white ceramic mug on white paper

Hey everyone! How is your Monday going so far? Well, mine is kind of hectic since I started back to college this month. In honor of starting off the new (and my last) school year, I want to reflect on my first year in college. All while explaining and informing others about the ins and outs of college. I hope this will be able to help students, parents, and any of those who are curious about college. By the way, this post is longer than my usual ones. Without further ado, let’s get to the blog!

Plan Ahead

Before you even get to college, you need to have your stuff together. Last year I did a summer program at school. I was able to move-in in July instead of August. I quickly learned what I would need for the upcoming school year and what was not necessary. The hardest part about moving into college is the moving part. You and your family are not the only ones who are moving into dorms.

Throughout the school year I realized that I will be buying and shopping (especially for clothes) throughout the school year, so to fit my entire wardrobe from home was unnecessary. It is a college dorm so make the most out of the space you have. I suggest looking online or going to the dorm room tours to see how much space you have during the school year. You’re going to need storage no matter what dorm room you have. Here is a link on how to pack for college for anyone who needs help getting their stuff together.

I found out quickly that trying to overpack and try to be over-prepared for everything that the heck is especially on moving day. Try to have an order of how you want to set up your room so you’re not bumping elbows with your roommates and their family. This year me and my roommate came on different days.

black woman with pen taking notes in planner
Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

My parents decided the best way was to just drop me off and let me set up my room myself. It was a lot easier too because with my parents do last year we are butting heads on how things would go up or what I wanted so on and so forth. I did appreciate their help but I did like being able to put everything up myself.

Roomie with Roommate(s)

four person standing at top of grassy mountain; college roommates; first year students
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Roommates, oh goodness. Roommates can be a tricky subject to talk about and write about. Most of the time you are living with a complete stranger, and have to find ways to live together peacefully. This can be hard when the different parties have different living habits. I am lucky enough to not have any problems with my current or past roommates. Sadly, last year I did not connect with my roommate as much as I would have liked. This year I have a different roommate, and already have a strong connection with her.

One tip I can give (based off of the other roommate horror stories I heard last year) is trying to cooperate and compromise with your roommates/suitemates. Keep in mind it should not be a one-sided deal. If you have conflicts with your roommate/suitemates, talk to them about it. Be open and clear about your concerns. If that does not work, talk to your Resident Assistant or Hall Director.

Professors and Classes

person pen working writing; college professor
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All I have to say is office hours and study groups. This is college. You are seen as an adult now. Your professors are here to help you, not babysit you. You are responsible for your actions, work, and grades. When you are confused about something, go talk to them at their office hours. In my first semester, I had too much pride to go and talk to my professors. I believed I was grown and did not need to ask for help.

Even though I did well at the end of the semester, I could have done better if I had gone to office hours. In the spring semester, going to my professors’ directly and personally, helped keep my grades afloat and away from drowning. Oh, and study groups. Even if it is just you and another person in the class, try to have someone to study with for classes you struggle in. If you are uncomfortable reaching out to people, then on-campus tutors should be your way to go.

The Stress of College

A college is a stressful place, especially during the exams. Even though it’s stressful, it is still supposed to be a place for you to learn and grow. There’s always going to be something to stress about in college the problem is how do you properly deal with this stress and don’t let it overwhelm you.

What I learned is to talk to people. Whether it’s counselors/therapists, friends, or your parents; have someone you can let out your express your emotions and feelings too. Make times to take a break to relax and recuperate your mental health. It is just as important as your physical health. Make sure you’re eating (daily) and drinking plenty of water as well.

Self-care Sundays are me and my friends go tos. I always try to have at least one self-care day a week. It is important to destress and not think about school work and deadlines for just a day or a couple of hours. Doing hobbies that you love (mine being drawing and writing) can truly help. Here are some links on how to relax and cope with feeling overwhelmed in college. When you are less stressed you have a clear thinking path and it is easier for you to become more successful throughout your time at your college/university.

Have Fun!

crop faceless multiethnic classmates walking together on sidewalk
Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels.com

College is the time of your life where you’re growing, learning, and experiencing new things. Make time to go out to meet new people, make friends, hang out with old friends, and explore your city. Of course, do this safely and within reason. Don’t go out and forget that your main priority being there is get a higher education and a degree. Still, don’t go there and become a stickler and stay in your dorm room every day of every week.

Have fun in college. Join clubs/organizations, volunteer, or even get a part-time job. Keep yourself busy aside from school work. College is helping me experience new things, learn new things, and meet new unique people. I hope everyone can have a positive and happy experience at college just as I am.

As students are preparing to head back to school it is vital that we provide a resource for students to ensure they know the importance of being involved in a club or organization so they can properly plan for the academic year. The experts at CreditCards.com created a guide that breaks down the benefits of extracurriculars while clearly outlining the costs that are associated and how you can offset those costs. Click here to read the full article.

Here’s another blog post and checklist by my friends at MYMOVE to help you move into college hassle-free!

This free resource includes:

  • Detailed Two-Month Checklist Breakdown
  • Pro Tips for Moving Week
  • Information for Changing Your Address

That’s all I have for this blog. I hope I was able to help and give insight to those who need it. See you all later. And remember:

Live. Love. Laugh.

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