July 23, 2014

Tips for Surviving College.

Yall, it just hit me. School starts back in exactly one month and two days.
A bit of anxiety built up during this realization.
I need to look at my book list! I need to PAY for all my books! I need to read over my schedule again! I need to enjoy these last few moments of summer!
But as I started to calm down a tad, I started to get excited. I am almost done with my management degree and I will never have to read another book on how to manage anyone everrrrrrr again. That in itself deserves a HUGE praise.

When I start thinking about college, I think about how far I have come. I wish I would have written a letter to myself a few years back just telling myself the basics of college. What to do, not to do, etc. Any type of tips that could have help me since day one. Then I thought, umm, blog post! I would love to have this post for a mom to show her child or a high school student to take note of. It definitely would have helped me in the past and I want it to help anyone who may need it right now :)
College Tips for the College Life
1. You DO NOT have to have your major picked as soon as you go to college.
Seriously, I changed my major five times. What started out as a radiology tech lead to a doctor's assistant which lead to a nurse which lead to a teacher which then lead to a management degree and now I am a dual major in nursing and management. Seriously, don't stress yourself out if you don't know exactly what you want just yet. Grab a list of all the prerequisites and focus on those first.
2. Never buy brand new books.
This is a lifesaver. It seems like schools just love to change book editions like every.single.semester. Don't cave into this. If your professor asks for a third edition book, it is totally okay to get a second edition book. I have done and will continue to do this with all of my classes and it saves SO MUCH money. The only differences I see? Page numbers. Yeah, save that $ 100 rather than flipping one extra page.
3. Continue to apply for scholarships in school.
This may be obvious to some but I have learned that many people do not know this. Most people think you apply for scholarships before you hit college. Yes, do that but after your first semester, apply for the scholarships within your college again. New ones may have been created that you missed before. This happened to me after my first year of college and I received a full ride for four semesters. Seriously, check into that!
I cant state that enough. College is tough but you have to remember to breathe. Take some time to drop your books and go running or do some yoga. Do something to relax your brain. So many nights I have studied too hard. Yes, its possible. I felt like a zombie. Do not let yourself become bombarded with so much work that you forget to take care of yourself.
5. Online classes.
Many students have told me they had no idea about online classes. When you register for classes, most colleges have an option to take online classes. If you are like me, you don't want to spend your whole week in classes. When I first started college (before my full time job) I spent all week in class and at first I loved it but then I slowly started to hate it. Luckily I was told about online classes not too long after I started college. When you are in your major, it is a bit harder to find online classes but for your prerequisites, it is mega easy! One semester I had a full week of classes but I wanted to take a psychology class that I could not get to work around my schedule. Luckily, since I was told about the online deal, it worked out perfectly! I would highly advise you to check those out, especially if you like to take more than a full time schedule :)
6. Wait until class to purchase your books.
This one is huge. When registering for classes, you will normally be given a site where you need to purchase your books. Well, do not purchase any books until you go to class. Most classes will tell you that you need the book. Yet, when you get in the class, the teacher will never use the book. This has happened to me many times and it frustrated the mess out of me. So now, I wait. Many of my professors use power points and pass out their own guides. Some never reference the books at all. So yes, wait. Now if you are a nursing or some type of medical major, this may be a bit different for you. I purchase all my nursing and medical books just to have as guides. But any type of English, math, literature or basic class, just wait on those books!
7. Rate my professor
Another HUGE lifesaver. Yall, this site is the best. You can visit the site right here and find your school. Then you will want to find the professor of your class and read the reviews. For me, the teaching style of the professor is huge. I want a teacher with great or okay reviews. I have been saved by this site so many times and I will say that it is definitely legit. Before I knew the site, I was stuck with some horrible professors. After I finished the class, I read their reviews and it was so on point. Use this site!
8. Roman noodles.
They say every college student eats them, don't eat that mess. It goes hand in hand with the taking care of yourself. Be sure to drink plenty of juices, water and snack on healthy things. In your bag, pack a bag of carrots and celery or some healthy granola bars. I started horrible eating habits in school and it definitely will take an impact on your performance. Eat healthy!
9. Get organized.
Get a calendar. Figure out the days you want classes on and the days you want to be for yourself or studying. I normally take five to six classes a semester so I will fill up my calendar with all of my classes, due dates, etc. Sometimes classes can be overwhelming. I would feel like I have this classwork to do when I should really be doing other types of classwork. So I came up with this tool that helps me tremendously. I pick a day for a class. I chose one day to work on nothing but that class and the following day to work on nothing but another class. This normally helps me get ahead of my game because rather than finishing work on one class and jumping to another, I can work ahead of schedule which reduces much stress (example of this coming up semester)
Monday- Anatomy
Tuesday- Anatomy lab
Wednesday- Communication (yes, I waited until my last semesters of college to take this)
Thursday- Calculus II
Friday- Organizational Behavior in Business
Saturday- Nutrition
Sunday- Relax
Try it out and see if it works for you! If not, just figure out your own plan to make life easier.
10. Don't overstock on school supplies
This may be a dumb tool, but surely someone needs it. A while back, I would purchase all this school supplies I never used and now I literally have a bucket full of binders, notebooks, pens, highlighters...the list could go on and on. Again, wait until you go to class and figure out how demanding your work will be. You should be able to determine through the look of your Syllabus. Then purchase your supplies.
11. Find your quiet place
When you study, find a place where you wont get distracted. For myself, the school library and the park work the best for me. When I study at home, I CAN NOT concentrate as well. I worry about cleaning, laundry and TV rather than school and that is a big no no. Never let yourself get distracted. Grab some snacks, a drink and just escape to a quiet place with your books.
12. Looks? Don't try to hard.
Literally. You can tell when students are freshmen at college. They have on the nicest clothes and they will spend hours in front of the mirror. Don't get me wrong, I definitely wont roll up to school in pajamas and I think its important to always look presentable, but don't stress yourself by planning outfits and having your hair just right.

13. On campus jobs
I worked at the dean's office and the school library in between and after classes. I met a lot of people who helped me learn about the school and I also gained experience that was included on my resume. If you have long hours between classes, see if there is a spot in your school to help! I would highly recommend the library because normally after you shelve your books, the library officials will let you study until your next class :)
There you have it. These tips would have helped me so hopefully they will help one of you lovely readers. College is a great time. A time for you to grow and gain experiences that you would have never imagined. Relax, eat healthy, study hard and have fun :)


  1. I miss college so much! I wish I had these tips when I was in college--nothing was worse than buying a textbook that the prof never even used!

  2. Oh I just love this list! It's so insightful and I really think it's a great guide for anyone getting into school!

  3. I love this list! I am in the midst of writing one similar for my blog and I couldn't have said it better than you have! PS, your hair is gorgeous!

  4. It's not very often I find other bloggers who are in school too! I am actually almost done though, graduation is just two weeks away! This list was fantastic, I could relate to so much of it.