The idea of heading off to college can be as exciting as it is scary. But the “scary” part doesn’t have to be so bad. There are steps you can take to ensure that your first year at college is a success!
So what’s this secret to success? Ally Rennhoff, a student at Louisiana State University, has the answer for you below. Check out her 5 quick tips on how to survive your first year of college!
Make Yourself At Home!
If you are staying in a dorm it's important to bring fun, colorful bedding that you love. A mattress topper is an absolute must! Fun and cute desk accessories including new pens are helpful in keeping you motivated to study. Lamps are important for lighting because it will make your dorm room feel more cozy plus the florescent light bulb that is installed is the worst warehouse lighting you'll ever see. An area rug always softens the hard edges of dorm rooms as well as protects your feet from the ice cold tile floor in the morning. It's fun to coordinate with your roommate beforehand and split up the stuff that you might need to buy so that it keeps costs down. It is such a small space so it is important to maximize storage and make it look nice so you enjoy the space.
Get involved with campus activities!
Almost every major has an academic or pre-professional club on campus. Many of them feature guest speakers that help give you inspiration and insight into the field before you graduate. Those clubs are absolutely important to attend because many of those same people will be in all of your classes too. You make the connection that you both attend that club on Thursday's and have Professor Randall's class together and boom, best friends right there. Another important club to join is a service organization. Whether it's Habitat for Humanity or United Way, get involved. You will meet awesome people at the service events plus it looks great on your resume.
Put Your Grades First!
You absolutely have to stay on top of your classes. Reviewing your notes once a week will help you get one step closer to acing that midterm. Even if the teacher says attendance isn't mandatory, YOU NEED TO GO! You do not realize how much information seeps into your brain just by listening in class. On test day, you might not remember the answer from your notes but you will remember the teacher giving that one example about the topic. It is so important to attend class everyday and begin studying way in advance and in small bits. Cramming for large college exams in a few days just doesn't work.
It's important to take breaks and have fun! It is college after all. Those breaks can sometimes seem far and few between but it takes organization and planning ahead in order to block out that time to relax. Whether it's taking a walk around the lakes with your friends or having a craft night with your roommates, you must set aside time to relax or you will get burned out.
Unfortunately, there's no way around the horrible, unhealthy meals in the dining halls. It does get better though when you get your own apartment and are able to prepare your own meals. Exercise is the number one aid for me for stress relief. Hopefully your campus has a beautiful place to get outside and jog or ride your bike like the LSU lakes or the Mississippi River levee. Exercise needs to be added to your calendar and blocked out just like an exam or important meeting would be. The benefits of getting some fresh air and exercise will help improve your mood and stress level more than you realize.
Ally is proof that these tips can work!
So, what about you? Do you have any advice on how to make it through that first year? If you do, feel free to share it in the comments!