How has summer flown by so quickly? It feels like I just started summer break yesterday!
The back to school season is already here, so I’ve decided to write a quick post for any college students out there. College is an important time in anyone’s life! The people you meet and the grades you make are going to impact the opportunities that come your way enormously.These are just some of the tips I have to stay on top of your game during college.
1. don’t be shy, make new friends!
You might have heard everyone say that college is the time that you will make friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s where you could meet you new best friend for life, your other half, or your future bridesmaids. There’s a ton of people, and chances are you’re going to meet someone that could open the door for you to a whole new world of opportunities. It’s inevitable that you will meet many new people, but its a good idea to build relationships during college. Not only is it nice to have a great network of friends you can rely on, but you never know what connections other people may have that could benefit you in the future.
2. at least 1 friend per class
This is such an important rule in my opinion. No matter what class you’re taking, you need to be friends with at least one person in each class. Going through classes alone can be difficult at times, especially when you’re studying and have tons of questions. But if you have a friend in a class, you can get your questions answered quick and you’ll always have someone to study with if needed! Within the first week of class, introduce yourself to a classmate or see if anyone wants a study partner.
3. don’t buy textbooks
I see so many underclassmen spend hundreds of dollars on textbooks. DO NOT BUY TEXTBOOKS, especially if you are just taking your basics. Everyone knows textbooks are overpriced to the max. Why would you want to spend $300 on a biology textbook when you’re never going to touch it again after a semester? Most of the time, your general classes may ask for a textbook, but you don’t really need it. Most professors have powerpoints that provide all the information you will need for a class already. Of course, sometimes you really do need a textbook for a class. If so, I would highly suggest you rent the book instead. It’s much cheaper, and sometimes you may not be able to get all your money back when you sell an old book back. Make sure to check Slugbooks for all your textbook needs! It’s a great site that will compare all possible prices of a textbook for you.
4. a planner is a must
I don’t know how anyone can go through their life, let alone college, without a planner. With classes alone, there’s a lot important dates for each class that you need to remember. If you plan to join an organization or be part of greek life, you have even more on your plate! And then there are your personal obligations to friends, family and yourself. A planner is perfect to plan our your weeks so you know what you need to get done and and how to plan your time out accordingly. After your first day of classes, go through all your syllabi and record any important dates in your planner. You’ll quickly learn that time management is an important skill for college.
5. break down your studying
Cramming is never a good idea. It causes you so much stress, and it’s very risky or your grades. Of course there are always exceptions, but for your more intense classes like biology or chemistry, you do not want to cram. I usually give myself at least 1 week of studying before I take an exam. Look at the materials that are going to be on your next exam, and break it down into 5 separate sections. Give yourself a day to study for each section. On the day before your exam, review all materials, and you’re set! Repetition is key to studying, especially if your exam consists of memorization.
6. balance is key
During college, you have SO much more free time and independence. It’s time for you to make decisions for yourself. Like I said, college is the time to meet new people and have fun. There’s lots of events, parties, and games throughout the year. Being a social butterfly is very important, but so are your classes. Just remember, there’s always going to be a party. If you have to pass on a night of hanging out with your friends to study for your test, that’s okay. You can always celebrate with friends after you get that A!
7. be part of a team
There’s lots of different groups to be apart of on your campus: greek life, sport teams, academic organizations, clubs, the list is endless! Joining a team is a great way to meet new people and expand your network. There are posters all around campus of different groups looking for new members. Most organizations will have free pizza and drinks just for you to check them out! Who knows, you might find out you’re really into volleyball, or want to rush during the new semester.
8. take advantage of resources
You might wonder, “why is college so expensive”. College prices rise little by little every year, and that’s because colleges are constantly adding new innovations to campuses for students to use. If you look at the breakdown of your tuition per semester, you’ll see there’s a lot of resources that are costing you money, such as the library or the recreation center. You’re paying for them, so use them!! You campus is probably flooded with resources that are unheard of. Take the time to learn what your college has to offer, and take advantage of those opportunities. You’ll only have them for 4 years!
9. plan your degree
This tip will help you save so much time and money. Many people change their majors during the college career. Even after a semester, people realize “this isn’t what I want for my future”. And that’s okay, but if you don’t figure out what you want to do early enough, you could be wasting a lot of time and money! I never would have done this, but my dad made me take a day to sit down and plan my degree plan. What classes was I suppose to take each semester? What credits from high school could I transfer into college? Did I want to do graduate school? What classes did I need to get into the graduate program I wanted to be part of? As a freshman, this was so overwhelming. But after a lot of researching and planning, I’ve figured out the perfect plan for myself. I know I’m going to graduate on time, and I know exactly what classes I need to take and when I need to start applying for graduate school. No money is going to waste, and no time is being wasted. Make sure you talk to your advisor and parents so that you know what you are headed into.
10. enjoy the ride while it lasts
As cliche as it sounds, enjoy college while it lasts. I know so many college graduates who say that college was the best time of their lives. It’s a time where you’re an adult, but not quite living the adulthood life. You don’t have to worry about bills, insurance, buying a home, balancing a job with your life. It’s like a trial run of adulthood without all the major consequences. 4 years will pass in a blink of an eye, so take in every moment!
I hope these tips were of some use to you. Good luck on the new year!