8 things you need to know in college

For the newbie and the senior, college is a strange world unto itself. It’s either a playground with no rules and no parents, or it’s Life 101.

There are many things you need to know before and during college. (Credit: StudentStuff)

There are many things you need to know before and during college. (Credit: StudentStuff)

Whatever stage of college life you’re in, here are some need to know study tips for college, and advice for navigating the college years and coping with stress.

Your 8 need to know tips

1. Learn the student loan procedures. According to “31 Things You Need To Know About College,” posted on CollegeBound.net: “It’s all about the money. Student loan interest rates are set every July 1st, but your college’s financial aid office usually gets the scoop a few weeks earlier. Place a call in June and find out what the rate will be for you. If it’s going up, you can lock in the current, lower rate on your student loan, saving you thousands over the years.”

2.  Expect to do a lot of homework.  According to Professors’ Guide at CliffsNotes.com, at least two-thirds of college work is done outside of the classroom. The lecture portion of your college courses is the least time-consuming activity—the bulk of the work you’ll be doing is reading, homework, research, studying for tests and making presentations.

3. Use RateMyProfessor.com effectively. RateMyProfessor is a place to rate your own professors’ performances, learn about how they run their classes and seek out other teachers at your college whom you might want, or definitely not want, to take classes with. In the article “Don’t rate my professor: Why students should look beyond ‘Rate My Professors’ when scheduling classes,” posted on Cavalier Daily April 3, 2014, Laura Holshouser advised: “Don’t immediately write off a class because other students complain about it being difficult. Many classes get terrible reps online simply because the three students who bothered to review it are pissed the professors failed them (often because they failed to participate even once).”

4. Keep dorm rooms clean. The tendency when first getting to college is to have a neat and organized dorm room. Those well-intentioned tendencies quickly disperse after a few weeks of busy classes, busy social life and desire to spend every free second sleeping, not cleaning. Some tips: Assign a place for everything (no, the floor doesn’t count). Clean up spills right away so the room doesn’t smell or attract bugs. Dust and vacuum every week. If your roommate is messy, talk to them constructively and create a list of dorm cleaning duties for each of you.

5. Familiarize yourself with the college library. Really. In “100 Things You Need To Know For College” posted on the Steve Hofstetter web site, Hofstetter offers this humorous exchange:

“I’ve only been to the library twice this semester.”
“Oh yeah? I’ve only been to the library once since I’ve been at school.”
“Yeah? I don’t even know where the library is.”
“Oh man, that’s awesome.”

Rough translation:
“I’m not that bright.”
“Oh yeah? I’m even dumber.”
“Yeah? I’m a complete and utter moron, and am very proud of how limited my intelligence is.”
“Oh man, that’s awesome.”

6. Get a calling plan. If you like to keep in touch with Mom and Dad and Sis and Bro, consider buying a long-distance calling card or a cell phone with an unlimited long-distance plan. These will save you money over the college’s long-distance plan. Or, you could just teach Mom to Skype!

7. Make friends. College is a place to learn, meet new people, network, get involved and have a great social life. Join campus clubs or sports, learn about people from a different ethnic or cultural background, gain new experiences, make fantastic memories and get out of your comfort zone.

8. Don’t let the stress get to you. Everyone will get stressed out at college; you’re not the only one. Find time to relieve stress the way that works best for you: do yoga, go for a jog, treat yourself to your favorite food, listen to music, get enough sleep, get a massage, talk to friends or seek out your campus’s counseling services.

Do you have some other need to know tips for college students? Tell us in the comments.

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