Most high schoolers have already started school at this point. Summer is winding down, and school is getting back in session. Another year of freshmen are coming up to various colleges over the country in the next few weeks. So, I have compiled my list of tips and tricks to help those who may be starting out at college this year, or may just need a couple new ideas to help you out.
Classes and scheduling hacks:
- Schedule classes around your most productive time- For people like my roommate, she works better in the morning with free afternoons. So that’s how she schedules her classes. I have some other friends who have a hard time getting up in the morning, so they schedule their classes later in the day. Find what works for you.
- Avoid 8 A.M.s if possible- You may think that since you’ve done classes starting at 8 in high school that you can do it in college. Some people can do it, but the majority of people find it hard to do after a while. So try to avoid them if you can.
- Make a friend in class or take classes with someone you know- I’ve taken my fair share of classes where I don’t know anyone. So I make a friend. I either get their number or get the notes I missed for the next class. Or, the better option: schedule your classes with a friend. I like taking classes with people I already know, so that I can talk with them and discuss assignments.
- Don’t do any more than you can handle- I take 18 credits every semester, mainly because I have to just to graduate in time. But that’s not for everyone. Some people can only handle 12 or 15 credits. Don’t overexert yourself. Personally, I’d rather go at my own pace than feel so overwhelmed that I can’t complete my classwork. However, I’ve taken 18 credits and I can handle it, so that’s what I do.
- DON’T SKIP CLASS- This is so important. You’re paying for these classes, so take the time and go to them! I get that things happen, and most instructors allow for that. But otherwise, it’s really not worth it. I had a class where we didn’t have a textbook, so everything that was on the test would be covered only in class.
- Get involved with your major- Find a club or organization that deals with your major. It helps to have a group of friends who share a common interest. I know for me, older students can help answer questions or provide opportunities for me to learn more.
- Do things you enjoy- My first semester, I took a Swing Dancing class. That was a lot of fun, but it got to be too much of a hassle. I really enjoyed it though. Another thing I like to do is go to movies on campus on Friday nights. It’s a good way to relax and unwind.
- Don’t do too much- I feel like a lot of freshmen try to overcommit. They get introduced to all the clubs and want to try everything. I know because I’ve been there. Trust me, if you do more than you can handle, you’ll end up dropping most of the activities.
- Make sure you still have enough time to get your stuff done- Extracurriculars are great and all, but that’s not why you’re at college. You’re there to get an education, and it’s usually a pretty expensive education at that. Make sure you have time to do your homework and not skip class.
- Make your room feel like home- If you live in a dorm, that’s your home. It can be tough to feel comfortable sharing a space with other people. For the two years I lived in a dorm, I had pictures of my friends and family on my desk. I also had canvases I had made hanging up on my walls.
- Try to befriend the people who live around you- Some of my closest friends in college became my friends simply because they lived around me. Sometimes there’s drama (that’s a story for a later day). But for the most part, some of the people I lived around are really cool. And they all have different majors. So it’s really cool to talk to them about their lives and their classes.
- Invite people in- I liked to keep my door open sometimes. People would stop by and have conversations or just say hi. It was a good way to see more people or say hi to friends.
- There’s no popularity- You have your group of friends, and that’s it. You don’t have to worry about who likes you and who doesn’t. It really doesn’t matter.
- Wear whatever you want- I see tips offered about “don’t wear stuff from your high school” or “you don’t have to dress up for class”. Let me tell you this: nobody actually cares. Dress however you want. If you want to look nice, do it. If you want to show up in sweatpants every day, nobody will stop you. Do whatever you want. It’s your education.
- Homework should be your priority- You’re getting your education. Don’t throw away this money. It’s nice to have a good time and all that. But, that’s not why you’re at college. Make it worth your while.
I hope these help! If there’s any more that you think of, or if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!