GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – Well, it’s that time of year when students start heading back to campus. It’s a bit bitter sweet for me, being my first year after graduation. College was everything I imagined and more, but I definitely had some bumps in the road. Whether you’re going to be a freshmen or a “super cool” senior, here are a few tips that will help YOU (and could’ve helped me) survive college!
1. Don’t lose your ID
Your ID is your life. This small, poorly constructed piece of plastic gets you into housing, the gym, and most importantly… FOOD! Therefore, place it on a lanyard or something easy to find, and difficult to lose.
2. Plan when you’re going to eat
This might sound ridiculous, but with how crazy and busy college gets, it’s sometimes hard to remember or hard to fit in a meal. Nothing is worse than being crunched for time running between classes, only to be stuck in your lecture with your stomach making whale mating calls. How can we fix this? ALWAYS have emergency snacks in your bag!
3. School is a lot more fun when you have school spirit
No, I’m not telling all incoming freshmen that they need to be cheerleaders, but having a bit of spirit in your life makes the whole college experience more fun. Therefore take pride in your school! Talk it up, go to sporting events, wear school colors, paint your face, buy a blow horn, tailgate – all of these things will not only add some spice to your life, but also create amazing memories.
4. Take advantage of your student status as long as you can
Lord knows all college students are hunting for deals. Whether it’s a goodwill sweater or half off vodka, they’re looking to spend the least amount of money as possible. Why? Because tuition costs more than their life. Many chains have awesome discounts for students! Check out a few, here.
5. Use school transportation as much as you can
More on the poor subject, campus busing is a great way to save some cash. Typically, college campuses have transportation that can take you more places than you realize! Try taking a look at the routes to see if you can hitch a free ride to the grocery store!
6. Invest in some headphones
Whether you have a long day and don’t feel like socializing, or you have to drown out the sound of your wild roommate at night – headphones do the trick. In college, especially as a freshmen, you get VERY little alone time. So it’s necessary sometimes to chuck up a peace sign to the world and listen to some solid tunes.
7. Pick at least one day every week to have fun
This was a personal choice of mine, and I truly believe that this single choice made me keep my sanity as a college student. College is hard work – homework is daily and those exams… need I say more? Therefore, take your studies seriously as well as your fun! Don’t be scared to let loose!
8. Get involved
Join a club or play intramural sports! This is an easy and great way to meet new friends and try something new. What could bond two strangers more than getting hit in the face with a volleyball? True love hurts sometimes.
9. Pick a class schedule that works for you
…and don’t let people judge you for it! Are you someone that wakes up with sunshine and rainbows spilling out of them? Then maybe sign up for some 8ams! Early classes means you’re done earlier in the day. Or are you a gremlin that can barely function in the morning? Then I suggest some later classes! Maybe even a 6-8:50pm.
10. Take the extra time to find the best deals on books
Your school will always have what you need, but not always at the best price (never at the best price). Therefore, try local bookstores or hitting up Amazon!
11. Make it a point to know your professors
Knowing your professors is KEY! Getting on their good side normally gives you more leniency, when that one morning hits you too hard (we’ve all been there). Plus, it is highly likely that you will need them as a reference or for a letter of recommendation, and it is a lot easier for both parties if they know you name… and how awesome you are.
12. Don’t do anything too stupid
Yes, college is the best for years of your life and while those memories last forever, so does your permanent record. Have fun but use your head.
13. Follow your school’s social media accounts
This simple task will keep your totally up to date on the coolest things happening on campus… Snow days! Puppies on campus! Free food!
14. Watch what you eat
The freshmen fifteen is real. So, so, real you guys. Even though that campus buffet is tasty, and that free ice cream down the hall each week is like going to heaven and back, it WILL catch up to you. College is not a free for all. Take advantage of your school’s gym… You might even run into some hotties while you’re there.
15. Believe in yourself & think for yourself
YOU CAN DO IT. No matter how hard, no matter how late, no matter what people say – it is possible. When that test knocks you straight on the ground (which a few will), get back up, brush it off, and keep working. Also, college is a time to find YOU. Try new things, see new people, and live somewhere totally new. You’re away from where you grew up and could only hear others opinions. Now, start to form your own. Thinking for yourself is a glorious freedom we have!