8 Tips for University/College Freshmen

by - August 26, 2014

Ah back to school season is upon us. Truthfully the last few weeks of summer are some of my favourite weeks ever. Why? Because I freaking love the preparation for school. School itself, meh not my favourite thing, but I get giddy thinking about buying new notebooks and pens (don't even get me started on my love of new pens), and I'll spend weeks buying a whole new wardrobe for fall and prepping the perfect first day of school outfit. But when I was starting university my absolute favourite  things to do in those last few weeks before I left, were searching information about the school, watching dorm hauls and dorm tours and reading things like "everything I wish I knew in first year" or "tips for surviving your freshman year". So naturally, now that I have finished 2 years of my Degree, and I am about to head into my 3rd I am obviously an expert on all things university and therefore will impart my wisdom unto those of you getting ready to face your first year of university or college head on. Okay so maybe I'm not what you would call an expert, but there are definitely some things I wish I would've known two years ago when I started. So here is a list of my top tips for university/college freshmen. 

1. Don't Be An Over-Eager Beaver When It Comes To Textbooks
Textbooks are the most ridiculously overpriced thing that your school will "require" you to buy. Like yes, let me just drop $90 on this 50 page binded compilation of articles that my professor likely found on the internet. Because I have so much extra cash lying around after just having paid my tuition. 
Let me let you in on a secret: Half the time, you will not even need the textbooks your Profs say you need to get. So here is my advice. DO NOT BUY YOUR TEXTBOOKS UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE GONE TO THE CLASS. Oh how I wish someone had told me this before I dropped $480 on brand new textbooks for my 1st semester classes. Buy used my friends, better yet, buy from upper years who took the class the year before. Your prof will tell you if the edition used in previous classes is good for yours as well. If it is go find an upper year selling, if they aren't an asshole, they'll probably give you a good deal, because they too are broke as fuck and are just trying to pay for textbooks.

2. Mattress Pads Are Gifts From The Gods
A good one. Preferably with memory foam. 
I don't even need to say more you already know I'm right.

3. The Freshman 15 Is No Hoax
You know how people talk about the freshman 15, and jokingly tell you to watch out for Rez food and alcohol cause it'll get ya, yeah they're not joking. The dining hall has tons and tons of options, 3/4 of them are definitely unhealthy and eating them 3 times a day, everyday for 8 months will make you gain weight if you aren't careful about it. So be mindful of what you're eating and how much alcohol you consume. It sucks to be that kid who gained a 30 pound beer gut from binge drinking every weekend. And you don't want to have to ask your mom for a new wardrobe at Christmas because your pants won't zip up anymore. 
If you just can't live without your buffalo chicken wrap with curly fries (a staple in my first year diet), then get a gym membership. It is probably free or dirt cheap, and 110% worth it. 

4. Become Your Profs BFF
Get to know your profs. I know 50% of you will think that's scary, and the other 50% will think its lame. But I can promise 100% of you and it will only help you in the long run. You're not in high school anymore, and your profs teach literally hundreds of students. They have no idea who you are, and are never going to remember you unless you make them remember you. So go to their office hours, ask insightful questions during class, hell say hi to them at the campus gym. Just do something to get on their radar. You never know when you'll need a profs reference letter and boy is it going to suck when you don't know a single prof to ask. 

5. Never Miss an Opportunity For Free Shit
Youre in college now, which means you're probably broke as hell. So go to the student street fairs and accept anything free, even if you think you don't need it. Why? Because only stupid people turn down free shit. 
Also never be embarrassed about asking for deals, discounts or free samples. Worst case scenario they say no, best case scenario you're walking away with free stuff. Nuff said. 

6. Jobs Equal Money, Money Equals Booze
Get a part time job. You can balance it with school I promise you. Chances are you won't work more than 10 hours a week and in the grand scheme of things, that is nothing. Even if you don't need it to help pay for tuition, nobody in their right mind would say no to more booze and food money. 

7. You're an Adult Now, So Act Like One
Take responsibilities for your actions. If you stay out really late Thursday night and are completely hungover for your early Friday morning class, that is entirely your fault. No one is going to feel bad for you if you're puking your guts out in the communal bathrooms the day after a night out, cause guess what, you did it to yourself. Be smart about your decisions when it comes to alcohol, it's as simple as that. 

8. Double Check Everything
I'm not just talking about your papers, I made the stupidest mistake at the end of my first semester and got the times mixed up for one of my exams. And I completely missed it. Let me tell you from experience, showing up at 7:00pm to write an exam that was already written by everyone else at 9:00am that same day sucks major balls. 
So I urge you to double check everything. Double check ALL the things. Because obviously you can never be too careful.

So there are some of my top tips for any incoming college or university freshmen. 
I won't be the first to tell you, University is awesome. It truly can be some if the best years of your life, and my first year was an amazing experience. But there are definitely some things I would change if I had the opportunity to go back (like not missing a final exam, and embarrassing myself in front of a gym full of students). I hope that these tips might be helpful for some of you, or at the very least I hope they provided you with a little bit of amusement.
Peace n blessins friends!

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