College Survival Tips

Starting college for the first time can be a little scarry, and quite exciting at the same time. If it is your first time in the college experience, there are a few things you should be aware about.

College is not easy for most students first starting out. The little things that can make the experience better are what you should concentrate on.

Being aware and prepared will making your transition to college easier.

Your dorm room and roommates.

You need some sort of a contract between all of you. You need to respect each other's property and lifestyle. Most colleges allow you to pick roommates that are compatible. It will not be a fun term if your roomy does things the opposite of you. If you know you will be studying and going to bed early, you don't want your college experience ruined by someone who stays up late and parties.

You don't need a lot of stuff in college.

Your dorm room will be small with limited storage space. Don't bring all of your favorite books and bedroom accessories. Think small. You will need to bring an extra supply of underwear. That way you can put off doing laundry. And you will want to. Bring one set, and one set only, of fancy clothes. Girls, one nice dress. Guys, a dress shirt, tie, slacks.

You don't have to drink

You may never had any reason to drink alcohol before getting to college. There is no need to do it now. Besides, in many states you cannot drink legally. If you drink, you run the risk of getting in trouble with local law enforcement. There will be plenty of activities on campus that do not involve alcohol.

Fashion in college is your own style.

You will notice college students dress all sorts of ways. There will be little reason, if any, to try and follow some trend. You need to think comfort over fashion. Spending most of your life on campus will mean you need clothes that will be comfortable and easy to maintain. This does not mean you can't be fashion minded. Just think comfort first. And realize that students come from all over. You won't be judged like you thought.

College students need walking shoes!

College campuses are huge. Your classes are probably quite a ways apart. You need to know that you will be doing a lot of walking. A lot. If you do not have comfortable shoes, your feet and body will feel it. Think comfort over fashion.

Textbooks are going to be expensive.

Be prepared for sticker shock. Be sure and check out our tips for saving on textbooks.

Plan your class schedule wisely.

Keep a break between classes. You will be walking. This will also allow you to regroup, or even study. If you schedule 4 classes all in a row, you will realize how tiring it can be to sit for four hours. Splitting up your schedule helps you stay focused, snack, drink some water, and study.

Sometimes you can eliminate Friday classes. But if you don't, you need to know that many college students start the weekend Thursday night. You will be tempted to go to activities or parties.

If you schedule Friday classes, try and schedule them after 11:00AM, giving you time to sleep in.

You will have to study.

During exam weeks or finals, you may even need to pull an all-nighter. It's common. Plan for it. Come up with a schedule that allows you to take breaks, eat, even get a nap in. Once you pull your first college all-nighter, you will know how your body handles it.

After graduating high school, going off to college may seem like a natural transition. No worries. However, there are many things you need to be aware of. Planning for college will ease a student into college life and increase their chances of being a successful college student.

What to pack up and bring to college? Many high school student's rooms look like apartments. TVs, stereos, computers, sofas, chairs, computers, stuffed animals, rugs, pictures, and more. Don't take to college what will not be needed nor will fit. Many students make the mistake of bringing everything! Your dorm room is probably as small as your bedroom. But you will have people living with you.

It will get crowded. The best thing to do is to check with the college. Most colleges have a list of things a new student should and should not bring. You will not be able to protect your valuables as you can at home. Leave your valuables at home. A laptop may be a must. Find one with a lock and keep your laptop safe!

College is a place full of people from all over. College hygiene can be lacking, as well as eating well and getting exercise. You need to get a check up or physical before heading off to college. And then practice habits that will keep you healthy. You don't want to have to leave in the middle of a term and head home sick.

Only you and your parents will know whether you can handle being away from home. Some college students think it will be so fun to be one ones own. Then reality sets in. You can't run home to mommy. Daddy isn't there to help you out. The sanctuary of home is gone. Be sure you are emotionally equipped to handle college.

Have you ever been on your own? Can you act appropriately as an adult in public? Can you handle the little rough situations life can dish out? How do you handle anger? Can you wash your own clothes? Can you get up on time? You need to have a handle on various skills to live a daily life on your own. Learn some basic skills: eating right, budgeting, laundry, ironing, cleaning up, studying, what to do if you get sick, etc.

College students need to stay connected with home. Make frequent phone calls home and email. Keep your parents up to date on what you are doing. This will also make you more responsible.

You and your parents need to agree on rules about things like driving, curfew, drinking, grades, and many classes to take,

Encourage the college student to get involved with clubs and other activities on campus. It is a cheap way to have fun in college and focus on the college experience.

Meet with your guidance counselor often to make sure you are on track with the right classes.

Time management is lacking among college students. They are probably on their own for the first time. Nobody to tell them when to study, go to sleep, eat, and get up in the morning. Learn to manage your time! Learn how to study effectively here.

See Also: College Freshman Tips

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