Top 5 college tips
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There’s so much I wish I had known when I first started college in the Fall of 2013. While those 4 fantastic years on campus taught me some hard lessons, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

I completed undergrad at Florida State University in Tallahassee Florida. I majored in Media/Communication Studies and double-minored in both business and film studies. (You can probably tell which I took more of a liking to.) With the back-to-school season upon us once more, I saw this as the best time to give out my best college tips and advice for incoming college students. 

  1. Find Your Method 

The absolute first thing I would recommend doing as you start college is figuring out how you study most effectively. It took me until I was halfway through my sophomore year of college to really nail down the most productive way for me to study. Do you take better notes with pen and paper or on a laptop or tablet? Do you thrive in atmospheres like cafes or a campus quad? Or do you prefer the quiet and solitude of the library? Answering these questions helps set you up for academic success right at the start. 

  1. Found Family on Campus 

This is what a lot of people consider the hardest part of starting college, yet a lot of college tips don’t address it. You might be moving away from home where you don’t know very many, or maybe any people at all. I was lucky (and in some cases not so lucky) that something like 30% of my graduating class from high school ended up at Florida State with me. But, I didn’t really meet my core group of friends until sophomore year when I joined my sorority. I’d 10000% recommend attending club fairs, and finding groups you might be interested in on campus. Not only do you get to meet people who share a common interest, but you get to spend time doing something you enjoy. 

  1. Get Out of Your Dorm 

If you’re on campus, I cannot stress this enough: leave your dorm. You are NOT spending that ridiculous amount of money per semester to just stay in your room on your phone or computer all day and night. Take advantage of the myriad free events that colleges offer- because take it from me; you’ll miss them when you no longer have access to them. So go attend the free concerts, the plays, and musicals, the guest lectures. You’ll have some fun, and you might learn something new or even make some new friends. Going to the gym or even the campus green space is included in this too. Access is likely included in your tuition, so take full advantage of the facilities while you can. 

  1. Do NOT Buy Your Textbooks 

I made this costly mistake my first semester in college and I never made it again. Look up textbook rentals near your campus or even online- and if you absolutely HAVE to buy the book for class, buy used if you can. Another option some don’t know about is that your campus library likely has copies of all the textbooks. But beware- reservations for these textbooks can go quickly, so just keep that in mind. Some textbooks are also offered as a digital copy, but don’t pay out the nose for it if you don’t have to. In my Shakespeare and Hamilton class (it was weird and wild and I LOVED it) our professor even suggested picking a buddy and sharing the cost of the textbook since it came with a digital copy.  

  1. Try Not to Stress Too Much 

Your academic career is important, but don’t sacrifice your physical or mental health for it. This is 4 years of your life, enjoy the freedom and unique opportunities that college provides while you can. If you need to, book an appointment with someone at your school’s mental health/counseling center if they have one. If not, there are so many online mental health resources to explore that are free. Your grades are important yes, but in 10 years it’s likely you’ll remember less that you got an A in Biology and more likely you’ll remember the late-night concerts and shenanigans with friends. 

Extra tips: 

  • Always carry a water bottle
    •  Dehydration is no joke (says someone who went to the ER during finals week because no one told me coffee dehydrates you. The more you know!) 
  • Keep a snack in your bag
    • You’ll never know when you’re rushing across campus without time to stop at the dining hall, and it’ll save you from an expensive food purchase later on. 
  • Keep a rain jacket AND an umbrella in your bag 
    • The rain jacket is to keep you dry, the umbrella is to keep your bag with your expensive textbooks and electronics dry. A portable umbrella is NOT big enough to protect both you and your bag. 
  • Go to office hours 
    • If you have a question about absolutely anything, attend your professor’s office hours. No question is too dumb, they’re there to help you- and you’ll find they can explain certain things better because it’s their own assignment. 
  • Go to random school events 
    • One of my biggest regrets is not attending a Quidditch game while I was at school. Go attend the random events that you won’t find anywhere else once you graduate- you won’t regret it. 

Go Forth and Enjoy!!

Did you enjoy these college tips? What did you wish you knew in college, or what about college do you still have questions about? Let me know in the comments! If you’re looking for more college tips and advice, you can follow me on Instagram @glamgeekguru and shoot me a DM! If you’re looking to get in the mood for college (and fall in general) I’d recommend any of these films here.

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.

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