College Life: My Tips for Starting College


Hey there, Tasters!! It’s official, I’m a college student! I moved in on Friday and started class yesterday, so I’m just starting to get situated, but I’ve already learned so much about how to meet new people, get along with roommates and suite mates, be prepared for classes and so much more, so I figured I’d share them with you guys. Take a look!

  1. Introduce Yourself to Everyone: Literally, everyone you talk to. Whether you just introduce yourself to a random person sitting next to you, or throw in a random “By the way, my name is” after asking someone a question or making small talk. All freshmen are looking to meet some new people, and everyone is having the same internal debate you are. Just man up and take the leap, you won’t regret it.
  2. Set Up a Suite or Room Meeting: Whether you and your suite or roommates are already meshing or not, it totally helps to set up a time for you all to sit down and talk things out, preferably before classes officially start. All seven of us from my suite sat in our common room the other night to exchange phone numbers, discuss bathroom and bedroom boundaries, plan our weeks out and just get to know each other. The people in your rooms and suites will (most likely) be constants for you this school year, no matter who your friends are, so try to make time to hang out with them. My suite mates and I are planning to have a weekly meal together just so we can all keep each other up to date, and we also agreed on being totally honest with each other if something is bothering us. I think that deciding these things as a group will help us prevent arguments and keep us as close as possible.
  3. Definitely Decorate: Guys, this one’s a no brainer. If your room isn’t decorated, you’ll feel less at home and more uncomfortable. I highly recommend posters, pictures and banners, as well as colored bed spreads and throw pillows. Just make sure you follow your building or school’s guidelines!

    dorm room
    A picture of my bed in my dorm room!!
  4. Check Your School Email: Most professors, school and building administrators, and even apps send reminders through your school email, so make sure you check it at least once a day so you don’t miss any announcements, assignments or opportunities.
  5. Check the Weather: Realistically, you’re going to be out of your dorm most of the day walking from class to class. Make sure you check the weather the night before so you know if it’g going to be super muggy or rainy the next day so you can plan accordingly. It’s never fun getting stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella, especially when your dorm is fifteen minutes away from your last class!
  6. Bring a Sweater With You: While it may be sweltering during the day, a lot of professors crank up the air conditioning in their classrooms to make up for it. If you’re likely to get cold, pack a sweatshirt or jacket. You definitely don’t want to be uncomfortable for a whole class.
  7. Keep Your ID and Key On You: At least at my school, Stony Brook University, my ID is my access to absolutely everything. Without it, I can’t get food or books, get into my building or go work out. I keep both my ID and my key on a lanyard that I wear every day everywhere I go, especially to the bathroom and shower just in case one of my roommates leaves and accidentally locks me out of my room.
  8. Have a Reusable Water Bottle: You definitely do not want to get dehydrated, and buying a ton of water bottles can totally add up. I have a reusable Camelbak insulated water bottle and a reusable coffee cup that I can fill up time after time free of charge. Just yesterday, I filled my coffee cup up four times, and my water bottle up three times, which equates to a total of fourteen cups of water!  I bring either of those with me wherever I go in case I get thirsty (it’s still super hot out!) and so I don’t have to buy another drink when I go to grab lunch or dinner (although I am still guilty of buying a Dunkin iced latte or two!) Another plus? The coffee cup is perfect for practically any drink (I use it for tea!) and the Camelbak bottle is perfect for the gym!
  9. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: Honestly, try new things! I know it sounds so corny but it’s absolutely true. You won’t make friends, impress your professors or get to take any new opportunities unless you put yourself out there. And who knows? You could find a brand new passion or talent, or at the very least make some new friends!
  10. …But Don’t Compromise Your Values: You are who you are, and that’s great. If your friends are doing something that you’re not comfortable, don’t join them. I don’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to be friends with them anymore, but if they’re drinking, for example, and you are completely against drinking, don’t force yourself to drink to impress them. You should always feel comfortable with your decisions.
  11. Don’t Spend All Your Time with Your Roommates: It’s absolutely great to be close with your roommates or suite mates, but the more time you spend with them, the more likely you are to step on their toes and pick up on slight idiosyncrasies that drive you positively nuts. Try to make some friends in your classes and major so you have another group of people you can chill with when you’re not hanging with your roomies.
  12. Go to the Gym: Going to the gym won’t just keep you healthy and looking fierce, it’ll also give you something to bond over with your friends, plus it’s a ton of fun. Even if you and your crew split up to go on different machines, you’re still going to have a great time. And if you go alone? It gives you a reason to introduce yourself to someone with a common interest. New gym buddy alert! And if no one’s around or you don’t feel like talking, just turn up your tunes and get to it. Studies show that exercising can help you manage your stress, sleep better and improve concentration, making you feel fit, look phenomenal and become a better student!

    gym
    Getting busy (snapchatting!) at Stony Brook’s Rec Center! From left to right: (bottom) Nicole and Kayla; (middle) me; (top) Random person and Arianna
  13. Always Look (At Least Somewhat) Presentable: You never know who you might run into: a new crush (college is full of possibilities!), a professor you’d like to impress or even a future employer! Looking like you care about how you look is half the battle, because it makes you look neat and organized. But while you should worry about your own presentation…
  14. Don’t Judge People By Their Appearances: Just don’t do it. Sure, you can totally admire someone’s outfit or hair and think to yourself, “Jeez, I’d love to be friends with that person!” but definitely don’t rule out introducing yourself to someone simply because of their appearance. By doing that, you can keep yourself from meeting some of the nicest people on campus, and steer yourself towards the wrong people.
  15. Be Proactive and Take Action: If you’re interested in something, don’t wait to make it happen. Find something you’re passionate about and reach out to someone in charge to get more information about the cause or organization. If you’re falling behind on work or not understanding your lectures, talk to your professors or ask a friend or acquaintance for help before it’s way too late. The sooner you have something done (with the maximum amount of effort possible), the more comfortable and happy you will be.
  16. Be Memorable: Introduce yourself to your professors and show interest in their work and lectures. They have so many students, and it’s super easy to fade into the background. Don’t let that happen. Shine your brightest and just be yourself.
  17. Keep Your Door Open: If you’re not busy and just hanging out in your common room or dorm room, keep your door open. People will walk by and stop to say hello, potentially adding to your list of friends and acquaintances. It’s never a bad thing to meet more people!
  18. Be Respectful: No one is going to like you if you correct your professor or judge them for what level classes they’re taking. Professors deserve incredible amounts of respect, so if you’re going to correct them or ask a question, do so tactfully and modestly. Believe it or not, you do not know more than them, and they are indeed experts in their fields. Professors love to answer your questions and debate topics, but not if you’re incredibly rude, pushy or demanding about it. Also, make sure you respect your roomie’s boundaries and schedule. If they need some alone time to study or FaceTime in the room, extend them that courtesy, because you would want them to do the same for you. work hard
  19. Be Your Own First Priority: One of the most important things to me is making my college experience about me. Everything is my decision, my call and my life. I’m an adult now and I have to prepare myself for the world that lies ahead. I can’t compare myself to others anymore, and I have to worry about how I’m feeling emotionally, mentally and physically, not necessarily how my friends are feeling. You’re not going to feel comfortable at school if you’re worrying too much about other people’s lives. Do what you have to do to achieve your goals and focus on what’s going on in your own life.
  20. Take Power Naps: Naps make me groggy and nauseous, not to mention that they’re super hard to wake up from, but 15-20 minute power naps have been doing the trick for me. They’re just long enough that I wake up feeling refreshed and energized, but short enough that I’m not totally out of it when I wake up.

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave to a little bit of a peek into my college life and gave you some ideas about how you can rock your first year of college! What did you think of my tips? Do you have any ideas about more tips or questions you’d life to ask me? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr,tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account,http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys, thanks for reading!!

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