9 Tips for Starting the Year on the Right Foot

Good friends are a key component to enjoying the college years.

College can be an overwhelming time, especially at the start of the academic year when syllabi are handed out and a million assignments come flying at you. Between homesickness, keeping grades up, and working part-time jobs, college is a stressful time. But aside from all of that, college is also the best four years of your life. Managing and navigating these waters is what keeps you going. Read on to find out some of my top tips for a successful year!

  1. What Interests You?

Just because you’re a Biology major doesn’t mean you can’t be a member of the philosophy club. If philosophy is fascinating to you then go for it! Your major doesn’t dictate the extracurricular activities you can partake in. Find your niche, your safe haven, and jump in.

  1. A Test is Just a Test

Okay, we go to school to learn, I get that. We major in a subject we feel that our career will depend on. School puts pressure on us on the daily, a certain type of stress that disappears when you hand in a paper, but soon resurfaces when you realize you have an exam the next day. Just know that letter grades don’t define you as a student or a person. Work hard, the grades will follow.

  1. Are your Friends Making You a Better Person?

Making friends in college can be difficult for many. Just realize that gossip isn’t worth it and friends in college may not be there once you graduate. Realize the truth beneath your friendship before attaching onto one person. “My college friends have shown me what real friendships are like, and know me better than I know myself,” says junior Ashley Ferrari.  Friends can drift, yet it’s the one who make you want to hold on that can change your life for the better.

  1. Your Parents are a Phone Call Away

I get it. We’re “adults.” We feel that we have everything figured out and don’t need our parents. College has allowed for us to stay up late without checking in with our parents or letting us sneak grades past their punishments. Yet, I look forward to calling my parents and simply telling them about my day. Because at the end of the day, it makes them happy knowing their child still needs them, even if its just to say hello.

  1. Professors are Humans

Professors are the ones to pile work on us, grade us harshly, and never give us extra credit. Ultimately, they want what’s best for us. They push us because they know our ability. Don’t look at your professor as if they are a monster, but rather a person of no relation to you, who wants you to succeed as if you were one of their own.

  1. Campus Cafeterias can be your Best Friend

There is more to life than grilled cheese and undercooked chicken. Take pride in your salad making skills. Also, binge eating junk food is fine once in a while, but can become unhealthy quick. Ask around, see what the chefs feel are the most nutritious options. Don’t settle for overcooked French fries.

  1. Beauty Starts Within

You’ll meet a lot of people throughout your college years. Some good, some bad. Never let them deter you from who you are. Never try to “fit in.” As Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.”

  1. Exercise

Between school, friends, relationships, exercise may be the least of your worries. I’m not saying you have to run miles every day, but simple dorm workouts do wonders. Either create your own or download apps that will hold you accountable for the time and exercises.

  1. God has a Plan

When school work heightens, friendships fail, and the love of your life breaks your heart, just breathe. You may feel that your life is falling apart but overall, God has a plan for everyone. Crying is an action that is needed at times. Always think that God created all of us to have potential on this earth.

College can be the greatest years of your life. Take chances, create relationships, and never loose sight of you who want to become. Your future starts there, take these tips with you to master your dream college experience.

Amber Renz, '20

Athleisure wear is my life saver.