As I write this, my first real day of classes is about nine hours away. Already, it seems like I’ve been in college for at least a month- not just a week. In that week, I’ve learned some valuable lessons. No matter how many “Ways To Get Ready For College” articles I have read, there were just some things I wasn’t prepared for.
Photo by Jillianne Hamilton.
- Bring rubber boots with you. Because you never know when the area around your residence is going to flood. (Mine did!) You also might want to bring an umbrella.
- Show some maturity. Avoid running in the halls of the residence at top speed and then bursting into a giggle fit when you see your cute RA like I did.
- Resist temptation. Do not drink most of a bottle of Pinot Blanc the night before the first day of classes like I did.
- Get some shut-eye. If you’re the type who gets nervous before the first day of school, consider taking a sleep aid before bed. (Otherwise, you might find yourself writing college tips at 4:14 AM.)
- Sensible shoes. Sometimes, Google Maps doesn’t show that it is a freaking long walk between point A and B. Thus, sensible footwear is key (at least until you know the area better). Just ask my skinned ankles.
- Buy the right textbooks and do not remove the plastic cover from any books you buy. The best way to do this is to email your professors before school starts. In my case, I went by the list of books we got in the mail. I went to the bookstore, got every single one and drained my bank account. The next day, I found out we only needed 2 of the books. Thankfully, I hadn’t removed the plastic from any of them, so I was able to get a full refund back.
- Bring all documents with you when dealing with a student loan. Not sure? Bring it anyway. Trust me.
- Vitamins/medication. Don’t forget to take ‘em! Keep them in a place where you won’t miss them. Instead of tucking them in a drawer, put them on your dresser or on your desk.
- Get over Him/Her. Avoid thinking about your high school crush. Also, avoid telling your roommate about him… and about how funny/cute/charming/perfect he is…
- Get orientated. No, you don’t have to attend all of the freshman/orientation week activities- but at least go to a couple. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
- Classmates. Get to know a couple classmates ASAP (or at least learn some names).
- Take advantage of free swag. A lot of orientation activities offer free food and free stuff. Personally, I’ve received a load of stuff since starting college, including a free t-shirt and a box of free samples (shampoo, hair gel, Mr. Noodles, coffee, gum, a mini can of Coca-Cola Zero, candy, deodorant, Tylenol, etc.) and a load of discount coupons for local businesses.
- Free campus perks. Speaking of free stuff, you should definitely take advantage of free stuff around your campus all year round. My own campus offers a free gym membership right on campus and every college has a library.
- Regulate your temperature. Since air conditioners are banned from most dorms, I would highly recommend bringing a fan. Make it two, actually. Even for just September.
- Watch sports with friends. I hate sports, personally. However, I watched football for the first time ever (as sad as that is) and I made a few friends in the process.
Have any important lessons from your first week at college? Add them here! We’d love to hear them.