When you enter college, you're going to learn a lot and not just in the classroom. You'll find out tips and tricks that can help save you money, time, and energy in college. These tips aren't things that a teacher would explain to you in the classroom. Luckily, many people have experienced these things and have passed on their wisdom for all students to share and use.
1. Don't buy your textbooks weeks before class begins.
Wait until you meet your professor or receive your syllabus. Just because a textbook is listed, it doesn't mean your professor will actually use it. I've had professors tell us not to buy a book because it is online for free or there is a cheaper version of an older edition.
2. Once you know the textbooks you need, don't buy them at the bookstore.
Your best bet is to get it off of Amazon. If the textbook is one that is related to your major and you might find it useful in your life, you should just buy it. If not, rent the textbook. Try to find it used, but still in good condition. Save your money whenever and anyway you can. Textbooks are not cheap.
3. You're always going to be behind.
No matter how much work you do, you will always have more. You might not even be procrastinating and still feel like you are never caught up. You can do the reading and write a paper for one class, and the next thing you know, you have to do the same thing for the next week.
You're always going to have work to do. Don't let that stress you out. The point of a syllabus is to let you know everything you will EVENTUALLY have to do over the whole semester. I wish I knew this because I felt like I was doing something wrong and was dumb when, in reality, that's just how college works.
Just do what has to be done that week for each class. If you finish all of that, then look at the next week's assignments. Focus on one thing at a time and completing it.
4. There is always work to be done, so no, you are never technically free.
Since you're never going to have free or open time, you need to force yourself to create time. Designate a time to work out, nap, or just do something relaxing. Health issues arise during college because college is a nonstop stressful activity where it is mentally demanding and can take a toll on your body if you don't take care of yourself.
Even if it's just 20 minutes of riding a bike, going for a run, watching Netflix, or taking a power nap, do something that doesn't involve reading your textbook or writing a paper.
5. Take morning classes.
Not only will you actually get a good parking spot without having to drive in circles, but you can also get your stuff done during the day, which opens up the rest of your day for work, studying, or extracurricular activities. Also, if you take morning classes in the winter, you are more likely to have professors cancel class due to inclement weather.
6. Study whenever you can.
If you know you have a test or quiz, use any time, excluding relaxation time, to study, even if it's 10 minutes. Don't overload and try to get everything done. Break things down. Space out what you have to do and when you have to do it.
If you get to class early, try reading the next chapter that is assigned. During a commercial break of a TV show, take out your notes and review them. It might seem like a lot of work that never ends, but remember, your job is being a student and it will be worth it if you take all of your time and use it wisely.
7. Stop wearing sweats every day.
There is no dress code for classes, but maybe try not to wear a sweatshirt and baggy sweatpants to every single class. Put some effort into how you look. It shows your professor and everyone else that you care. You never know who you will bump into on campus and you might as well not look like you just crawled out of bed.
You don't have to dress up fancy, but just look presentable. This isn't high school anymore. You're an adult, so start looking like one.
8. When extra credit is offered, you take it!
Not many professors offer extra credit, so if someone gives that opportunity, you grab it. I once had a professor offer extra credit, and all you had to do was visit him during his office hours in the first two weeks of classes and he would drop your lowest quiz grade. That's huge.
Always do extra credit. Pretend that whatever the assignment is, it is mandatory and just do it. You will regret it at the end of the semester if you don't.
9. Take each Rate My Professor review with a grain of salt.
When reading Ratemyprofessor reviews, keep in mind that everyone is different. I've left reviews for teachers who I loved, but other people didn't like them. So, just because you think you are getting a professor who is loved by everyone, you might not feel the same and vice versa.
Just because a few people thought a teacher was hard, it doesn't mean you will hate the class or find it difficult. Those reviews could be from a student who didn't show up, didn't take notes, and didn't study. Every student has a different experience, so keep that in mind when choosing classes.