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Tips & Advice

College Tips

1. Buy an alarm clock. I know you say that it’s 2013 and no one uses an alarm clock anymore because phones have alarms.  Right…until you forget to plug your phone in and it dies or somehow you silence the ringer. Save yourself the embarrassment of walking into class 10 minutes before it ends and just bring an alarm clock so you have a backup.

2. Wait on buying your books. Teachers aren’t going to call you out on the first day for not reading and if they do, maybe hide. Wait to see which books you are actually going to use. Check with your school’s library and see if you can rent the book and renew it during the semester because textbooks are expensive!

3. Have the budget talk before you leave. If you’re anything like me, you hate talking about money with your parents because—let’s face it—college is super expensive. Brave it and sit down to talk about how much you can spend each week. You’ll be happy you did when your meal plan runs out.

4. Don’t pack T-shirts. Okay, I know this sounds ridiculous, or at least I thought so when I was warned pre-college but it’s true. Within the first week, you’ll be bombarded with so many free shirts you’ll have no idea where to put all of them so no need to pack your own!

5. Think through your classes. Does the idea of a 9 am class make you sick? Then don’t take one. If you can’t stand the thought of being in class for 4 hours in a row, put an hour between each class. Take the time to think through your schedule rather than just throwing one together.

6. Orientation means nothing. Freaked out because you didn’t make a ton of friends at orientation? Chill. You will make friends. Sometimes orientation and forced fun activities aren’t the best way to get to know people so don’t stress. Focus on learning all about your new home.

7. Set out when you’re coming home. Parents hate sending you off to college. Chances are your mom will cry…like a lot. In advance, set out weekends you will spend at home so when then waterworks start you can point out how soon you’ll be home…also maybe remember to call your mom.

8. Know your information. Pack a copy of your insurance and social security cards. It seems simple but having to call your parents to send it to your email, wait for your phone to load it so you can show the pharmacist when you are sick is no fun.

9. Do your research. Before you even get to school, do some research on your teachers. While this includes viewing their Rate-My-Professor profile, first remember those posts can be biased, then learn about their area of studies. If is a class in your major, chances are that your teacher has done a lot of research and writing in that field. This doesn’t mean you need to shout out everything you know about said teacher the first day, but knowing their work may earn you brownie points in office hours.

10. Relax. College seems like a scary life changing thing, and it is, but the more you stress, the less you get to enjoy it. You’re there to learn and everything else will fall into place. You will make friends, your major will probably change, you will have people you hate, and memories you will never forget, so don’t worry.