College Survival 101: What You Need To Know Before Your First Year

College Survival 101: What You Need To Know Before Your First Year

Once you submit college applications on time, you begin the agonising process of endlessly waiting for responses from your chosen colleges.

November 11, 2022


Once you submit college applications on time, you begin the agonising process of endlessly waiting for responses from your chosen colleges. You don't have to sit idle the whole time, though. Use any free slots in your day to create the perfect toolkit that will help you breeze through your first year of college to stay ahead of the curve. Here's a guide on how to thrive in a college environment:

Learn Basic Life Skills

It isn't until one begins to live on their own that one realises there are multiple skills necessary for survival. To be able to thrive in a setting that actively encourages you to step out into the world on your own, some basic survival skills that are needed include:

Cooking

When you're in the dormitories for the first time ever, you begin to realise cooking is not just an additional skill you can flaunt to impress your friends and family, it is a dire need. The summer before you leave for college, we suggest you test out a few recipes that appeal to you; nothing too complex, you can simply begin small with a two or three-ingredient recipe and take it from there. Build your flavour palate according to your liking and watch yourself combat homesickness one step at a time through cooking your favourite meals in the dorms and creating relationships through food.

Budgeting

Budgeting might sound like a big, scary word, but it's the key to leading a fulfilling life in college. Learn how to create, and stick to, a budget, including meal prepping (if that works for you), spending in smart ways, and recycling/reusing to increase sustainability. Not only will this save you for the dreaded "end-of-the-month" feeling, but it will also be an efficient way to respond to the global climate crisis.

Adaptability

You're going to want to make new friends, venture outside your comfort zone, and really experiment with the world of possibilities that a college campus can open up for you. To do all of that successfully, you're going to have to cultivate adaptability and patience, along with other virtues like kindness and authenticity. It is important to allow yourself to feel vulnerable, to be honest, and to hold on to friends dearly when you are living away from family and loved ones. Being adaptable will give you the space to explore what you like, and consequently, find out what you don't. Your years in college are some of the most formative moments of your life, so remember to keep an open mind and heart!

Figure Out Your Work Ethic/Style

Learning how to take notes that work for you is a crucial aspect of learning in college classrooms. Your professors might teach with the help of slides, or simply reference the text they are talking about, and it will be difficult to stay on top of deadlines and deliverables if you keep it all in your head. Figure out a system of note-taking that works for you, helps you gain the most from lectures and seminars, and makes you want to continue learning whenever you return to these notes. Here's a tip: check out the Cornell Note Taking Method that has helped dozens of students across the world learn better.

Stay In Touch With Those At Home

Getting homesick is inevitable and wanting to return to the comfort of your home is difficult to brush aside, especially in new places. One of the ways you can combat homesickness, and begin to create spaces for yourself, by staying in touch with your friends, family, and loved ones back home. Remind them frequently of how much they mean to you, and once they reciprocate the feeling, you'll find it easier to let your mind rest when it comes to distance and connection.

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College Survival 101: What You Need To Know Before Your First Year