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5 Simple Tips for the Freshman College Student - Part 1

Updated on November 1, 2016
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We all know that upping your beer pong (or beirut for the truly loyal) game can advance you lightyears into your careers. We know buying the wrong cups for the big party will get you ex-communicated from that circle of friends you just got comfortable with. We all know (and love) the Klean Kanteen will remain clipped to that bag of yours for years to come. And we also know that our beloved university hoodies will stand the test of time (some stains will remain as little souvenirs down the road).

But being “prepared" can come in different forms that will help you both in your academic life, and whatever life you lead afterwards. Here are 5 things that can help college amateurs get started on the right path… (TL;DR at bottom of page)

1) EXERCISE (FOR YOUR MIND)

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For those of you who already use the gym or participate in sports regularly, great! Great job, keep it up! But for those of you who leave it for tomorrow, can’t squeeze in the time because you maxed out credits this semester, or have to commute to work or home, there’s time, barely enough, but enough. And although the balance of class, work, and internships can be overwhelming, recent studies have shown that half an hour’s worth of exercising can increase the brain’s plasticity. We’re talking about half an hour’s worth of time to help your memory and motor functions which, from the looks of your schedule, looks like you could use the extra boost!

We can’t all train like the beast that is Kacy Cantazaro but if you’re dorming, keep active with your sports or visit the gym a bit. If you live the home-to-campus commuting life, invest in simple bands or practice some at-home exercises that fit you. You need minimum space at home, and you can grunt and scream you’re reps out all you want (but try not to, your parents will worry about you).

2) DEODORIZE (PROPERLY)

Although Pink Sugar perfume and Axe Dark Temptation body spray are great (-_-), these won’t cut if for all you refined ladies and gentlemen. Masking that last game to 21 (win by 2) or BootyBarre session isn’t the ideal. Yeah, you’re Intro to Bio class starts in 30 minutes, but preparing ahead of time will save you the embarrassment of showing up with that slightly “unclean” smell and get you into the habit of scheduling yourself better. It’s safe to say that no one wants to be that kid in class whose got a ring of empty desks around him/her.

3) SETUP A SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Whether you’re a bar-back, registrar administrator, struggling artist, or living off mom and dad’s allowance, you’ll have upgraded from the cute pink piggy banks, to the modern electronic version which is a whole lot lighter than lugging around that Poland Spring jug into the local TD Bank Coin Counter/ Coin star. But if you don’t already have one, no frets, just head to your local bank, present the proper documents, and they’ll be happy to take your money. You’ll probably need:

  • your Social Security # (which you have memorized by now, right?)
  • proof of address
  • copy of birth certificate (wouldn’t hurt)
  • along with your checking account information (your personal or joint account is already set-up, right?)

If you don’t have these all ready, everything is going to be alright, save yourself the trip and prepare your documents ahead of time. Remember, these processes can be frustrating and time consuming, but you’re above all this! You will exude the patience of the Dalai Lama and the eagerness of a kid on Christmas morning. For those of you with loans, this is can prepare you for what’s to come after you graduate; the amazing skill of factoring in your loans to everyday life! Woot woot!

4) GET A CREDIT CARD

Speaking of savings...get yourself a credit card. There are those who may suggest otherwise in the stressful economic times we’re in but you’re grown and responsible now (at least trying to be). And it’s difficult to take their advice since people have different habits, outlooks, and economic backgrounds. So take charge in your own judgement. Just don’t abuse it. You shouldn’t carry baller stacks with you, and you can’t carry you’re mom’s joint-debit card around with you forever (although if you carry both, respect).

So try it out. You may recover from some messes you may make with it, but you’ll learn from them and recover by the time you hit the big-boy/big-girl world of credit. It’s scary to think you may be in debt (or further in debt with the loans you’re racking up), but with the small lines of credit they set you up with initially, it’s a nice step towards that responsibility that you keep telling you’re parents you have (minus the fender bender senior year in high school, the dog coming loose when they went to on vacation, and the foil you left in the microwave that ONE time! Jeeeez, get off my back mom ’n' dad, amiright?!?).

Treat it like your dog (or cat for our beloved cat lovers). You wouldn’t let your dog starve (unless you’re a monster), nor would you let your dog eat everything in sight. You have to feed it (the card), but not indulge it (the card), but show loving care and responsibility (the dog and the card). Here’s a nice list of starters if you’re student enough for it.

5) GET SOME SLEEP

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We know…you’re young, energetic, and can power through a whole day’s worth of classes with only two hours of sleep. You’re a machine. Honestly, you are. You are able to power through anything if you need to (I’d say "want" but I doubt any of you ever "want" to miss some shut-eye and work on anything the next day). And that time when you only had an hour and a half of sleep but looked like Ronaldo on the intramural soccer field was truly amazing (Seriously, hat trick? Nicee!).

But honestly, get some sleep. You may feel like you’ll miss out on a party or the guy or girl you’ve been crushing over (who awesomely sat next you in class so they could be feeling you too), but sleep is important. Although you DO have the energy to do everything, give your body and brain the rest it needs. Study when you need to. Play video games when you need to. Eat when you need, want, and should. But sleep is one of those things you may neglect unknowingly so make an effort to sleep.

TL;DR

To sum it all up cause your attention spans are gone with the wind, here are the simple tips to help you in your college careers and the life you decide to lead afterwards.

  • Exercise (Keep your mind fit)
  • Deodorize (Smell decent, it's nicer to be around)
  • Open a Savings Account (Enough said)
  • Get a Credit Card (You'll learn your way)
  • Get Some Sleep (Rest that youthful, energetic body and mind... you'll need it later on)

Check Part 2 for some additional tips!

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