College could be a great experience, no matter how challenging it may seem. This article is packed with practical, proven tips that can help to ensure you make it from freshman to freshly graduated. This article will give you the best advice to share with friends and family as well.
Apply for grants, scholarships and loans promptly. The more time set aside for obtaining college funds, the less you’ll have to borrow. Establish a sound deadline tracking system so that you never miss an important date.
Be sure to take lots of toiletries along to college. You might run out of them very fast. Buying in bulk can also save you a lot of money in the long run.
Your surroundings can make a huge difference when you are trying to study. Your dorm room isn’t usually the best place to study. Instead, seek out a place that’s quiet and isn’t full of distractions. Study areas in the libraries exist for this very reason. Wear noise-cancelling headphones to reduce any external noise when you study.
Keep your goals reasonable. Avoid taking classes too early in the morning if you are unable to follow a strict schedule. Be aware of your body rhythms and build your schedule around that knowledge as much as you can.
Eat breakfast on test days. Even an apple will do. Many times, an empty stomach can be distracting to you and those around you. A grumbling tummy and low energy can affect your test scores, so try to stay focused by eating breakfast.
If you find out that you cannot afford to go to the college you want to go to, consider the possibility of student loans. College is a place that will help you get a high paying job later, and it’s not a bad idea to get a loan that you can later pay off.
Go to school using the bus. In fact, your commute time may not even be longer than usual. Besides, you will not have to waste time looking for a parking spot. On top of that, you’ll save a ton of money! Using public transportation is also a more environmentally friendly option.
Get familiar with your daily schedule and the location of your classrooms. Determine how long it takes you to travel from one spot to the next, and map a route. Also locate other important places that you will be using a lot and mark them on your map.
Purchase your school books used if possible. New textbooks cost an arm and a leg. Tuition costs are high as it is and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on books. Try to buy books online or at a used bookstore. Choosing used books can save you quite a bit.
Your environment may make a difference in whether or not your studying is successful. A dorm room is not usually a good place for studying. It is much better to find a study area that is completely quiet and free of all interruptions. Your school library is ideal for this use. If nothing else, purchase some headphones that will cut down on the amount of noise that you hear.
Pick out classes that are challenging and interesting to you instead of the ones that people think are very easy. Pushing yourself will provide you with many benefits. You’ll learn more from harder classes and potentially build contacts that will assist you in your future career.
Regardless of whether you are a male or a female, go to the gym as often as possible on campus. At the gym you can meet new people and stay fit. You can find a group of friends who will go to the gym with you on a regular basis.
Memorize campus security’s number. It should be easy to get a hold of them quickly, and it is important for you to know how. It is rare to need campus security; however, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Get your general education requirements fulfilled in the beginning. If you have to have the class for your requirements, get it over with so you can take classes you like down the line. This will help you to avoid scrambling to get your core classes finished right before graduation.
Take quality notes while you are in college for studying purposes. You will be able to really process the information when you write it down. This ensures you’ll have them handy come test time. Though you may know the material already, you should still make it a point to take notes.
Pay off any debt in full each month. Late fees and interest can quickly add up and double what you originally owed. Try only using credit cards for emergencies. While it may be tempting to pull it out for entertainment purposes, remember that your primary goal at college is to learn. You do not want to be distracted with financial issues.
Interning is a great activity for college students. Internships give you a chance to see career options first hand and see what it’s like to do a job that you might have in the future. A good internship may even lead to a job opportunity further down the road. Check with your advisor to learn what department handles internships at your school.
Get a bus pass. It might not take longer using the bus. You will not have to worry about a parking spot or have to pay for parking if that is the case. By using the bus system you can save money on gas and parking permits. It’s also a great way to “go green.”
Take different electives. As you branch out, you will be able to figure out what drives you. The freshman year makes the perfect time to try new things that you didn’t in high school.
You are away from home, and no one is going to clean and cook for you. You should always eat right and get enough rest. Try to have a well-rounded schedule that balances classes, study, downtime and maintaining your health. Poor eating habits and stress can make you ill.
The night before major tests, review your class notes and read over the textbook material just before bedtime. Reading through your notes will help you learn the information as you sleep. Do not expect to remember everything by simply reading your notes before going to bed, but use this trick along with other studying methods.
It is a smart idea to not buy your books until after the first class. Oftentimes, you will not need to purchase all of the “required” books. Usually online classes don’t require books. Going to lectures and reading the online material will be enough to pass the class.
If you can’t settle on a major in your first year, then take a couple core classes for any major you are considering. This will give you better insight into each topic. This strategy will also help you to earn enough concentrated credits to claim a minor when you graduate.
Create good and long lasting friendships with the professors you have. Professors are a great resource for students and can really give you valuable advice. Don’t be afraid to ask question or help out whenever possible. Building healthy relationships with your professors can offer many opportunities.
Make sure you’re rising early in the mornings. You don’t have to wake up at 4 or 5 AM. Wake up around 6:30 or 7 so that you can eat a good breakfast and maybe exercise, which can both help get your mind going.
Don’t spend your money on coffee every morning. It is just too much money. Instead, take the time to make your own cup of coffee. You are going to save a lot of cash, even if it isn’t as convenient as buying it. If you keep an eye out for sales, you can get a good coffee maker at a reasonable price.
You have to make a reasonable sleep schedule for yourself. You will stay quite busy, and it is easy to fall behind on sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to focus.
Do not overdo it when you schedule classes, especially your first year. It is tempting to overload yourself and find you are struggling later. Be realistic. If you do, you’ll get lower grades. Take one or two classes that you consider hard and then a few that are easier.
If you will be moving into a dorm room, only bring necessities. Dormitories are very small, so take only what you need. Bring only the basics with you. Find some things that can help you with organizing your things.
If you have several majors in mind and are not sure which one to pursue, take the introductory classes for each. You can take a few courses in each of those fields so you can get a feel of them. After taking these classes, you will also have enough credits for a minor in these areas.
Surround yourself with goal-oriented people. When you are surrounded by folks that are determined to succeed themselves, your chances of following suit are higher. That doesn’t rule out fun. You can find people that approach college with a balance.
Begin your day early. This doesn’t mean waking up at 4 AM, but if you get up at 6 or 7 AM, you will have time to get a good breakfast in, maybe some exercise, and even some study time that you might have missed out on.
Study abroad, even if you have kids. A lot of students who happen to be parents dismiss studying abroad, since they assume you can not do that with children. Talk to your school’s study abroad coordinator. There are some programs that do not accommodate children, but some can handle a large brood.
Don’t give up on a school until you complete a whole year there. Many college students feel homesick, awkward or like this whole thing was a mistake when they first get to college because it is an entirely different environment than they’re used to. After a year, if the school still does not appeal to you, it is time to contemplate your next move.
It’s better not to join the student government in year one. Freshmen views aren’t typically heavily valued by student government organizations. Use your first year to figure out which position you’d like to fill and how you could get elected.
Are you interested in playing sports while in college? Contact the school and see if you can chat with the coach. Informing the coaches is key because they often don’t know about all the incoming athletes. This can help you get an athletic scholarship.
Do you want to attend college immediately after high school? Sometimes students want time before they go to school. That’s perfectly okay, although your parents might not be happy about it. Take your time thinking it through before you make decisions that will impact your life.
Try not to become distracted by romantic interests. Social opportunities might be especially tempting if college is your first experience living on your own. It is far too easy to let yourself get distracted and not put education first. While dating and such are fine, you do not want to get overly distracted. You don’t want your studies to suffer because failing is expensive in the long term.
If you’re returning to school and have kids, it’s likely that you believe you can’t live on campus. This may not be true. There are some campuses that offer family housing. Most colleges now realize that all of their students are definitely not 18 years old and just out of high school. Ask about family housing early, as it usually fills up quickly.
While you want to do well at college, you should also give yourself time to have a little fun. But you shouldn’t neglect school work for parties. Save your fun for the weekends with civilized activities like museums and movies.
College is tough, but the experiences make it worth it. Stay focused, and you should come out on top in the end.
If you are having a hard time with a certain class, do not wait for things to get better. Seek help immediately! Free and low-cost tutors are available to students attending college, so take advantage of that to get some help in passing your class.