Being a freshman in college is certainly not easy for all, but we can probably agree it’s definitely one of the funnest years at school. The environment is brand new, you’re eager to make new friends, and the work load isn’t always your hardest (yet). Although having fun is pretty crucial while being at school, you mustn’t forget that college is all about trying to balance your time between social life, academia, me-time, and extra-curriculars. Really, it’s a pretty difficult task to manage. It’s likely most of the upperclassmen have already mastered these college “life hacks” already, but if not, then here’s a refresher. And freshmen, you should probably take some notes:
1. Make at least one (reliable) friend in each of your classes
You don’t have to be best friends with them (unless you want to!), but doing this can definitely come in handy. Forgot what the homework is? Text your friend. Need someone to vent with about your huge paper and exam coming up? Text your friend. It’s sometimes more helpful than emailing your professor. Plus, if you have more than one question that needs to be answered, I believe it’s better to send multiple texts than multiple emails to the prof. Really, I’ve learned this the hard way… some professors don’t like to be annoyed with more than one email. But, be sure the friend you make is actually reliable and knows what’s going on in class!
2. Don’t buy your textbooks right away
This is tricky– unless your professor tells you that you need the book the very first week or day of class, then I wouldn’t go out and buy your textbooks just yet. Sometimes you end up not even needing or using the book for the class in the first place. Save the money and wait until your professor tells you exactly what you need and when you need it. You don’t know how many times this has happened to me, and I’m sure other college students would tell you the same.
3. Life is easier when you have a routine and you’re organized
…it really is. Being high school organized is 1,000 times different than being college organized. Buy a planner, or if you’re not into that sort of thing, just make sure to write down what you need to do both in and out of class. In college, my planner is my best friend. Seriously, I’d probably be more upset if I lost my planner rather than my phone (OK– I’m exaggerating a little, but my whole life is in my planner, too!). Also, you should plan out what times are best for you to eat, nap, have meetings or anything else that you’re doing when you’re not at class. When you make a routine for yourself, it’s likelier you will get things done and find out when you have free time to spare, which is really, really important.
4. Bring your headphones wherever you may go
Whether you’re in class, the student center, library or wherever… bring your headphones. If a class gets cancelled and you’re waiting for your next one to start in the student center, trust me, your headphones come in clutch. Walking to class is much more bearable when you’re listening to music, too. With this being said, you should probably bring your laptop (and charger) with you as well. College life is unpredictable, you never know when you might need the simplest of things!
5. Go out as often as you can
If you haven’t figured it out already, time truly does fly by when you’re having fun; so, you guessed it– in college, time will speed. Honestly, I think having fun is just as important as academics. If you’re cooped up in your dorm room 24/7, life is more stressful. I’m not saying go out every single night of the week, but taking the time to go out is a break from your academic life. So, as long as your work is all done (or most of it), go out and enjoy yourself! Dance at that frat party, go tailgating, rush a sorority, have wine nights– the possibilities of fun are endless in college, so you might as well take advantage of it while you can, right? Put it this way, you should go out so when you’re not able to (like when you’re taking more classes that pertain to your major), you won’t be so upset about a night in.
There are definitely other “life hacks” you will come across while at school, but I have found these most useful so far. If you remember these five tips, your life may be more than a tad easier at college. Whether you’re a freshman or upperclassman, I think anyone can benefit from living out the above college “life hacks.” Have any of your own you’d like to share? Let us know at University Primetime!
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