Your first month of college will probably be a whirlwind of emotions, lessons, names, and questions. Why does everyone seem to have the college football schedule memorized, and should you know these things, too? Why does that one girl in your class have so many cool school supplies and where can you get them? As your sensory overload starts to become overwhelming, just remember one thing: it’s all going to be okay.
Here are eight tips to cover the basics of college survival, including a free downloadable college dorm essentials checklist to help you stay on track.
1. EXPLORE YOUR COLLEGE CAMPUS
It might be scary not knowing what to expect on your first day of college, but refrain from staying in! Leave your dorm room and explore your college campus. Start with the important things, like scoping out your food options. Say hi to new people and don’t be scared to befriend upperclassmen. You never know if you’re connecting with the next Steve Jobs. Try out clubs and activities that peak your interest. It’s the easiest way to get involved at school and make new friends!
2. BRING YOUR LAPTOP EVERYWHERE
Studies have shown that using laptops and mobile devices during class lowers test results and debilitates learning. We’re all for using a tried-and-true spiral notebook and pen for taking notes during lectures. However, you’re going to find a lot of downtime in between classes and this is when having your laptop comes in handy. Find a quiet spot to work and get a head start on your first English essay. Maximize your time in between classes to get homework done and have more fun later. Want to give your laptop a little upgrade? Flair it up with our laptop DIY tips and tricks!
3. STAY ORGANIZED WITH A PLANNER
Every college student should keep a day planner to stay organized. The best planners for college come with a monthly section to lay out your upcoming due dates and weekly sections to manage your day-to-day. Having your class schedule, projects, and extracurricular activities in one place will be a crucial component to a successful college career. Use stickers, sticky notes, and highlighters to organize your planner and color-code your classes!
4. KEYCHAINS ARE A HOT COMMODITY
One thing about college dorms that no one tells you is the number of keys you accumulate when you move in. From dorm keys to laundry room keys to locker room keys, the chances of locking yourself out are high. A keychain lanyard is a great tool for keeping keys around your neck at all times. You can also clip each key onto different keychain designs to organize them by usage.
5. GET SETTLED IN YOUR COLLEGE DORM
College life comes with new experiences, including moving away from home and into your own dorm space. This phase in your life is when you learn how to cohabitate with a roommate, and that doing your own laundry is an actual chore. Here is a downloadable college dorm essentials checklist that includes what to bring to college and better prepare you for move-in weekend.
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6. DON’T FORGET TO EAT
College means a busier schedule, but it doesn’t mean your health and nutrition should take a backseat. Make sure you take the time to sit down and have lunch. In fact, pack a lunch more often than eating out. Not only does packing your lunch save you money, it also reminds you to eat while you have it on-hand.
7. MEET YOUR ACADEMIC ADVISOR
This is an important person in your college career who will help you choose your college courses and set you on the right path all the way through graduation. Reach out to your academic advisor if there are any academic conflicts or you feel like a class isn’t the right fit for you. You’d be surprised the value this person brings in helping you decide on your college major and future.
8. YOU’RE GOING TO GET LOST
Expect to have days when you don’t have it all together. Whether you’re lost in a lecture or simply lost on campus trying to find your next class, find comfort in knowing that you are not the only one. Take a beat and ask for help. Have fun learning and enjoy your college experience.