I will be the first to tell you that it is normal to feel clueless in college. During the first few weeks, you may ask yourself probing questions such as, “Where is the laundry machine?” and “Does Nutella on a bagel constitute a balanced breakfast?” Your greatest fears may come to mind as you take a lukewarm shower or get drenched in the rain that was not reported on your spiffy weather app. But do not fret – I am here to give you some tips on how to be successful in college, from grades to food to mental sanity.
- Listen to music while you grocery shop. This will empower you and make you shop faster in case you have to catch a speedy grocery shuttle.
- Do NOT boil an entire box of pasta. Don’t listen to what the box says; you cannot eat all of it.
- Go to your professors’ office hours! Introduce yourself and have at least one question to ask each professor. They will remember you, which is priceless for when you go to their offices to inquire about grades or difficult assignments.
- Do your laundry in between classes. Unless you would like to volunteer as tribute for the Hunger Games, it is advised to stay far away from the laundry room on weekends.
- Stay away from free food. While unlimited free pizza is tempting, you will get tired of the free food after a week or two. Just because it’s free does not mean you should eat it!
- Be done with homework by 7PM. If you do homework during the day, you will not have to turn down your friends’ offers to play Cards Against Humanity or go grab Steak & Shake. You will also have ample time to sleep. Speaking of…
- Do not sacrifice your sleep. Only rare breeds can manage crazy schedules and get enough shut eye. Prioritize your health above everything else, except going to class…
- Actually go to class. Even if you can get an A in a class without attending, it yields good karma to show up somewhere you are paying to be. Your professor will take note of your desire to learn, which could come in handy if you fail a quiz and need to seek assistance.
- Don’t stress making friends. The key to meeting people in college is putting yourself out there, not being afraid of being mildly uncomfortable for a few minutes at various meetings, introducing yourself a million times, and eventually, meeting really excellent people who stick with you to the end of the experience and beyond. Do not worry if you don’t have a “squad” or clique right away; just appreciate the people you do have in your life and deepen your most worthwhile friendships.
- Carry an umbrella. Everywhere. Always.
- Take a spiral-bound notebook to take notes on to class, and then rip out the notes at the end of the day and add them to a massive binder. This way you are not carrying all of your notes around with you every class day.
- Invest in a digital watch. You don’t want your professors catching you glancing at the clock, do you? Because trust me, you will.
- Shop with reusable bags. Not only is this good for the environment, but it allows you to cram more items into fewer bags. No longer will you have to keep track of ten plastic bags on the shuttle.
- Write down everything in one planner. This includes grocery lists, to-dos, finals, exams, quizzes, and fun. Make the planner your lifeline. Become one with the planner.
That is it, collegiates: you are now 14 steps closer to achieving success (or sanity) in school.
What is the most important thing you have learned this semester, or during your college experience? Leave a comment below with your tip!