1. Get your finances together and be aware of your expenses. – Open a checking/savings account if you don’t already have one. Get in the habit of saving your receipts and documenting them weekly/monthly or however you choose. Your expenses will add up, so it’s best to stay on top of them so you don’t end up in a rut or overdrafting your account.
2. Take the time to read things and understand them. – You are an adult now, and you actually have to read through things to make informed decisions. This will certainly apply if you move off campus into an apartment.
3. Rent your textbooks if you can. – Renting is the best way to go, especially for books for general education (gen-ed) classes. Vendors such as Amazon and Chegg are great places to get them. You can buy books from your institution’s bookstore and sell them back at the end of the semester, but you won’t get nearly as much money back as you spent.
4. Be aware of the available meal plans and your eating patterns. – Most institutions will have a meal plan. Know what plans they offer, and don’t get a meal plan higher than what you know you will eat. Also, PLEASE be healthy! (Don’t eat Chick Fil A every day for three weeks like I did.)
5. Take school seriously. – Your first year of college is so important for your GPA. Focus on your grades first. If you keep it high your first year of school, you have some wiggle room if you don’t do as well one semester. Also, if you have scholarships, you need to make sure you maintain the GPA required to keep the scholarships.
6. Get to know your professors. – Your professors possess a lot of knowledge, and you’ll do even better in class if you sit in the front and introduce yourself to them. If you take the time to get to know them, they will be more willing to help you in class or with other things. Some professors have written recommendation letters for me.
7. Don’t be afraid to get involved, but don’t over involve yourself either. – There are TONS of ways to get involved at your college/university. Try to get involved in at least one activity or organization so you can meet people and begin developing skills. However, don’t get over involved either. You don’t want to be overwhelmed and affect your grades or well-being.
8. TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY. – Get a planner if you don’t have one already! You’ll be super busy with classes, extracurricular activities, and maybe even a job. Be sure to stay organized!
9. Take care of yourself. – People are going to ask you to do things, approach things in their way, but at the end of the day, you need to do what is best for yourself. If people want to go out and do something, but you want to take an evening for yourself and watch TV, then by all means, watch TV!
10. HAVE FUN.
College goes by so quickly! Take the time to explore new things. Take a class on something you’re interested in, but might not be majoring in. Meet new people and make great friends. The world is yours.
Guest post by my oldest daughter, Chardonnay Ismail.