College Tips

I recently graduated from the University of Arizona, and in my four years of experience I learned a lot. Going into college can be a scary thing, so I wanted to compile a list of tips to help make it easier. You may even already be in college, but no matter what year you are, things can always get a little easier!

  • Make sure college is what you really want. Don’t be afraid to look into trade schools or feel like you’re going to disappoint your family. College can be tough and isn’t for everyone. 
  • Find your classroom before the first day of class. It’s easy to get lost on campus so take some time a few days before to locate your classrooms. Some buildings have confusing architecture, so knowing where to go beforehand will help keep you from being late because you got lost! It’s also good to know how long it will take you to get to class so you can plan accordingly. 
  • Don’t take back-to-back classes. Try to schedule time in-between each class to take a mental break. You may also need time to get across campus, and 10-15 minutes will never be enough time, trust me! 
  • Have your schedule saved on your phone. College schedules are a huge change from high school, and having it somewhere handy will help keep you on track. You can set reminders as well or have your schedule as your homescreen/lockscreen until you memorize it. 
  • Don’t take 8ams! If you have the choice, take the later class. It doesn’t matter how much of a morning person you are, 8ams will kick your ass. It’s not the same as high school, and given the chance to sleep in you will most likely sleep in. Give yourself time in the morning to mentally prepare for the day.
  • Don’t take evening/night classes. By the end of the day, especially after other classes, you’ll be exhausted. Going to a class and leaving when the sun is down messes with your head. It can also be scary to walk back to your dorm or car at night. 
  • Get to know your professors. Attend office hours or set up meetings with them to introduce yourself, especially in larger classes. Once they realize you’re a person and not a name on a list, they’ll be more willing to help when you need it or guide you in the right direction. (NOTE: Not every single professor is this kind, but it’s a rarity to find one who will outright ignore you when you need help.)
  • Get to know your advisors. These are the people whose job is to help you find the right path to take and guide you. Meet with them minimally once a semester. Ask them what classes you should take, check to make sure these classes fulfill requirements, and ask them about other related activities the campus may be having. 
  • Seek out internships. Internships are excellent experiences in whatever field you’re seeking. The sooner you can get one, the stronger your resume will be when the time comes to find a job after graduation! 
  • Make friends in class. Having one or two friends in class can greatly benefit you in a variety of ways. If you miss a day they can catch you up or share their notes with you. If you’re lost, they may be able to explain what is happening. It’s also a great comfort to have a buddy when the teacher makes you talk to the person next to you anyway. Just remember, some friendships grow outside of class, and some stay in the classroom. 
  • Don’t be intimidated by the “smart” person in class. 95% of the time this person is bullshitting their way through life and doesn’t actually understand what they’re saying. Just continue on doing your best and let them dig their own grave while you succeed! 
  • Utilize campus resources. You’re paying for everything the campus has to provide, so try to use it as much as possible. Study and check-out books from the library. Spend some time at the gym (relax by the pool or play some games with friends if you don’t want to workout). Find computer labs and use them as a quiet place to read. If you need help in any subject, look into the tutoring available. Most colleges have free tutoring services and you can go in as often as you need. 
  • Don’t eat the same thing every day! I know it can be tempting to grab a slice of pizza on your way to class, but by the end of the semester (or even a few weeks) you’ll never want to see another piece of pizza for the rest of your life. Try to eat at a different place each day. Try something new or (if you have the ability to) pack your own lunch. 
  • Always have a snack handy. You never know when hunger will hit you, and you won’t be able to focus on anything else unless you eat something. 
  • Carry a reusable water bottle. College campuses can be HUGE and depending on the weather of state/city, you’ll want to stay hydrated. Keep it full and never leave home without it! 
  • Go to at least one football or basketball game. It may not be your thing, but it’s a college experience everyone should have. There is nothing like cheering with your fellow students for your home team! 
  • Focus on yourself. At the end of the day, your mental health is more important than anything else. If your friends are having drama, stay out of it. If some boy wants to distract you from your studies, find another one. You are the only important one here, and those who don’t understand or demand your attention are not worthy of it in the first place. There is nothing wrong with ending a friendship because they are a source of negativity. You’ve no obligation to them or anyone but yourself. 
  • To that note, seek out counseling on campus if you need it. School is overwhelming on its own, and if there are people in your life who are adding to this stress, it can be beneficial to get help. There is no shame in bettering yourself.
  • Explore! Adventure! Go out and enjoy your time. Make new friends, explore the city you’re in, try something new, just have a good time. College is a great opportunity to grow and explore, so take advantage of every chance you get.

Published by Alexandria

Creative Writer with a passion for sharing my work and creativity.

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