12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College
Start writing a post

12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College

The most important things you need to know to make the most of your college experience and succeed.

12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting College
Sara Eigsti

College will be filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. There is no avoiding that. However, don't worry, because there are plenty of life hacks and words of wisdom to get you through it. As you enter your freshman year, you will hear different advice from everyone on the best way to "do college," and it can become extremely overwhelming. This list is the best advice I have for anyone who wants to do well in college, based on my own experience. Enjoy.

1. Find a designated study spot

And make sure this spot is not also where you are used to eating or doing other fun activities. I know this sounds strange, but studies show that you can actually train your body to match certain locations with tasks (example: you may find yourself more hungry in the kitchen because that is where you are used to eating) This works, and it is actually something that I do! If you can make one spot specific for studying, your body will begin to recognize that and you will get more done.

2. Focus on time management

Don’t get me wrong, it is important to stay focused on your studies and make sure you are getting everything done, but you need to be able to gage and time manage so that you have a social environment too. It is salient for your sanity. Set aside an hour to study and go out after, one night every week. It is super important to get connected with other students and make friends. Does this mean going to every party and getting super hammered? No, definitely not. But going out every once in a while and meeting people is a good idea, and you will learn that in life, connections are everything—more to come on this one.

3. College is not always fun

There will definitely be nights that you consider dropping out and becoming a stripper (don’t even google their salary, it makes it more tempting) College isn’t easy, but that makes it all the more rewarding. You will have some of the most fun times of your life, but you will also be excessively stressed and overwhelmed sometimes too, and that is totally normal and OK. You will survive.

4. Two words: Stress Management

This is different for everyone, but you have to find a way that works to manage stress. Singing, going for a walk, playing a sport, drawing, whatever it is, make time for it, because taking a break from studying is just as important as the studying itself…research have actually showed that studying is most effective in shorter increments with breaks in-between. Treat yo-self.

5. Keep an open mind

Oh my gosh, this is so so so key to everything in life, especially when you enter college. You will learn so much if you are open to hearing everyone’s opinions and keeping your own opinions flexible. Everyone has things they feel very strongly about and definitely stay true to yourself, but also be open to hearing someone else’s side, everyone has a reason for believing what they believe, and gaining another perspective on anything is always beneficial, even when you don’t necessarily agree.

6. Take Risks

Join the club you have always been interested in. Play that intramural sport that you may not have the most skills in. The awesome thing about college is that you have the opportunity to completely recreate yourself (if you want!). It is not often in life that you have the chance to start over and be whoever you want to be, so do it right and take those chances, you won’t regret it.

7. Jump at opportunities

When your teacher mentions an internship or a fellow student offers to help you get connected to something that sounds fun, don’t brush it off or wait for them to keep pushing, because they most likely won’t. When an opportunity presents itself, be proactive and take it on, experience is the best way to learn, especially if he is cute.

8. Find the study technique that works best for you and stick with it

You can spend hours studying with others and still not get as much done as if you had studied the way that works for you. An example of this is how reading and highlighting is a good way for some people to study, but flash cards works much better for others (including me), so some people could memorize more information making flashcards for an hour than they could in four hours of reading and highlighting information, and vice versa.

9. Stop making excuses

This goes for everything. Don’t make excuses on why you didn’t do well on a test, why you can’t go to an event, or why you spent all night watching Netflix instead of sleeping. Sometimes you just decide to have the cake instead of fruit and you shouldn’t have to constantly justify yourself. Also, if you are unhappy about something in your life, making a change is going to be a lot more beneficial than making an excuse.

PS. Your teachers won't care why you were late for class, so just don't do it

10. Caffeine is your best friend

College is the first time that I have truly come to understand what exhaustion feels like. Caffeine has gotten me through numerous late nights, classes, and lectures. Now that you’re on a college budget, remember that you can save your Starbuck’s cup and refills are only 50 cents.

11. Connections are everything

Meet people, start conversations and don’t be afraid to ask questions, because knowledge is power, and forming relationships and connections with people can only help you in the future.

12. Have fun

Seriously, being happy is truly what life is all about. If you don’t like your major, change it. If you absolutely hate your school, switch. Everyone is different and everyone has different needs, college is your time to find yourself and to explore opportunity so make sure you make the most of it and have a fun ride.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.


Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments