We are approaching the upcoming semester, don't panic. It is a scary time, especially if you are moving far away from home for the first time. College is uncharted territory for all of us entering it for the first time. You have lots of questions and trying to take in as much advice as you can until your parents are dropping you off at your dorm room. Here are some tips that may reduce some stress and uncertainty.
1. The whole textbook situation sucksGiphy
Maybe you are one of the lucky colleges that has a textbook rental system. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, it is a pain in the behind. To ease a headache, I go to bigwords.com. This website compares reliable textbook sites for the lowest prices. From rentals to used to new books. Be sure to check the fine print of the website you end up using, especially if it is a rental. Also, ALWAYS rent a textbook if you can. Unless it's for your major down the line, you most likely will never use it again. So save yourself some money and go with the rental.
2. Don't use the school bookstore unless you absolutely have toGiphy
The bookstore is sooo expensive so if you don't do your research, you will be wasting your money and missing out on some great deals. Sometimes you can't avoid the bookstore and their evil prices, but you can try.
3. Write down important dates in your plannerGiphy
I set aside a day to literally sit down with my planner in front of me with my colored pens and write down all the dates that I need to know during the semester. You may have already heard this before, but YOUR PLANNER WILL BECOME YOUR BEST FRIEND!! I cannot stress that enough. Even if you are one of those people who's got it all *up here*, humor a girl and get yourself a cheap planner so you can try to write down things. Because there is always a time to forget.
4. Get used to talking...a lotGiphy
Wait, what?? I am a major that requires me to stick to my own business, what do you mean I am going to be talking a lot?! Yes, you read right. Most colleges require you to take a public speaking class (and besides, it's good for you and an essential skill). Also, if you apply to jobs, you will be interviewed and require some sort of speaking skills. On top of that, if you have any sort of leadership position in life, you will have to have good communication skills. From small talk to talking to the dream business you hope to work for in the future, be prepared.
5. Networking. Know the termGiphy
Networking is a new term you will learn in college. At least it was new to me. Networking is basically socializing professionally. You can be networking with other peer professionals or big CEO's for the company you dream of working for. These will ultimately lead you to connections and where you want to go. You will learn to elevator pitch, speak clearly and consistently, and have a firm handshake.
6. Cold weather sucks more in collegeGiphy
You don't have the luxury of driving right up to your classroom like you did in high school. You have to at least park and then walk. At Illinois State, 50-80% of our weather is cold. If you go to a school where it is going to be cold, wear jeans. Leggings won't cut it, ladies. Layer, layer, layer. Bring coats and hats and gloves and all that will keep you warm.
7. Invest in a really good umbrella and rain bootsGiphy
I have a bubble umbrella and that is the most useful thing for me in college. When it is windy and rainy, flimsy umbrellas will turn out and will break. Bubble umbrellas fall all around you and you won't get nearly as wet with a collapsible umbrella. Rain boots you can find at Walmart or Target for cheap. You'll thank your feet later. Because nothing is worse than wet feet all day in class.
8. Always have some sort of food on youGiphy
You are in college. You walk everywhere. You may be skipping meals because you don't have the time or you're a broke college kid. Either way, pack a granola bar or something small in your backpack, purse, car to prevent yourself from getting hangry or have a growling stomach in the middle of class (because we all know how embarrassing that can be.
9. You may miss your dog more or your parents, but you will be homesick at some pointGiphy
College is not easy. As anyone who has ever gone through it. It is a long, stressful time where you are independent and on your own for the first time. Your support system or your fluffy therapist aren't going to be there all the time. You will miss them. You may be completely separate from them on every issue but they are still people you had to talk to. They did your laundry and gave you love. When you are stressed and on your own, you will miss them.
Don't be discouraged. College is so much fun once you get the hang of it. You will go through the firsts. Your first party, the first day of class, first football game, first finals week, first homecoming week. Embrace it! Before you know it, you'll be keeping track of the lasts. Hopefully, you won't be blindsided when you come into college. If something comes up, just keep calm and ask for help. Be sure to keep an open, level-headed mind and college will be a piece of cake.