1. Go to class. I know it's hard sometimes but even if you're not paying 100% attention you'll still know more than people who aren't going to class. Sometimes professors will surprise you and give extra credit for attendance or a pop quiz or just tell you something about an assignment or upcoming exam that is really helpful.
2. Try something new! Being in a college atmosphere usually gives you endless opportunities to try something you've never tried before whether it's Indian food, rock climbing, or karaoke, just try something outside your comfort zone.
3. Sometimes there is something that is just more important than getting sleep. Earlier this year I waited in line for Jason Mraz concert tickets from 5:45am to 11am. Did I skip a class? Yep! Was I totally tired? Yep! Did I watch about 15 episodes of 30 Rock? Yep! Was it worth it to sit in the fourth row for one of my favorite artists for only $25? Totally.
4. Find the professors who are really passionate about their classes. I have found that these professors are the best ones. They may give really hard exams and not prepare you for them very well (you might do bad in the class), but when your professor is really passionate about a subject it helps you to become passionate about it too. Finding passion in college curriculum can be hard, so having at least one class a semester that you are excited about is always a good thing.
5. You won't like all your classes. You probably won't like most of them. So take a fun class if you can.
6. Sometimes your just gotta suck it up. Part of college is learning how to be an adult and part of that is that you're not always going to get your way, in fact you will almost never get your way. The best way to deal with this is by just sucking it up. If you can put up with all the bad stuff and just concentrate on all the amazing things happening in your life you'll be a much happier person.
7. Get dressed up for class. I know this is hard when your classes are early, trust me, I've had more 8 am classes than anyone should have to suffer through. When you wake up a little bit earlier and really spend time putting on a nice outfit and spending some time on your hair it really changes your whole day. You'll feel more confident and for me that means being more productive. I'm also less likely to take a nap if I'm dressed up.
8. Always carry an umbrella and wear comfortable shoes. You do a lot of walking in college and so you don't want to end up with blisters or get caught in the rain unprepared.
9. Don't be afraid to be a little tacky. If you want to dye your hair pink, go for it! If you want some outrageous decorations for your dorm, go for it! If you never want to wear shoes, go for it! College is a time for experimenting and finding out who you really are. If you need to be a little tacky to do that then good for you!
10. Figure out how to budget yourself. This is a really good time in life to figure out how money works. Budgeting your meal plan is a really easy first step.
11. Learn how to take care of yourself. I think the first time any college freshman gets sick they think they're going to die because that's when you realize that you don't have someone to take care of you. Learn about giving yourself medicine, how to stay healthy, and how to function while you're sick (because you don't get make ups in college, everything is due when it's due, no exceptions). Also learn when it is time to seek help and find out where the health center is.
12. Don't be shy. When you're a freshman everyone is in the same boat as you, no one has friends yet. You have to be the one to initiate conversation. Freshman year I was notorious for never going anywhere without talking to someone new. Whether it was the elevator of my dorm or a line at a dining hall I would just strike up conversation with whoever is nearest me.
13. Find your one thing. I think the majority of college students fall into the category of either being involved in nothing or being involved in everything. My advice is find one group or organization you're really passionate about and put your all into that. For me it is my sorority. If you concentrate on one thing you love you won't be stretched too thin and you'll have something to do that is more than just hanging out with friends.
14. Get to know the town you're in. One of my favorite things about Virginia Tech is Blacksburg. I love all the restaurants, boutiques, and even the movie theater that are unique to Blacksburg. If you can, find a twitter account or FB page or something that lists what's going on locally so you can take full advantage of the amazing town you're in.
15. There is nothing wrong with eating greasy food at 2 am, or even 4 am. It's bound to happen eventually whether its a drunken raid of a pizza place or a need of a late night study break burger.
If you liked this post or are going into college check out this post!
What is the best college advise you've ever received? xoxo Natalie
Natalie. 23. Mechanical engineer. Mining and Minerals Engineering graduate from Virginia Tech. I love pugs, pink, nail polish, and Netflix.