5 Tips For Surviving Your First Month Away At College

5 Tips For Surviving Your First Month Away At College

Going away to college can be quite the transition.
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This blog talks a lot about making the most of college. However, you can’t take advantage of the next the four years if you don’t make it out of the first month. Going away to college presents new and difficult challenges. Challenges that high school never spent any time preparing you for. Therefore, may I present 5 tips for surviving the first month of college.

1. Be careful who you trust.

It’s easy to find someone you get along with and want to become good friends with them immediately. You are missing your close friends at home and become desperate to replicate that with someone at school. However, all these new friends are just that, they are new. You don’t know them yet. Some may become your best friends, but for now, be careful who you trust and who you tell what to.

2. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.

Your sense of humor may have worked back home with your group of pals who knew all about you. However, you are with new people who are still forming their own opinions of you. Your friends back home may know when your kidding, but your new friends don’t. Furthermore, you don’t know the political or religious views of the new people you meet. What might be funny to you could be very serious to them. It’s better to be on the quiet side first and begin to open up as time goes.

3. Study in the library.

Living in a dorm means living with 20 or 30 people on your floor. There is always going to be someone or a group of people who are playing video games, watching a movie, or doing something more entertaining than the studying and homework you have to do. Do your work in the library from the start. It will ensure you start college with good grades and puts you into a routine that will be easy to follow as your classes get harder.

4. Set two alarms.

Chances are you just spent the last 12 years being woken up by a parent or sibling for school. Being away from school means being away from the people who bugged you to get up. Furthermore, your teacher is not going to call home if you miss class. Instead, they simply deduct points from your grade and move on. Set two alarms. One on your phone and one on an actual clock across the room. This ensures you can only snooze on one of them. You may think this is trivial. It is not.

5. Watch what you eat.

Similar to my previous tip, most college freshmen had parents choosing what they ate and what they didn’t. Most kids eat what’s in the house and what is cooked and put on the table. They never really had to think about a diet, portion control or eating healthy. That choice was done for them. In college, you are responsible for what you eat, every day. No one will stop you from eating a cheeseburger and ice cream two times a day. Just like no one will force you to eat fruit and vegetables. Be self-aware of what you are eating each day and what you ate for the entire week.

Conclusion

The first month of college is one of the toughest adjustments you will have to had made in your life so far. These tips, and advice from college graduates, can go along way in ensuring you start off on the right path.

About Me

Kyle is a youth/education public speaker and blog author. His goal is to use these mediums to inspire high school and college students to think differently about the choices they are about to make and the next steps in their lives.

Thoughts on this topic? Have a suggestion of a future blog post? E-mail me at Kyle@KyleGrappone.com! Want to learn more? Visit me at www.KyleGrappone.com!

The views expressed in this blog, and all my content are mine and do not reflect the views and opinions of any companies and educational institutions I have had current or past connections with.






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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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