The Declassified Guide to Surviving College

by - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Does anyone else remember Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide when they were in middle/high school? Well, I've decided to take that concept and give it a twist-except this time we're exploring how to survive college!

College can be like jumping off an airplane without a parachute, whether you're fresh out of high school or coming back after time away, or whether you're attending a proper state university or even just community college. College is nothing like high school-for one, you don't have to ask permission to use the bathroom (thank god), but there is so much more work and you really need to bust your butt to get a good grade (no more coasting on minimal effort). However, if you do things right, college can be a great experience!

Divide and conquer
At first, your workload in college might seem like a nightmare, but the trick to doing all your work on time is to simply divide and conquer. Say for example you get assigned four things to do before a class on Monday, so you could do one assignment on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and one on Friday. It's all about time management. Breaking up assignments is also better since you won't have a huge workload the day before class and have a minor meltdown.

Don't be afraid to ask questions
College professors are a lot different than your high school teachers. For one, they're more accessible, more chill, and all they want to do is see you pass the class. Most of my professors put their cell phone numbers because they all have jobs outside the classroom, and it's also easier to reach them that way, so all you have to do is to shoot an email to your professor (granted it's from your school email account) or call or text them your question and you'll be good to go!

Write down every assignment
This is a trick you've most likely taken from high school, but you need to keep track of every assignment you have. Most teachers either won't accept late work or they'll penalize you a certain percentage for each day it's late. I use a regular agenda because I find that writing it down helps way better than having a digital calendar.

Apply for financial aid if you can
Financial aid is a lifesaver because not only is the full cost of everything-and I mean EVERYTHING from books to tuition-paid, it'll also save you from having to work extra shifts or having to take out a personal loan to pay for everything.

Don't study in bed 
Studying in bed is the worst thing because you'll slowly start to associate studying with being in bed and you won't want to study. I study at my desk, or in the school library if I can. Heck, even studying at your nearby Starbucks or coffee shop is better than studying in bed.

Work study
Try applying for a work study program if you can't afford your school stuff. Work study is basically part of your financial aid and you get to keep all of it, whether you use it to pay tuition or on-campus housing.

Don't procrastinate
Procrastination is your worst enemy. Do the assignment as soon as you get to the place where you like to study, or even better, do it after class if you have time because procrastination is the primary reason why students get bad grades.

Are you in college?

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