Advice for college you can’t find on Pinterest

The first day of class is just around the corner and I’m flashing back to freshman year where the last week of summer was spent looking at dorm decorations and campus parking maps hoping and praying that I don’t get swallowed in the pit of students walking to class. So here’s me one year later giving you the advice that I wish I had been given before college.

  1. Drive up before you move in– This one literally saved my life. There’s going to be traffic and new construction barriers anytime you move cities so the best thing to do if you bring your car to college is to drive up a week before you move in. I had the advantage of getting use to driving in Knoxville and finding parking spots before there was any traffic on campus.
  2. Don’t bring your car– Speaking of cars, I really regretted bringing mine to college. In any college town, everything you need will be walking distance from you. I know you’re thinking “what if I want to go home or drive off campus”, well chances are someone else you know does too. My car sat in the lot for a month before I even touched it and I wasted way too much money on a parking pass.
  3. Don’t pack your life– I didn’t even realize how many clothes I had until I packed for college. Let me go ahead and break the news to you. You aren’t going to need that formal dress, cowboy hat, or 30 different t-shirts (you’ll get a ton of free ones)
  4. Go to welcome week activities and actually try to enjoy them– Yes they’re cheesy and require getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people but you’ll meet some of the best people of your life!
  5. Branch out and meet new people– I had around 12 people from my high school come to the same college I  was going to. If I wanted to, I could’ve only kept my friends that I already had and not make the effort to make any new friends. Don’t do this. College the time where you branch out and meet new friends! By spring semester my best friends were complete strangers in the fall. One of my best friends lived in the dorm next to me and on the open door night (where you show off your dorm) she walked into my room and introduced herself. We’ve been best friends ever since then!
  6. Go to a party- This one might seem a bit out there but I believe everyone needs to go to at least one big party their freshman year. You learn how to handle yourself and figure out who you are. Be careful, watch your drink, don’t drink too much, don’t be stupid and you’ll be fine!
  7. Joyride vs T-Link– Joyride was super new and exciting when I first got on campus! Had to go to walmart? joyride. Going to a party? joyride. Long story short I eventually got sick of waiting on joyride and giving my only cash to tip the drivers. T-link will take you anywhere on campus after 6:30 no charge. They also have routes during the day to take you to class which is a life saver during winter.
  8. Don’t buy books- I am about to save you hundreds. My freshman year I had this fear of teachers kicking me out of class if I didn’t have a book (like what happened to Elle in Legally Blonde) so I bought every supply listed on the syllabus and spent an embarrassing amount of money. When I got to class I found that out of the ten books I bought for class I only used two more than once. Make friends in class and take pictures of their book pages you need. Wait about a week to determine if you’re actually going to use the book and then rent it on Chegg.com. Avoid campus bookstore if at all possible.
  9. Get to know your neighbor– I can’t tell you how often I had to run to my neighbor’s room to use the bathroom because my roomie was in the shower or to borrow a brown belt. On move in day make an effort to meet your neighbor and get their number, you never know when you will need them!
  10. Take advantage of free things– On ped walkway or any walk to class there will always be organizations handing out flyers (usually with free things) all you have to do is take it along with the flyer. One walk to class  I didn’t have time to eat breakfast and I stopped at each table and by the time I reached class I had received a chicken mini, donut, and lemonade AND got to class on time.
  11. Student Success Center– Part of me trying new things was me wondering into the student success center (most colleges have these) I met with an advisor one on one and she helped me with my time management and helped work out a schedule that fit in with my extracurricular activities with social time! They also help with stress management and test anxiety.
  12. Introduce yourself to your professors– You’re going to feel like the teachers pet and it might be awkward but it will help you. The professor will remember your face so when you walk up and ask questions, have tech issues, or need a deadline extension you’re 100% more likely to get it.
  13. Download group me– Group me is an app for group chats where you can have numerous groups and private chat. My first few weeks I had chats for classes, dorm hall, friend groups etc. it also helps if you’re lost or if you have a question because someone in the group will have an answer for you!
  14. Invest in cards against humanity–  Cards against humanity is a card game like apples to apples but for mature audiences only. Sit in the lobby and play with some friends and as people stop by invite them to join. This is how I made the majority of my friends.
  15. Call home– College is such a new and exciting time in your life. Call your family and tell them stories about your new adventures, they helped you get there! If you’re leaving the house an empty nest like I did, understand that your family misses you so much! Call home when you can and tell your family you love them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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