A few months ago, I put together some advice that every incoming college freshman needs to know. All of that advice was great, but it didn’t exactly cover everything. There are a ton of things you need to know about going to college to make the experience easier, especially if you’re going to dorm there. It may seem like just an extension to high school right now, but it’s actually so much different.
So, here is some more advice – mainly, tips and tricks you’ll need to survive your years in college. A lot of these are for students who dorm, but many of them can apply to commuters as well. They also aren’t only meant for freshman – this is valuable information for students of any age! These tips are essential if you want your college life to be successful, fun, and not too overwhelming… because, trust me, it can go there fast. Here are 16 college tips and tricks from an awesome Ask Reddit thread you absolutely need to know to improve your life.
Hand In Work Early For Better Gradesshredmx: Finish your essay a few days before it is due and take it to your professors office hours for them to review/proofread. You will get a much better grade. This makes a lot of sense. You're making things more convenient for your professor, and you're also becoming more friendly with them during their office hours. This also shows that you're serious about your schoolwork. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Forget About Your Student DiscountJinn42: take advantage of ALL the student discounts you can get - use your student ID around campus, use http://www.studentrate.com/ for online shopping and cash back deals. Ah, yes. A college ID can give you many, many discounts. I used to use mine when I would go skiing for cheaper tickets. It's not just for school stuff! Apple gives student discounts as well. Source: ShutterStock
Make Friends With Foreign Exchange StudentsTimbitkiller: Here's what I did that really helped me out. I got involved with the foreign exchange program and worked with lots of the students and made friends with tons of them. I kept up the friendship and after graduation I ended up having free places to stay in Finland, Estonia, and Amsterdam. This significantly decreased my European trip costs and I got to explore interesting places with locals. This is a great idea. It's not about using these students for cool trips, it's about meeting new people from all over the world. That's so interesting! Source: ShutterStock
Try This Easy/Cheap RecipeTheNamesBlaise: Mix the mac and cheese with ramen noodles, So cheap, so good, so college. Eat ALL the mac and cheese. Source: ShutterStock
Organize Your Notes With This Trickim_Nightwing_AMA: My handwriting is awful so although this is small, some of us need all the organizational help we can get. For classes with noncumulative tests, every day when I take notes I write the date and an arbitrary symbol (lets say a *). So when you're cramming for your next midterm and can't tell where to begin in your notebook, just look for all the notes with a * next to the date and study those. Change the symbol for the next midterm. Do this! Or, do what works best for you. Source: ShutterStock
Download Your Books When You Canmaximuz04: DOWNLOAD YOUR BOOKS! It is very possible to DL books. My professors encouraged it too. Sometimes, the cost of the books was incredibly absurd. I remember one in particular was about the size of a small notebook and was $170 plus tax. I didn't find a PDF for that one and just bought the international edition for $20. I'm sure this isn't always an option, but when it is, DO IT. You'll save money, and also, textbooks are really heavy sometimes. Source: ShutterStock
Be Social and OpenBlindEditor: Do not have just one group of friends. If something goes wrong in that group (bad breakup, random inexplicable chick fight, someone fails out) and you don't have any other friends life gets very lonely and messy fast. Don't find just one friend and think you're done. Socialize! Get to know a lot of people. You never know what could happen.
Think About Your Futuretrackerjack: Pick a career, then a major. Not the other way around. Yup. Don't pick a major just because it seems easy... because what if there's nothing you can actually do with it? Source: ShutterStock
Keep Your Dorm Room Door Openthableagh: KEEP. YOUR. DOOR. OPEN. People will flock to an open door, you'll make friends, you'll play Smash Bros all night with people and college will be a breeze. This just might be the easiest way to make friends and meet new people. Source
Take Advantage Of What Your School Offersreallydumb4real: College campuses have an incredible amount of resources available to students that many might not know about. The libraries are incredible. They often provide access to a lot of publications and academic resources that would be behind paywalls otherwise, not to mention movies, music, and books. Many colleges will have a career center with advisors that can help you figure out what you want to do after you graduate and how to line yourself up to meet those goals while you are in school. Your professors can help out with that as well, so get to know them in class and in office hours as well. You can also take advantage of workout facilities/courts/fields that are most likely more readily available and affordable than they would be if you were just a resident of the city. I mean a lot of it depends on where you go, but many colleges are basically mini self-sustaining environments. Take advantage of that fact. You will never have this stuff again after school. Seriously. Source: ShutterStock
Go To ClassKidCasey: Go to class. the number of people I've seen almost lose their goddamned minds during finals season because they didn't go to class on a regular basis is nutty. One way to keep yourself motivated to go is to divide up your tuition that goes toward classes by the number you're taking. Then divide that by the number of times that class meets. Find out how much money you're flushing by skipping and see if you don't feel like a turd for not showing up. Just go, it isn't that hard and it's what you're there for anyway. Definitely a good idea to look at class this way. Seriously though, once you realize you have the freedom to ditch without explanation, you may go overboard. Don't. It will make everything so much harder. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Forget About You Timeeatinglunchinthecar: Make sure you carve out some downtime for yourself. Especially for freshman who are adjusting to the hectic college life, it is crucial to be able to escape and find a place to relax for a little bit. You lose almost all privacy in college, especially if you have a roommate; find somewhere on campus that is quiet, and go there when you feel you are too overwhelmed. Trust me, it can really save your life. A lot of people get so caught up in school that they leave no time to relax on their own. This quickly leads to stress. Don't forget about yourself! Source: ShutterStock
Go To Sleepalibear11: Sleep! It's really tempting to stay up late and hang out with friends but you'll find you're happier and healthier when you have some semblance of a sleep schedule. Sleep is my favorite! There is always something happening in college, and sometimes that makes it hard to actually sleep. But please don't forget about it. It actually is important. Source: ShutterStock
Create A Schedule That Works For YouMolagBawl: If you aren't a morning person, don't sign up for morning classes. You will skip them. If you plan on being social, don't sign up for late evening classes. You will skip them. You want to find classes between 10 and 6 if at all possible. SHOW UP TO YOUR CLASSES. Do what works for your lifestyle. If you don't, you will mess up. Source: ShutterStock
Make A To-Do List Everydayspace_after_comma: To-do lists. And plan your studying/homework time before the week starts using your syllabi, down to the page numbers you'll be reading (that way you don't get stuck cramming 37467246274 pages in one night). Might seem excessive, but it makes everything more manageable. Yasssss. To-do lists are my favorite tip to organize everything. I promise they will make your life easier. Source: ShutterStock
Make A Move!atlantiangarbo: SIT NEXT TO THE GIRL OR THE BOY. Whoever you like, sit next to them. Start a conversation! It's college, it's acceptable AND encouraged. Source: ShutterStock
Which of these tips did you find the most helpful? What tips do you have for incoming college freshman? Tell me in the comments!