10 Things Nobody Told You About College

By Tracey Rector, Alumna of IUPUI

Image courtesy of criminalatt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of criminalatt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While college is the best time of your life, it can also be stressful if you don’t plan accordingly. Luckily your friends at University Chic have been there and have advice for those of you who are either at college already or will be soon.

1. Personal Schedule
One of the most fun things about college is the crazy schedule that more than likely, you will have control over. Don’t want to get up early? Schedule your classes after noon. You can even sleep in every day, if you wish. Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself and adjust to the schedule right.

2. Roommates
By now, classes are in session and you’ve spent a month or so with your new roommate. Up until this point, you’ve probably lived with your family or on your own for a bit and had become adapted to their quirks, as they became accustomed to yours. As you finish out the school year, be sure to remember where the line of respect falls and if it becomes an unhealthy situation, try to address it right away in a respectful manner so the rest of your time together goes smoothly.

3. You Will Be Late
There will come a time where you will be late for a class. Maybe you overslept or got stuck in traffic. Whatever the reason is, your professor has heard it all. If you’re late to class, don’t make a scene out of it. Depending on the professor, you might get a free pass. You may also get docked for it. Whatever the consequence may be, remain calm and respectful because yelling or becoming frustrated will only make things worse — and embarrass you in front of everyone.

4. Skipping Class
It’s a Wednesday morning, you’re tired, have a headache and remembered class is just covering PowerPoint slides. Sometimes skipping class is tempting, however, if it’s a choice you choose to make, be aware of what important things you may be missing. Many times professors may include topics on tests that were only a part of a class discussion, and not in the book or PowerPoint.

5. Books
Books are expensive. There are times you may spend $400 for one book you may or may not fully get into! What’s worse is some school buyback programs don’t even give you half of your money back. There could be a semester where you spend $700 on books and only receive $35 back for them. If this is the case, don’t sell your books to the buyback program. Find ways online to re-sell them, such as Amazon.com (just make sure you follow procedures) or trade with friends. Also, if there is a book you know will be very helpful in the future, as tempting as the money may be, just hang onto it.

6. Student Loan Money
Some semesters, you may get a check in the mail from your lender. This is quite exciting, especially since it may be for a few thousand dollars. However, this money isn’t free spending money. During the semester, some lenders will send you a check in the mail with the remaining money that wasn’t used toward your tuition. So if you spend this money, it will be added to the amount you pay back. The best thing to do would be to pay the money back toward your student loans right away. If you decide to spend it, make it useful, such as on a new computer or other supplies to help you during your college career.

7. No One Is Babysitting You
While high school prepares you for college, there is some handholding. Once you hit college, there is no more handholding. Your professors care about your education very much, don’t get me wrong. After all, they are teaching you about the profession you would like to go into. So you’ll notice many times they won’t say anything if you aren’t coming to class, participating, doing poorly on tests, etc. But when the time comes where you’re hanging between maybe a C and B, a B and an A … they’ll remember.

8. Schedule Classes Early On
All schools are different so this may vary. Typically, the sooner you make your appointment with your advisor to schedule your classes for the next semester, the more control you will have. This enables to pick and choose your course load. Otherwise, if you schedule late, you might get stuck with classes or class times you don’t want.

9. The Freshman 15 Is Real … But Doesn’t Have to Be
The freshman 10, 15, 20 is unfortunately real for many. Having a new and hectic schedule that isn’t a typical routine can be detrimental to your body. There may be some semesters where you are taking classes during typical lunch and dinner times … and you may sleep through typical breakfast times. Keep this in mind and plan food ahead. Try walking as much as you can, portion out pre-made snacks and meals and give up regular soda (even diet if you can).

10. Energy
Taking into consideration numbers one through nine of this list, sometimes you will be downright exhausted in college. There will come a time where you’re stuck in the lab until midnight working on a project. While tiring, you’ll feel proud of yourself when done. If you’re looking for sources of energy, try to avoid caffeinated energy drinks because they aren’t so great for your body and make you crash. Try eating as healthy as you can and get plenty of sleep. The plenty of sleep part isn’t always easy, so if you’re looking for ways to get yourself up for class, try drinking coffee or check out Genesis Today’s Wake Me, a natural energy drink sold at Walmart. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, Genesis Today also has Relax Me, a natural sleep aid drink that includes melatonin.

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