Advice for college freshmen I wish had someone told me

I’m sorry it’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been busy at my internships (I’ve been doing work for three companies) and I’ve had a severe case of writers block. But, I’m back!

For today’s blog, I thought I’d focus on college life, since I’ll be headed back to school in a few weeks.

1. Find a floor plan of your dorm before you move in. Most college websites will have a page on dorms, and often it will include a floor plan. Use that to find out how much space you’ll have, closet size, and whether your floor will be coed or not (which will dictate the type of bathroom you’ll have.)

2. Budget your money. Whether we are talking about your meal plan or your actual cash funds, it’s crucial to keep in mind how much your are actually spending. I know one girl who went crazy with online shopping that her mom freaked—that’s something you should keep a handle on. It’s easy to shop online, especially when you’re not at home, however, all those bills add up… and don’t forget about shipping costs too! For me, I’ll shop if there’s a really good sale and if there’s some piece I have to have. And keep in mind, free shipping and free returns deals websites will have.

3. Keep in mind the size of your space. Do not bring your entire wardrobe. It’s a waste of space and you won’t end up wearing at least half of the things you brought. I know for me, I overpacked on shoes. I basically brought every pair of boots, heels and wedges, sandals and flats I owned. And it took up way more space than I care to admit, not to mention I didn’t have the time and place to wear them all.

4. Check the prices of textbooks before purchasing. Textbooks are so expensive… it’s not worth buying them new for every class (it adds up!). You probably will never need it ever again after class or you may only need it for one week, so it’s better to rent them. Check your bookstore’s rental policy or sites like Chegg and Amazon. (However, with those, make sure you order them in advance so they won’t be backordered.)

5. Don’t arrive to college thinking you only can do one thing. While you shouldn’t be overly involved in every activity under the sun, it’s still nice to be involved in several things, and you’ll make more friends. I know people who never did anything except scrape by in their classes and party Thursday-Sunday. And when you’re trying to get a job, going to frat parties won’t look good on your resume. So, join in! There’s so much to do—take advantage of it. Another thing, many people believe Greek life is the pinnacle of college life, and if you join then that’s the only thing you can do. FALSE. There are many types of organizations to join; Greek life is not an all or nothing activity. I’m in a service sorority. We are a Greek sorority, but we have a much greater emphasis on service–which seems better than just going out and partying nonstop, and bonus–it’ll look good on a resume!

6. Don’t focus on Rate My Professor too much. While it’s helpful for a general consensus about a teacher, don’t overanalyze. Focus on the class, not the teacher or the time preference. Because if it’s a class you enjoy then a teacher’s review or the time it’s offered won’t matter.

7. What to bring: Mattress topper, power strip, first aid kit, tool kit, plunger, bathroom cleaning supplies (if you have own bathroom), pictures to hang up of your friends and family, vacuum (if there’s a carpet), shoes to wear in the shower, Command hooks. Keep in mind how much space you have before buying an area rug or a sofa—make sure it’s something that will fit.

Those are some of my tips. Have a great time as a new freshman at your college!

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