Student Life: 11 Great Tips For Starting College/University

Undoubtedly one of the biggest steps in anyone’s life, the jump to higher education is more than a harder end of year exam and a different classroom to work in. With most students diving into a world of living on their own for the first time, the preparation for their new life can seem intimidatingly huge and perplexing. These great tips from leading experts in the field are specifically designed to help ease the transition for any student out there.

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#1 Textbook Accounting

Do not buy textbooks that you do not want to buy! Most can be found through your university or local library. Check with professors to see if using an old edition is ok. I saved thousands of dollars doing this for both undergrad and grad school.

Contributor: Nicole at nicoleXmd (Instagram)

#2 New Freedoms

What I realised over the last 4 years is that it is super easy to get distracted during college. The substantial increase in freedom from high school to college and the lack of parental guidance can be quite confusing. I felt it too in all honesty from year one. New friends, new apps for communication, that constant buzz, or that constant update that I always want to check. It honestly did distract me quite a bit from studying.

Contributor: Ishan Jain, creator of 'Sidetracked' - A great app for staying focused at side tracked app

#3 Get Organised Early On

It's never too early to start planning for college. This includes mentally, financially, and physically. Mentally, you want to assure you're ready for college. Some are 100% sure of their career path, others may need to take a year off. Financially, you want to be sure you can limit the number of loans you take out or how to receive scholarships/grants. Last, physically, getting into college is the first challenge, the next challenge is staying in school. Having a healthy routine is the foundation that will help you stay focused, be prepared, and excel.

Contributor: Joe Potenza from evisions

#5 Research The Facilities Available

When taking the leap to further your education, we strongly encourage students to research the tools and resources available to them. Each institution of higher education has several resources - like academic counseling, career services, and workshops - that are available for students to take advantage of. Make the most out of your time in school by becoming well acquainted with all of the fantastic resources available to you as a student.

Whether you're stepping into a four-year university or trade school, it's crucial to learn these resources early on so you can make the most out of your time as a student.

Contributor: Dr. Kami Hoss, Founder of Howard Healthcare at howard academy

#6 Timetables

As soon as you receive your syllabi from each class, take note of your professors' office hours, deadlines, and exam dates. It will all be listed in the syllabi. Have a planner to take note of your classes' important dates. In college, you have so much academic independence!

Contributor: Justine Ouano, Assistant Director of High School Programs, Global Kids at global kids

#7 Initiative

Your professors/teachers will not be reminding you of much compared to high school, so you must be the one who takes initiative. They are still there to support you, so be sure to take advantage of office hours. It is yet another way to set you up for success.

Contributor: Justine Ouano, Assistant Director of High School Programs, Global Kids at global kids

#8 Budgeting

College is when young adults take true responsibility for the first time. They’re away from the security of mom and dad and learning how to manage money for the first time. Encourage them to create a budget based on the money they will be receiving each month from sources like student loans, part-time jobs, an allowance from parents, etc. Make sure they learn how to give themselves an allowance for fun items so they don’t feel deprived. Help them set up a free checking account at a reliable bank nearby with an ATM near campus.

Contributor: Justin Lavelle, Chief Communications Director for people looker

#9 Smart Groceries

Spending money on food is often the hardest to control, because the lure of fast food is everywhere. Put the brakes on fast casual meals, and instead, make a list of items you need, price it online, then head to the store to compare costs. Find the cheapest and healthiest ways to eat, and learn to resist impulse items at checkout.

Buying staples in bulk, purchasing whole produce over pre-cut produce and steering clear of middle aisles – where the most expensive brand names are strategically placed – will also help cut costs. If grocery shopping and cooking is not an option, consider purchasing a campus meal plan.

Contributor: Bryce Lloyd, Phoenix Market President FirstBank from efirst bank

#10 Spend Money, Make Money

Embrace thriftiness and save in style by brewing coffee at home, carrying a reusable water bottle, renting text books, or utilizing free campus transportation. Even walking or biking around campus will not only save money, but help students explore the area and find hidden gems.

If it’s still not enough, pick up a part-time gig.

Contributor: Bryce Lloyd, Phoenix Market President FirstBank from efirst bank 

#11 Eating Together

My tip would be to always eat your meals with someone around campus. This allows you to meet a new friend at every meal, or nurture your older friendships, and is a very good way to make sure you stay social and make friends at college.

Contributor: Stacy Caprio from stacy caprio

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Written by James Metcalfe

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