Are you an incoming freshman or an older student who returns to college campus life? Well, that can be a tough experience or it can and should be the best experience of you student life, if you start college properly, taking into account some advice from professors, alumni and even parents.
First of all, keep an eye on your college budget. It is best to set a weekly budget for all your expenditures concerning non-educational activities and items like shopping or going out. Try to avoid having a credit card, but if this is impossible to achieve, set a monthly limit on your account balance which you must not exceed in any case, and manage your bank account and taxes on your own – don’t ask mom or dad to fill in your bank paper forms. And learn the habit of saving money! It will help you so much during and after college.
Pack wisely for college. Don’t take too many clothes with you, but enough to get you through two weeks between washings. Also, keep in mind that you have a roommate and most probably the space you are going to share with that (new) person will be quite small and you will need storage boxes for your things. Don’t stress too much over this packing thing, just imagine you’re moving out for a bit more than a summer vacation.
Set ground rules with your roommate. As mentioned before, there are high chances that your future roommate will be stranger for you, at the beginning of course. So how do you cope with unknown people with whom you’re supposed to share your private space? Well, first of all, get to know the person a bit, understand their likes and dislikes and try to agree on how you will share the room – set a cleaning schedule, discuss about inviting friends over, agree on study time and so on.
Watch your diet. Campus life is different than what you’ve been used to so far, starting from the independence that it offers you, to the responsibilities that come with it. You may not be aware that eating healthy hasn’t probably been a priority for you, as your family always took care of this part. But now you’re on your own. Pretty scary, right? It really doesn’t have to be this way, as long as you pay attention to your meals, count your calories and have a regular eating schedule, or a routine. You don’t need to learn how to cook, but you should learn about healthy eating.
Dealing with college stress. All these new people and things in your college life will create a lot of excitment and enthusiasm, but they may also cause some stress at times. Whether it’s a bad grade or just feeling homesick, stress can be avoided by exercising regularly, eating healthy and sleeping enough. Just be proactive about the challenges that college life brings and make the most of them, as this is a once in a lifetime eperience.
Get a part-time job. Not only you’ll increase your monthly budget, but you are also more likely to become better at organizing yourself and prioritizing. Besides these advantages, you also get to know more people, socialize more and even make more friends.
Last but not least, go to classes! Part-time study is not an option, unless you choose this type of education. However, if you’re in college, and especially a freshman, expect hard work during classes, a lot of homework and professors watching you! Not only the final grade is important, but attendance to classes is crucial. You get to have a better college educational experience and you are more likely to be better than your colleagues.