides Your Room!
If you study in your dorm room, it is just so easy to fall into bed and get distracted! Instead, try getting out of your comfort zone and explore new places to study. Your college has all of these amazing spaces for students — there will be a perfect study space for you somewhere!
Be Actively Social
College friendships are beyond fun. You live, eat, study, and socialize with your peers — you are bound to create great connections. However, especially in your first semester, you need to put the effort in to pursue friendships. Take a break from studying, go out with friends, and try new things; you never know what new experiences you will have, or new hobbies you will pick up.
Get Your Tuition’s Worth
Use that fancy gym, huge library, and an endless supply of food in the cafeteria. You are already paying for it — get your money’s worth!
Beware the Freshman 15
Okay, while you should take advantage of the dining halls, you should be mindful of what you are eating. It’s so easy to pack on the pounds when there is a buffet in front of you! And watch out for those late-night ramen snacks…
Download Google Calendar
Even if you were never big on those “agendas” in middle school, you should try out Google Calendar. This app organized my whole college life! I put my classes in the calendar, extra-curricular activities, meetings: the whole 9 yards. You can also plan events with your friends, and have the reminder pop-up on all of your calendars!
Those looming syllabus deadlines are the worst — you never quite know when to begin. Yet, the more you put off your work, the more you will have to do in the long-run. The worst part about college procrastination is not those night-long grinds— true procrastinators are used to this. The worst part is your lack of availability those nights: you will not be able to partake in any spontaneous (or planned!) adventures with your friends — because you can procrastinate no longer. Use your Google Calendar, find your study space, and get to work!