Tips For College Students
It’s completely understandable that many students find the idea of college overwhelming; with new responsibilities and tonnes of essentials to pack. It can be hard to know where to begin when prepping for college, which is why this guide is here for you to use as a checklist. As long as you make sure you have the following tips in mind when heading to college, you’ll find yourself smashing your academics as well as social life.
So, in no particular order, here are some awesome tips suitable for all college students:
1. Use A Sturdy Backpack
You’re going to be carrying a lot of heavy items around with you while at college, such as a laptop and several textbooks. To prevent the strain from a heavy backpack giving you shoulder pain, invest in a sturdy college backpack which is big enough to hold your belongings. Features to look out for in a good college backpack are padded shoulders for comfort and multiple compartments for safe storage. Once you have purchased a comfortable college backpack, you can start getting all the essentials to go inside it!
Remember: your college backpack doesn’t need to be fashionable, but if you’re certain you need to unleash your inner fashionista, use a messenger bag for the days you don’t need so many items.
2. Get Involved
College is not just a time to get good grades; it’s a time to make friends and memories which you’ll remember forever. Whether you are the ultimate socialite or prefer to keep yourself to yourself, don’t turn your nose up at joining a fraternity or sorority. Joining one of these will be sure to help you boost relationships and get involved with activities which may not have been of interest to you before. You aren’t going to experience new walks of life if you’re stuck in your room all day, so don’t be afraid to get involved and step out of your comfort zone!
3. Buy Books Online
As a student, your financial situation is likely to be tough, meaning you will have to budget when possible to achieve a more comfortable way of life. A great way to save money is to buy your books online rather than straight from college. Colleges can get away with charging students $100+ for books when they can easily be bought second-hand online for half the price. Before you pay those big bucks to your college, check to see if the books are available online first.
If you can’t find the books online, then ask older relatives or friends if they still have the same books. You might even get them for free this way, meaning you’ll have plenty more money to spend on general survival.
4. Stay Organised
College brings a lot of responsibilities, and it can become very overwhelming to manage if you don’t stay organized. In order to keep on top of your college schedule, purchase a diary planner and a good writing pen so that you can note down all the important dates. Once you have everything noted down in a student planner, you will be able to plan your weeks accordingly and make time for studying and social events.
5. Maintain High Attendance
If you’re frequently told by the ‘cool college kids’ that you don’t need to attend college to get good grades; simply ignore them. Maintaining good attendance will not only enhance motivation, but it will also prevent you from falling behind. There’s simply no way to get good grades if you ditch your classes, as they provide you with knowledge and interaction which cannot be bought online. Missing classes will only make you more stressed, and you’ll have to play the horrible catch-up game. Is it really worth it?
6. Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance
There will be plenty of work to get on with when at college, along with plenty of deadlines to meet. Although this can be a very stressful time, it’s important to keep a healthy work-life balance so that you can both hit your deadlines and relax. Studies have shown that having a healthy work-life balance increases both happiness and productivity, so if you want to perform to your best ability, know how to balance both aspects of your life evenly.
7. Take A Step Back
Tying in with having a healthy work-life balance, you need to understand when it’s time to take a step back. If the pressure stacks on and you find yourself struggling to think clearly, take a step back to relax and process everything that’s going on. You won’t miss out on work if you do this, in fact, you’ll end up being far more productive when you get back to it!
If you’re unsure how to take a step back, think about taking up a relaxing practice like yoga. This will help you to stay grounded and peaceful; ready to tackle your next set of obstacles.
8. Stay In Touch With Family
Your family is incredibly proud of you for achieving your academic dreams and going to college; don’t forget about them! You’re not expected to give them a call morning and night, but you can simply drop them a message every now and then to let them know how you’re getting on. Visit back home when possible and invite them to visit your residence if you haven’t already. Your family are there to support you and comfort you, so don’t take them for granted.
9. Try New Things
College is the perfect time to try something new, whether that be a new sport or hobby or social approach. You’re only young once, and the world is truly your oyster, so step out your comfort zone and see where it takes you! You may find that some new experiences aren’t as good as others, but you’ll be grateful you tried it rather than constantly asking ‘what if?’. College communities have it all, from normal sporting clubs to things as whacky as Quidditch club, so the opportunities are endless.
10. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You’re in college to learn, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand something. Your tutor is there to help you, so make the most of having them around. If there was something you didn’t quite understand in class, simply reach out to them with your questions. You’re better off asking for help right away rather than letting problems deepen, so whether it be from your tutor or friends, never be too scared to ask. It’ll bring you many benefits and will also help to strengthen relationships.
11. Stay Well Groomed
When looking back on college photos, there’s nothing better than getting the ‘what a handsome young man you were’ comments. In order to turn heads for all the right reasons, you’re going to need to stay well-groomed while at college. If you pack all the essentials, then this will be pretty easy. With the help from a Dopp kit, pack a beard trimmer and nice smelling cologne. These two items will be your holy grail for staying well groomed. You’ll soon have other people asking what your secret is for staying so fresh.
12. Stay Healthy
If you disregard exercise and eat sugary food every day, you’re likely to experience intense fatigue which will result in you missing classes and falling behind. Keeping on top of your health, however, will not only keep your physical appearance up to scratch, but it will have incredible effects on your mental health, too. By having a regular workout routine and eating healthily, you will find yourself having tonnes more energy. This energy will help you to excel in your academics and outside hobbies. It’s a win-win!
13. Earn Money On The Side
Being a college student can be tough, especially when you only have a part-time job or no source of income whatsoever. In order to earn some more money on the side so that you’re more financially stable, look into money-making apps. These apps are easy to manage on the side while you’re at college and will provide you with a bit of extra money for expenses and activities.
14. Always Back Up Your Files
Don’t make the same mistake that tonnes of college students have done before you. Now that we rely heavily on technology, the chances of losing a piece of work that you’ve slaved over for hours is high. Just in case your laptop crashes or your document goes missing, ensure that your files have been backed up multiple times. It’s recommended using platforms like Google Drive so that your work is stored on the cloud and can be accessed on any device.
15. Get To Know Your Tutors
Be a familiar face to your tutors and you’ll thank yourself further down the line. Interact with them through lessons and drop them a message if you need any assistance. Your interest and curiosity will stand out to them, and they’ll be more than happy to support you with whatever you may need.
16. Choose Public Transport Over Using Your Car
If you have a driving license and are considering taking your car to college, take the following points into account. Having a car at college will be very costly, thanks to having to pay for gas and any repairs which may need to be done. Not only this, but you will be damaging the environment and polluting the air with all the short trips you make. Unless there’s no other way to get around at your college, you can easily rely on public transport for a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly solution.
17. Explore Your Campus
Your college campus is going to be full of lots of wonderful quirks that will make your time there unforgettable. Take time out of your weeks to explore the campus and see what it has to offer; you may be pleasantly surprised by some of the secret nooks it has. The majority of college campuses are huge, so the adventure will definitely be a worthwhile one.
18. Make Time For Friends
Whether your old friends are visiting you or your new friends need advice, always make time for them. Your friends will provide you with direct support through your college experience and the memories which you make will always involve them. Prove yourself to be a trusting and fun friend and you’ll have the best college experience ever.
In addition to this, don’t be afraid to make efforts to meet new people, either. You’ll easily be able to meet likeminded people through societies that you have an interest in, so get chatting and make new friends.
19. Attend Career Fairs
As daunting as it may seem, you’re eventually going to leave college and land a full-time job. With so many jobs out there to choose from, it’s worth attending all the career fairs which are hosted at your college. These career fairs will allow you to explore a huge variety of jobs out there, as well as allow you to ask questions to those who are experienced in their industry.
If you’re only just starting your college journey, then these career fairs might give you a great chance to earn some experience in a particular field. Simply ask the careers advisor if they are willing to accept volunteer work, and the rest will follow. Gaining valuable work experience will look excellent on your resume and give you a winning touch amongst job applicants who have no experience.
20. Have Fun, Unapologetically
Just like most students, the college will be the first time that you’ve experienced independence and freedom. So, go out on the weekends. Do things that you find fun. Say yes to your friends. And, most importantly, don’t feel bad for doing so. Your college experience can be an extremely fun one when you learn to relax, so as long as you keep on top of your work, have as much fun as you wish.
Are you ready to smash college and make it your own? With these tips, there will be nothing stopping you. Enjoy your experience, and don’t forget to work hard and have fun!