COLLEGE…what an exciting time in your life! You have just graduated high school, and now you’re taking the big step towards making it “in the real world,” as we hear so often. With all the new, life-changing experiences coming your way, you want to be more than prepared.
Besides all the fun nights and adventures with your friends, you’ll most likely have to deal with living in a dorm, learning what a meal plan, laundry, and/or cooking is, and you will definitely discover how expensive those free textbooks from high school actually are now that you’re attending college.
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions from future freshmen who will be attending my college, so I decided to do a whole post on how to make your first year better. Here are my top 10 advice points:
- Do not over-pack. Don’t bring more than 10 boxes with you, and leave your winter clothes at home until it gets cold. Speaking of your clothes, make sure that you take your belongings out of the washers/dryers after your load is finished, unless you want to find them stolen or thrown on the floor. I’ve seen this being done countless times, and especially on Sundays, since everyone decides to do laundry that day. Just a warning.
- Don’t buy your books before classes start. Not only do professors change their mind all the time, but you might not even need the book for the class. I only bought books after my professor reassured me that I would fail their class without it, or that I would use the book daily. Also, and you can thank me for this later, I recommend using the site bigwords.com. You enter the ISBN number for your book, and it will literally compare every site and shipping option possible to give you the best deal. I ended up saving about 300 dollars my first semester when I used it.
- Dollar Tree for kitchenware (they have Betty Crocker, I’m just saying), Target for those specific dorm bed sheets.Toilet paper is free in your Residence Hall office (if you have your own bathroom like I did) and so are cleaning supplies, so don’t buy those. Except for laundry detergent…they definitely don’t provide you that. If you don’t have your own bathroom, bring shower shoes and don’t worry about bringing toilet paper.
- Don’t procrastinate just because classes are on different days. Homework from your Monday/ Wed/ Friday class will build up, and by the time Wednesday actually comes around and it’s all due, you’ll not only have that homework to do but also the homework from all your Tuesday/ Thursday classes. Oh…and please get a planner. Easiest way to remember due dates. Don’t even fight me on this.
- Get to know your professors! I cannot stress this enough. Always try to sit in the front if you have more than 50 students in a class, because they will most likely remember your face and your name, and eventually that will prove favorable when grading comes around. Additionally, if you attend their office hours, even with a very high grade in their class, you’ll develop some solid connections. This will be extremely useful when needing letters of recommendations.
- Your GPA doesn’t redo itself every year…if you get a 2.0, you have a 2.0 for the next few years unless you screw it up more with harder classes. Some of my friends lost their scholarships thinking that they only received a 2.0 for freshman year, and believing that sophomore year you start over with a 4.0. It DOES NOT work like that.
- Stay close to old friends, but make some new ones too. Spread your wings a little and get out of your comfort zone. I made about 6-10 new friends and I’m extremely happy about it, but I also hung out with my old high school ones that ended up attending the same college as me.
- Don’t drive everywhere… there is most likely a bus on campus, and walking everywhere always leads to some fun exploring. Enjoy your campus.
- Join clubs, build your resume, and go to Career Days/Fairs. If you have to choose between a double major and getting involved on campus, get involved. All the knowledge in the world won’t help you if you come out of college with no experience or professional relationships.
- I know it’s hard, but develop somewhat of a sleeping schedule in order to keep your sanity. Also, utilize all resources provided (tutoring, office hours, video tutorials, books, notes) to keep those grades up because you are paying thousands of dollars for those classes…so might as well try and do well, or fail and still have student loan debt regardless. #realtalk
That will be all. If you have other questions or anything of the sort, write them in the comments 🙂
Also, if you’re going to my university this year, you can always ask me specific questions about that too by contacting me on Twitter/ Facebook etc.