How to Succeed on First Day of College

7 Ways To Win Your First Day Of College Classes

It's a very different first day of school.

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My first day of college was, in a word, terrifying. Never have I felt so adult and so out of my comfort zone. It is so hard being a freshman and not knowing what to expect on this very different first day of school, but throughout my freshman year, I picked up these 7 tips along the way.

1. Don't buy your textbooks beforehand.

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College textbooks are much, much different than the dingy, twenty-year-old books that your high school book keeper assigned you. First of all, they're expensive. Second of all? They rarely EVER get used. Definitely wait until your professor explicitly tells you to buy a textbook for your class so your money doesn't go to waste.

2. PAY ATTENTION TO LECTURES.

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Yes, they're painfully boring. Yes, your professor has been speaking in that dreadful monotone voice for ten minutes now. However, lectures can be so, so important. If a class isn't using a textbook, professors often rely on what they say in class for material to test on. I know it's hard, but wake yourself up and pay attention: it'll do wonders for you in the long run.

3. Try not to skip class too much.

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There were definitely mornings freshman year where I just could not get up for my 9 am English class; it felt physically impossible. It's okay to skip once in a while, as long as you don't make it a habit. I made up a rule for myself to allow one skip per class every semester. It was a good way to make sure I didn't go overboard.

4. Keep an agenda.

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Between dates of football games, tests, date nights, essay deadlines, and every other important event under the sun, it's important to get your life organized before you lose track of it all. Keep an agenda (or just an extremely updated calendar in your phone) and set reminders for dates and deadlines you know you'll forget.

5. Study for tests a week or more in advance.

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I cannot stress this one enough. College exams often cover weeks of material and there are only 3 or 4 of them a semester, so you have to make each one count. I always study at least a few days in advance, just to give myself time to absorb all of the lectures and quizzes covered in class.

6. Make a group chat.

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I do not recommend using these to send test answers (cheating is bad, people), but group chats for classes can be super helpful come test time. You'll be surprised at how many people will drop everything and join your impromptu study session (read: cram fest) at the library.

7. Go to office hours.

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This is a popular piece of advice, but it's so true. More often than not, professors just want to see you succeed. It's a good way to get your face known in a 300 person lecture hall and it also helps out your grade. Win-win.

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50 Things to Do When You're Bored and Completely Alone

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For people like me, spring break is a time where you come home and have absolutely nothing to do. You're parents work all day and you're either sibling-less or your siblings have already moved out. Most of your friends are on the semester system, so your breaks don't line up. You're bored and completely alone.

Although while being alone sounds boring, sometimes it's nice to just hang out with yourself. There is a plethora of unique and creative things you can do. Netflix marathon? That's overdone. Doing something productive or worthwhile? You do enough of that in school anyway. Whatever the reason is for you being alone, I have assembled a list of unique things to do to cure your boredom.

SEE ALSO: 50 Things To Do Instead of Finishing Your Homework

  1. Have a solo dance party.
  2. Teach yourself how to do an Australian accent (or any accent for that matter).
  3. Learn how to play harmonica (or any instrument for that matter).
  4. Buy an at home workout DVD.
  5. Bake a cake (and eat the whole thing for yourself).
  6. Take a rollaway chair and ride it down the driveway.
  7. Paint a self-portrait.
  8. Plant some flowers in your backyard.
  9. Become a master at air-guitar.
  10. Perform a concert (just for yourself).
  11. Write a novel.
  12. Become an expert on quantum mechanics.
  13. Give yourself a new hairdo.
  14. Knit a sweater (if you don't know how, learn).
  15. Make a bunch of origami paper cranes and decorate your house with them.
  16. Make homemade popsicles.
  17. Reorganize your entire closet.
  18. Put together a funky new outfit.
  19. Make a short film.
  20. Try to hold a handstand for as long as possible.
  21. Memorize the lyrics to all of your favorite songs.
  22. Create a website.
  23. Go on Club Penguin and troll a bunch of children.
  24. Become your favorite fictional character.
  25. Become your favorite animal.
  26. Practice your autograph for when you become famous.
  27. Create a magical potion.
  28. Learn a few spells.
  29. Learn how to become a Jedi.
  30. Put the TV on mute and overdub it with your own voice.
  31. Make paper hats with old newspapers.
  32. Become a master at jump roping tricks.
  33. Create music playlists based on random things, like colors.
  34. Find a chunk of wood and carve something out of it.
  35. Find something that doesn't have a Wikipedia page and create one for it.
  36. Create a full course meal based on whatever's in your kitchen.
  37. Teach your pet a new trick.
  38. Take a bunch of artsy photographs.
  39. Make a scrapbook.
  40. Learn a bunch of new words and incorporate them into your speech.
  41. Try to draw the most perfect circle without using a compass.
  42. Make your own board game.
  43. Memorize some poetry well enough so you can recite it.
  44. Build a fleet of sailboats and float them in your bathtub/pool.
  45. Write a song.
  46. Practice picking locks.
  47. Make a drum kit out of random household items and play it.
  48. Draw a tattoo on yourself.
  49. Give yourself a new piercing.
  50. Figure out the meaning of life.
Cover Image Credit: Josh

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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