What my first year in college taught me
Life Stages

What my first year in college taught me

Sometimes the most obvious are most often forgotten

What my first year in college taught me
Campus Life. Courtesy of Wikimedia

College is a big step in life - it can be considered as a catapult to launch you closer to your dreams, it could also be viewed as a 4-year boot camp that'll train you to become a true citizen by teaching you the basic essentials. However, life in college is all but easy - other than classes, you must also seek balance in your life by allocating time and effort to the various activities within the day. Fortunately, you don't have to struggle: I have experienced my first year in college and I'm here to tell you what to do to survive.

Time management

Obvious? Yes, but this concept tend to slip your grasp once the freedom of college life sets in. At first, college seemed pretty easy to me. I pretty much plowed through a lot of classes with A's in my first semester and that made me cocky. I soon ditched my well planned daily schedules to allocate more time to playing video games because no one could tell me otherwise. Suffice to say, that wasn't the best idea.

Don't be like this everyday, be ahead of the game instead.RBL

My grades in my second semester started flunking and soon enough, I found myself caught in dangerous waters. When my life fell out of sync, more than my grades were affected. To tend to my studies meant I had to skip some social activities, doing social activities on campus meant I struggle with maintaining contact with my family. Doing all of the above meant my health would take a huge blow. Soon enough, burnout would set in, but thankfully, the semester ended just before I threw in the towel. It was a scary experience that I do not want to experience again.


While college may not be all-party (except for "certain universities"), socializing is a key part in building and maintaining relationships. Socializing could mean the difference between getting a job by yourself or getting a good peer recommendation letter. But it's more than occupational benefits, socializing helps you cope with the at-times-lonely feeling in college. My roommate went home for thanksgiving and I felt completely distraught and went bonkers after 3 days.

Literally me during Thanksgivingmedia0.giphy.com

Make friends, keep contact, and balance that with your studies. You don't want to be dancing in a club while there's 3 essays due for the night.

Taking notes effectively

This may sound weird but you might want to get on doing that. Although in college, some concepts are quite familiar to what you've learned in high school, taking clear and effective notes of the main details are quintessential to your success. Clear notes could quickly summarize 15 chapters of physics from 400 pages worth of textbook content (I've been there).

Me during PhysicsGiphy

Also, if you're taking classes that are directly connected to the ones you took before (Calculus II, Physics II, etc.) then taking notes clearly will help a lot with reviewing old concepts to build new ones upon.

Spend wisely

Ah, financial freedom, we all love to have our own cash now, don't we? Not so fast, there are a lot of things that you have to look out for. Credit cards are one of them. Sure they will establish your credit score and offer nigh limitless spending, but they're deathtraps for those who tend to throw their money everywhere for everything. If your credit score is damaged from a late payment, your student loans will also be affected. Better watch out for that!

Then there's the Black Friday syndrome. Honestly, I spent $200 worth on clothes during Black Friday when I could be spending the same for $60 in Ross. Be conscious of your spending, sometimes the sales and discounts will squeeze more out of you than you think.

Careful with that dough thereGiphy

Also, if you're living off campus in a student apartment somewhere, make sure you pay your rent on time. This may be an obvious thing but it's very easy to forget. Read your contract and note down the date you have to pay your rent. Be very careful with money!

Now that summer is here, you might want to make some plans or budget to prepare for college. It's right around the corner and you won't want to miss this amazing experience!

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

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