Katie's Declassified College Survival Guide

The other day I was thinking about my life before I started college. I did so much research and I pinned all sorts of little things about school and surviving the college life. Unfortunately there was a lot that I missed. There is so much that I have learned so far in my first semester of college that I want to share. 

I hope this can be of use to someone. I know that I would have liked to have some of these FYIs before I moved my butt to Las Vegas!

1. You're probably going to get sick.  Apparently everyone gets sick especially in their first semester. I thought I was immune because of the military. I was always in close proximity with people. Wrong. I got sick and it made me miss work and class in a bad way! Get some day/night cold medicine. Sleep. Use things like Airborne or EmergenC when you feel the sniffles coming on and wash your hands.

2.  You will likely feel an overwhelming urge to skip class. Don't.  Most schools have an attendance policy. If you skip class, it can really affect your grade. Not only that, you won't know what's going on in the next class and you're going to miss a lot of things that you wouldn't have if you had simply gone to class.

3.  Studying is hard. I took TWO years off of school before I started college.  I didn't know it would make such a difference, but it did. Turn off your phone close out the Netflix/Pinterest tabs and focus.  If you can't do it in your room or at home, go to the library.

Good Idea
4.  Time management is hard too. Use your planner. Most schools will give you one for free. A lot of the time, they have all of your school events in them though. It can take up a lot of space.  Walmart also has good, cheap planner. If you are someone who really needs some discipline or you are exceptionally busy, plan a time for everything to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

5.  College is stressful.  I thought that I would be just fine, but I, like so many do, got overwhelmed with stress.  The best thing I have found for this is to take a break or have some outlet for all the stress. I like to go to the gym, so I make sure to do that as often as I can and it certainly helps.

6.  You don't want a single.  What I mean by that, is that roommates are a good thing. My roommate isn't here most of the time. We aren't friends and I never see her. I may as well have a single and I think it has prevented me from making friends and really enjoying my college experience.  I may as well have a single. I don't have a built in friend, and trust me, you'll want one. Especially if you're like me and going to a school where you don't know a single person to start with!

7.  Sometimes  you will have bad luck.  Bad luck doesn't mean you're doomed though. I've had multiple experiences (Exhibits A & B ) since I've lived 400 miles away from my parents where the first thing I do is call my mom or my dad. It's okay. In fact, it was probably the best thing to do. Eventually, I took care of all the bad luck on my own, but it calmed me own and made me feel a whole lot better to talk to my parents about it before I made any decisions.

8.  Books are expensive.  Seriously. So expensive. If you can help it, avoid the campus bookstore and use other resources like Amazon or borrow from others! It is worth it to avoid the several hundreds of dollars spend on books, that a lot of the time, never get opened...

9.  Some of your professors are really going to suck. I have yet to really learn anything at all in my English class because we pretty much never actually do anything. It is crappy. I pay for that class and I want to learn something from it. I highly recommend using Rate My Professor when you are choosing your classes.

10.  College education is very expensive. Take advantage of your resources. Do you have any idea how many thousands of dollars of college scholarships go unclaimed every semester?! There are so many ways to get college paid for.  There is even a scholarship for being a blogger. I'm totally serious!  For me, I have many untapped resources that I've had trouble getting, but when I start again next fall, I'm going to have things figured out and I'm going to do it right and you should too!

Here are some additional resources that I either found helpful or wish I would have tried when I started college!

Free Apps that make college easier
How to save money
Staying organized
Greek Life
This Pinterest board!

I'm Katie. I'm a 20-something Soldier & student taking each day one step at a time. Living through all the growing pains that come with becoming that person that I always wanted to be & finding that bright side in all of this Camo-Colored Chaos. You can get to know more about me here.

Follow me on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.


Janna Renee said...

I am SO happy that social media was practically non-existent when I started college! If I had to deal with the temptation of blogging and Pinterest, I would have been in BIG trouble. Haha

Jane said...

I seriously would have gotten nothing done in college if Pinterest was around. lol And, I completely agree with the roommate thing. They are a lifesaver. I'm sorry you're having a rough time with that. :(

Valerie Casey said...

Well, there are really a lot of lessons you can learn after several encounters during the first week of class. You might learn some of it the hard way, but at least it teaches you to do better next time. Some might even teach you valuable life lessons! I can be overwhelming at first; but if you take everything in stride, you can easily adapt to any fast-changing environment. Cheers!

Valerie Casey @ College Funding Freedom

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