College isn’t easy. We all know that. But there are a few things that aren’t in the brochure.
Universities may try to provide you with information about what you can expect to learn, and experience in your college years. For most people, the freshman year is their first taste of living alone. Some experiences cannot be conveyed through pamphlets, and orientations. And no, everyone that comes to college isn’t ready to leave home.
This post addresses a few things you might not have thought of. I hope this helps prepare you a little better, and may shed light on the little things. Affiliate links are in this post at no cost to you 🙂 read my full disclaimer here.
One thing you may not realize about UNI
There is a lot of walking involved. Oh, you have a car and an expensive parking pass? Great! Parking is another story all together.
Prepare to walk. Often. A pair of good walking/running shoes or sensible business heels will save your life.
Make your load light. Invest in a cute leather wristlet/wallet. You never know where you may end up in a day on camp; save your minions keychain for your dorm.
To make your high-school bulky backpack more college ready, limit your materials according to the day.
I love Jansport bc they’re durable, lightweight, and cute for class. But I carry a heavier Northface backpack I bought in high school.
2 Time Management
College is a time to learn to work smarter, not harder.
This may not be obvious but know your limits. If you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule 8 am classes; they are NOT the same as high-school 8 am classes.
Do not procrastinate, make you schedule as soon as you become cleared to do so!!
Be in control of your own schedule. I LOVE my hybrid schedule; two Face to Face and two online classes?
Figure out how many classes you have. If you have 15 credit hours you’re probably taking about 5 classes.
Word to the Wise: Read my formula to the best class schedule here.
Depending on how you take notes, fill your notebooks with an appropriate amount of paper, dividers, etc.
When I was taking 5 classes I’d only carry 2-3 binders about 1.5- 3 inches thick. I would fill them with: college ruled paper, tabs, and dividers to separate my different classes from the different subjects.
Or, assign class binders according to class schedule.
Black Binder: Monday & Wed Lecture White Binder: Bio Lab
Red: Survey Classes, you get the picture…
Ether way your goal is to put as little on your back as possible. Reread Rule 1.
3 While in Class No Electronic Devices
Some professors DO NOT allow any form of technology during class-so if your laptop is your sole source of note taking, you may want to reconsider a few of the options below.
Word to the Wise: It is a proven fact that you’ll remember your notes BEST if you hand write them.
However, if you insist on doing it your way, here are two great options…
- Cam Scanner (My fave option for capturing my PowerPoint notes)
- Evernote (Good option for syncing across multiple devices, and A LOT MORE)
- Google Drive
4. KEEP Your Personal info Locked Away Always
Bring your personal documents with you to college. You’re an adult now.
That includes but isn’t limited to:
- Birth certificate
- Social Security Card
- Insurance Cards (Auto/Medical)
- Medical info
- Voter Registration Card
- Credit Cards
I like to choose hiding places that are hidden in plain sight.
Word to Wise: Take one group photo FRONT and one BACK photo of your important card(s) info: personal ID, bank card info, health insurance etc… Lock this pictures in a password encrypted app, or private box if you have an android.
This has helped me put in banking info quickly, even if I left my wallet at my dorm. As I said, I only like to carry what was necessary and a wallet usually wasn’t.
But if you have a roommate, that roommate may have guests and so on… to avoid any mishaps buy a safe.
For your purposes, a small key-lock safe would work. Or, you could use a secure physical location like a bank lock box.
Mistakes can happen in administration. That’s just a fact.
When you’re applying to college and they ask you to send originals, or copies, send your info in large manila envelopes.
Have several copies of your copies. 🙂
5 Not all colleges will let you charge books to your account
Wait until you go to class to buy your textbooks. Word to the Wise: Books are usually required to be ‘assigned,’ but that doesn’t mean you’ll use them.
Read your syllabus for your required reading, and wait on your professor to tell you what you need. It may seem like you paid thousands of dollars to learn from PowerPoint slides; if you buy a book you didn’t need.
I made a post about ways to save money in college, but Chegg is my favorite way to save money on books.
Some universities will make you pay for books up front. Classes will usually allow you time to acquire the text…if you didn’t have assignments due already.
There will be many small things you will miss in college.
Tiny comforts that if they go missing long enough-they too give you a homesickness you can’t quite identify.
- You will miss a relaxing bath.
When I’d go home I’d specifically request candles, and bubble bath. I’d watch TV, or play music to bathe, only then could I properly appreciate what it means to soak and relax.
Soaking entails having enough time to do so.
I never had time at college. I had three jobs, 15 hours, and it was work to maintain my (at that time) short natural hair, shower, eat, and reset for the next day.
But when I did get that bath, I spent my time unwinding and watching the fizz of a bath bomb would just about make it perfect.
Learn How to do Your Own Paperwork
- No more parents making appointments for you.
“You’re grown.” Remember?
Don’t have anxiety about speaking to people over the phone about important issues. I’ve known many people to say, “I don’t schedule my own appointments, my mom does all mine.”
Many college students believe they are prepared…but don’t even know their own social security number. It is time to grow up, if this applies to you.
Taxes are another oh-so-scary adult hurdle that is EASY!!! All you do is…
- Answer the questions honestly
- Put in your info
- Save all info in a safe location
- You file your federal and state taxes by following the easy steps they walk you through
I’ve handled my taxes since I was 15, claiming 0 and going about my business.
Only recently did I leave my lovely H&R Block to give Turbo Tax a try…no lie Turbo Tax won me over. This year I wrote about how I qualified for an extra 1000 dollars by filling with Turbo Tax.
Long story short I’ll never tell anyone not to go to college. It was an awesome experience, even if in today’s world where degrees become more and more obsolete.
This post was a little random but those are the things I realized I missed, or that my peers struggled with learning how to master. Mostly, the other issues were problems with money budgeting, feeding themselves etc.
What do you struggle with in college? Email me, or comment below love.
Breaks Over. Back to Reality