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A Girl’s Guide to Surviving College

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College is the next step in growing up. Now you feel more like an adult but be aware that there’s still a lot of learning do in college, inside and outside of the classroom. College can be a great time, and many women remember it fondly. There are some things that can make it easier though, and here are a few tips to help you with surviving college. It’s a girl’s guide!

Make the Schedule Ideal for You

When I was in college, we chose courses from different time slots and essentially made our schedule with the classes necessary for our specific program. Look at whether you perform better in the mornings or later in the day. Keep that in mind when creating your class schedule. Then you’ll be in a better frame of mind to get the work done.

Tip: If you have some subjects that are harder than others, the earlier you can do them in the day the better. Get the hard stuff out of the way so that you can breathe easier the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Stay on Campus

Staying on campus can be important to surviving college. It gives you lots of opportunity to get to know other students and make new friends. The decision to live on campus as a first-year student is great because it allows you to fully be a part of college life and ease into independence.

Obviously some campuses are expensive to live on, though, so it all depends on whether doing so fits within your budget or not. Keep in mind that when you stay on campus you’ll save commuting costs and the room comes with basics like a bed and desk.

Surviving College: Learn Basic Meals

Learn how to cook some basic meals before you start college or at least in your first year there. Then if your budget is tight or all the cafes and restaurants are closed for the night, at least you won’t go hungry. Simple things, such as omelets or spaghetti, can be a cheap and easy meal.

If you have time to learn more involved meals, that’s a bonus. Then you can add more variety to your days without having to spend a fortune.

Find a Part-Time Job

Having a part-time job has several advantages for surviving college. It will provide you with some extra cash and help you to learn new skills, just as a couple of examples. It is wise to open a student checking account for your wages to be paid into. This will help you to learn understanding managing finances.

Use Student Discounts

A lot of places offer discounts to college students who can show their student ID card. Food stores, clothing outlets, bookstores, and even some entertainment venues, such as theaters, and cinemas, will give students a discount. These price reductions can be significant so they’re well worth claiming, especially if you’re living on a tight budget.

Day vs. Night Study Sessions

Whenever possible, get your studying done during the time of day when you have most energy. For some people, their brains are most active in the morning or afternoon, which makes learning new information easier. For others, it’s the evening that works best for them to look at their textbooks. One isn’t better than the other, necessarily; instead, it’s about knowing which time of day is best for you.

An extra advantage of studying during the day is that it frees up your evening for social time. While you’re likely attending college to get a degree, it’s ideal to have a balance of educational moments in the classroom and growing up socially outside of it too.

Surviving College Relationships

There’s typically a lot going on relationship-wise that can make surviving college tough. If it’s your first time living away from home, for example, you will develop new relationships with friends and probably a love interest or two. Making new relationships can be tough, including having a roommate who makes loud noises when you’re sleeping. Ug, I remember that last one.

Plus, you’re likely trying to maintain relationships with family and friends who aren’t in school or have moved away. It’s a big transition period and it’s okay to be finding it difficult to get along with some people or have anxiety about new people you’re interacting with. Over the college years you’ll probably make some life-long friends and get to understand many different communication styles. Try not to let relationship drama ruin your concentration, which will ultimately affect your grades.

Make Use of Available Resources

Colleges have lots of resources to help students, and you would be wise to make use of them. There is usually a careers department, for example. And often on-campus counselors to chat with if you struggle with surviving college, as well as the library for research or peaceful study time.

Your Thoughts on Surviving College

Over to you! What are some other ways to get through college easier? What would you have done differently, looking back now?

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25 Comments

  1. settleinelpaso March 16, 2019

    Excellent tips! I preferred morning classes. My brain works better in the morning. Sometimes, there might not be enough options for the core courses though.

    Studying the program, especially the prerequisite hierarchy, is a must. Sometimes students end up with extra courses outside the requirement of the program. Extra courses are good but the cost the tuition.

    I am glad that you have included the item about a part-time job. Some students prefer on-campus jobs. Campus-jobs can vary from cleaning crew to working in the cafeteria to doing research with a professor. Some professors look for students for their research activities. Depending on the project, they might have paid research assistant positions for undergraduate or graduate students. It is not only the money, but these research positions also enrich the curriculum vitae of the students.

    An excellent article you have written, just like always. The post will be helpful for many prospective college students. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Thank you for explaining about types of on-campus jobs in your comment here! You’re adding info and I love that. I hope you’re doing well :D

  2. Damyanti Biswas March 16, 2019

    Excellent tips–ones I wish I’d read before I went to college.

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Me too!

  3. Ayesha Mochari March 17, 2019

    This article is really helpful. I personally love the one about keeping a fixed study hour. Thank you so much and keep writing.

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      I wish you all the best with your studying, Ayesha!

    2. Ayesha Mochari March 23, 2019

      Thank you ☺

    3. Christy B March 24, 2019

      :D

  4. Rahul March 18, 2019

    Love the content! Keep up the good work. Sharing it with my daughter.

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      This comment makes me happy! I hope your daughter finds it useful too :)

  5. Laura Beth March 18, 2019

    Excellent tips!

    As much as I bemoaned 8:00 a.m. classes, I found the sooner I finished my classes in the day, the better I felt. I was very involved with extracurricular activities, so the less afternoon and evening classes I took, the happier I was. By my last semester, my classes were done by noon on Fridays, and didn’t start until 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, so I was able to go home on the weekends if I wanted to.

    Also, having a part-time job was huge for me. It helped build further responsibility, among other things. I really enjoyed being a tutor to student-athletes, and then working in the Writing Center. Plus, it was all on-campus. I loved living on campus all four years, I felt more connected in junior and senior years than some of my friends who chose to live off-campus.

    One piece of advice from me – Try to balance core classes with something fun every semester, if you can. I took several creative writing classes that turned into a minor, as well as some art classes. It made the experience much more enjoyable.

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 19, 2019

      Great advice here from your experiences, Laura Beth! I really like what you say about adding in “fun” classes. After all it can’t be all study no fun ;)

    2. Laura Beth March 19, 2019

      Exactly!

  6. kiraeq March 22, 2019

    These are great tips! I’m headed to college in August and looking for ways to prepare now. One thing I’m planning on doing differently than high school is planning a slower Monday. Right now, I’ve got classes and Bible studies all day Monday and Tuesday, which leaves me feeling behind by Wednesday. I think scheduling strategically will help with that.

    I might hold off on the part-time job the first semester because I tend to be a very anxious and stressed person. Settling into school will come with enough stress of its own. And working through the past couple years of high school has given me some perspective on what I want out of a part time job.

    Thanks for the article! It was very helpful!

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 24, 2019

      Hi Kiraeq, it sounds like you have a good sense of your limits and needs, which will take you far in life, beyond these school years. I wish you well in your education!

  7. Zara March 29, 2019

    Thank you for writing this i really enjoyed reading it! I honestly found myself performing better when i started taking more morning classes because I had the whole day to study and I would even go to bed earlier so I definitely recommend that. I always thought I was a night owl but realized I studied less efficiently during the night. Once you start the habit of waking up early it gets so much easier in my opinion!

    Reply
    1. Christy B March 30, 2019

      Hi Zara, it’s nice to hear you found what works well for you with a study schedule!

  8. Haley Serene March 31, 2019

    I love this post. I am a fellow blogger and I will be making a similar post to this at the end of the year about surviving freshman year. I love the tips you have put in this post and can honestly say that I find all of these to be true. I held off on a job until my second semester, but now I am so glad that I have the responsibility now. Keep up the good writing!

    Reply
    1. Christy B April 1, 2019

      Wishing you an awesome freshman year, Haley. And I’m sure your upcoming post at the year’s end will help many other students. I’ll be over to visit your blog soon :)

  9. Saltofthaearth April 1, 2019

    I am attending college for a second time around! I began at 47 due to occupational injury I needed a new profession! I know the way to navigate through in my 20’s but after being a full time student now in my 40’s I would say that I need to devote even more time to my studies to get good grades!

    Reply
    1. Christy B April 1, 2019

      Congratulations on going back to school and striving for more! I’m cheering you on :D

    2. Saltofthaearth April 1, 2019

      Thanks so much 🤗

    3. Christy B April 1, 2019

      :)

  10. Melani April 3, 2019

    This was a great post!

    Reply
    1. Christy B April 3, 2019

      I hope it’s helping make student life easier, Melani! Great to have you here.

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