College Tips

Tips for your First Year of College

Okay, so now you’ve packed, and you know what to expect, so hopefully my own experience can help you out some more-

Organization is key

Planners can be a huge help, I rely on mine as if it’s a bible. Try to schedule every day, down to the minutes. I know it sounds crazy, but it’ll take a huge load off your shoulders knowing how each day will go. I’ve learned that planners with individual daily planners work the best, as you can put a lot more information down. It also helps to have a big monthly calendar either on your desk or your wall so you can keep track of what day it is, as well as big upcoming tests or quizzes. Also, when you receive the syllabi for your classes, put every date down in your planner, so all you need to know is already there, all in one place

Don’t let your life get too messy- I’ve learned that the messier my room/living space is- the more stressed out I become, and I can’t focus on the important things. So stay on top of it and keep your room clean.

Since I have used plenty of planners in the past, I prefer spiral planners, as they are easier to open up while you’re on the go, and easier to write in, I love this planner personally. But I have also used bound planners in the past as well. This one is just as organized, and personable as the other one, and gets the same job done.

Within my own planner, I know it may be way too OCD for some people, but with everything I have going on in my life, I know it makes things easier for me when my day is color coded. I rely on colored pens to help with this. These are smooth as can be, and have such a long life. I have used them almost every day in both my planner and class notes for almost over two years now and mine are still going strong.

Make time for yourself

Nowadays you always hear about self care, but it really is a major part of your health, and is important. Make sure to schedule times to take a bath, or go for a hike, or go the gym. Something that will clear your head and release endorphins for you, whatever works.

Learn to budget

Because you’re probably going from living with your parents, you’re probably used to most things being paid for you, or your parents handing you money. Even though they may still be putting money in your bank account, you can’t just go out buying whatever you’d like. Make yourself a budget and stick to it.

If you are specifically looking to diet in the grocery store, check out my other article

Hold yourself accountable and Do. Not. Procrastinate.

Yes we all have done it- and it’s bound to happen while you figure out what organization/time management works best for you, try your hardest to not procrastinate. I grew up with my dad installing the habits in to me about not putting my responsibilities off, and even though I’ve let myself become more lax about them- those habits he pushed me about have truly paid off. If you can just get it out of the way, and done with, it’ll make your life SO much easier! I can not stress that not enough.

Don’t let your advisor overwhelm your schedule

If your college degree is anything like mine, since I was lucky enough to have an academic advisor (basically does the same thing a high school counselor does) sit down with me and make my schedule for the first semester I was there. Most college major departments will not do that for you, but if you’re lucky enough, and they do, do not let them overload your schedule if you don’t think you can handle it. Remember, you do not have to graduate in four years, and you’re allowed to take your time and everybody has their own pace, and most of these classes are incredibly more difficult than high school.

Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to your professor and go talk to them, they don’t bite

You’re going to hear this a lot when you ask people for tips about college, but it’s so true. They’re being paid to help you, and in class, they’re not going to slow down or hold your hand, so make sure you introduce yourself at the beginning of each semester to every one of your professors incase you need to go to them for help. Even if you have to schedule to meet with them during their office hours- they are more likely to give you more help if they recognize you.  They’re people too.

Don’t be afraid to meet new people

The people you meet throughout college are going to be friendships you’ll have for the rest of your life. But making those friendships can be nerve-wracking, I’ve grown up with social anxiety, trust me I get it. But when I was getting ready to leave for college, I asked an older cousin who had graduated college the year before for some advice, and what she told me stuck with me- when you meet somebody new, talk to them as if you’ve known them your whole life; it makes a huge difference in your confidence and how much more comfortable you feel.

Build your network

The people you’re going to meet, and the relationships you are going to build through your college experience are going to be like anything you’ve experienced before, as you’ll be around such a variety of social groups, and skills. I’ve met business majors, aerospace engineers, agricultural influencers, biochemists, ocean engineers, you think of it, I probably know somebody. So don’t be afraid to meet new people, and keep their number (maybe with a note in your contact of how you met them) but you never know when they might come in handy later on in life. Plus since you’re going to the same school as them, they’ll probably be that much more likely to help you out, since alumni usually help out their fellow alums.  

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