1. Create a playlist that you ONLY LISTEN TO WHILE STUDYING. Don’t you dare listen to it while you’re on Tumblr or neopets or facebook or whatever it is that these crazy kids do these days. But the minute you open your history book or start a paper, crank that bad boy up. It will trick your subconscious into believing that when the music is playing, it’s time to work.
2. Never, ever, ever do homework on Friday. It will kill your soul.
If you are so bad at rationing your work that you have to do homework 7 days a week, then you’ve got a problem.
Take a break, unwind from the week.
3. If you live in a suite or apartment style dorm, where there are other bedrooms in your general room area, leave your door open! You’ll be living with these people so you might as well get to know them. Who knows, one of them might even become your best friend!
4. Befriend your teachers. These people aren’t teaching college for the fame and glory. Most of them legitimately love either teaching or their subject matter (or even better, both!) They’re the best resources out there and they will love you if you go to office hours.
5. Don’t spend all of your money on food or alcohol. That’s what meal plans and underage drinking laws are for.
6. For the love of God, do not get hammered on a school night! I know you’re away from your parents for the first time and you want to “get it out of the system”, but seriously, self control!
7. Go to free seminars! If you see a topic coming up that looks interesting, GO! You’re paying a lot to be here, so make the best of it. Besides, you’re getting an opportunity to do something that millions of people don’t have.
8. Going back to meal plans: If you find that you aren’t using it and you’re eating out every night, then cancel it. If your dining hall’s food sucks, there’s no shame in finding somewhere else to eat (Especially if your dorm has a kitchen— take advantage!)
9. If you have a chance to take a “Special Topics” class, do it! They’re more specialized and more fun. For example, I’ve taken two special topics classes: Harry Potter and #creativity. They usually count for credit in SOMETHING that you’ll be needing, so definitely look into it.
10. Most schools don’t require that you take the boring History 101 and This is Dull 220. Look for things that satisfy credit requirements but don’t bore you to death. There’s plenty of time for boring classes over the next four years, so you might as well not kill yourself with them.
11. Most people take the first two years to get their gen eds (general education classes) out of the way before starting more specialized major classes. This. Is. Not. Required. If you don’t want to take a bunch of classes that bore you for two years, then don’t. Knock your gen eds out of the way a little at a time, while working on the classes that actually interest you in your major.
12. Speaking of majors, please please please don’t major in something you hate. Life’s too short for people who hate math to major in accounting, but I see it all the time.
13. Join a club. Clubs are not about the club topic. They’re about socializing. Most club meetings consist more of people hanging out than actual club material.
14. Take classes that have nothing to do with your major or career path. Take something completely random that you have absolutely no reason to take.
15. Keep snacks around. They’re great motivation. “If I work out, I can have this cupcake.” “When I finish reading this page, I’ll have some more Skittles.” Plus, whenever you’re homesick (and you will get homesick) it’s nice to be able to drown your sorrows in Goldfish.