Share This

8 Great Tips for College Students

Here at KnowsyMoms, we talk a lot about the transition from high school to college and how everyone in the family goes through a bit of an adjustment when a kid goes off to college. We’ve talked about how parents can support their students during the college years. We’ve answered questions on topics ranging from orientation to grade inflation to pop-up hampers. Lately, we’ve been asked by many of you if we have any advice that parents can pass along to their college student.

As a matter of fact, why yes we do!  Here you go:

8 Great Tips for College Students

You probably hate it when your mom tells you what to do. Well, we’re not your mom. We’re someone else’s mom. But we’ve sent a bunch of kids to college and have learned a thing or two from them. So maybe you won’t mind if we pass along their sage advice (and a couple of things we’ve learned ourselves):

1. Get organized. Get smart.

Start the school year off right and find a way to manage your time and stay on top of all your schoolwork. College is different from high school. Academically, professors expect you to be proactive about your education. Read your course syllabi and do all the work assigned. Participate actively in class, join a study group, attend lectures. Don’t freak out if you don’t get As and Bs on everything; it takes time to adjust to college. Socially, there are always fun things to do. The key is balance. The sooner you figure out how to balance academics and your social life, the more fun you’ll have!

2. Take good care of yourself.

College is a whole lot of fun but it can also be stressful. It’s important to eat well, to exercise and sleep (in your dorm room, not through class!). But don’t forget to be kind and patient with yourself. It may take you some time to adjust to your new life, to learn how to do things on your own, and find ways to manage stress. Just make sure you’re choosing some healthy ways. And if by chance you mess up, please promise to learn from your mistakes.

3. Take good care of others.

Being a part of a college community comes with its share of responsibilities. Think about the kind of world you want to live in – Safe? Nurturing? Happy? – and find positive ways to help make it that way. Cultivate kindness and empathy. Reach out and help someone, particularly if you sense they’re not doing too well. Be open to meeting all kinds of new people. You never know who might become your new best friend. 

4. Get to know your professors.

They want to know you. Take advantage of their office hours. Accept an invitation to dinner if you get one. Go to them for help or just to discuss something you’ve read. Some students have told us they were not only enriched personally by these relationships but some had professors who gave them invaluable career advice that helped them secure internships and jobs after graduation.

5. Use your campus resources.

In addition to professors, colleges have a huge support network of services for students. Don’t be shy about using these services; they are there for you and most, if not all, are included in your tuition. Need a little help academically or want to access disability services? Feeling sick? Looking for some emotional support? Need a safe ride back to your dorm? Get to know what resources are available on your campus so when you need them, you’ll know where to go.

6. Love your roommate. Or don’t.

We hereby give you permission not to be best friends with your roommate. You might be, but you don’t have to be. We hope you will, however, learn to live well together. It will no doubt involve some awkward moments and a consistent dose of compromise. Work together to find ways you can both be happy and respectful of each other.

7. Have fun but be safe.

You know what we are talking about. Use common sense. Problems typically arise when your judgment is impaired. Take care of your friends. Be the voice of reason. One trip to the emergency room or one call to campus police is all it can take to derail your college career. Live life with gusto but live smart, and stay safe.

8. Expand your mind. Make your mark.

Where you go to college is a whole lot less important than what you do when you get there. Take courses you never dreamed of taking. Join a club, go to lectures, and other campus events. You’ll meet people who share your interests and, besides, it’s the best cure for homesickness we know. Build a resume of rich experiences, including internships and study abroad. They’ll serve you well long after graduation.

Wait… there’s one more thing! Call your parents every now and then. But not all the time. College is your time to grow up and advocate for yourself. You’re ready and you’ve got tons of support if you need it. Now get out there and make the most of your college years!

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.