College dining with Erika Rumbold at Ithaca College
May 22, 2015 in Alive Campus
College is commonly known as the best four years of your life. But with those amazing experiences comes a bundle of stress, especially during morning classes and total lack of sleep during brutal exam weeks. It’s important to pick up on some important tips in order to make the best of those four years while still earning good grades, and of course, having fun. Here are just a few pointers for the college student.
1) Study in advance. It’s something we all are told but often ignore. I promise you, it’s worth it. Studying in advance in college is a necessity if you want to be successful. The exams are no longer the easy multiple choice questions that you were able to guess on in high school and still manage to receive an A. You’ll be thanking yourself the night before the test comes that you already have at least half the chapters memorized.
2) Cook. I think this is extremely important for the college student to do in order to save money and learn how to make a variety of recipes for their own sake.
3) Exercise. This will keep you in shape, give you more energy, and contribute to relieving any excess stress from the many assignments you have on your plate. Exercise breaks are one of my main go-tos when I’m working on a big assignment and need a boost of energy.
4) Don’t skip class. You will experience mornings where your bed sounds like a vacation in paradise compared to sitting through an hour-lecture. But do everything in your power to make it to class almost every day. If you have to miss at some point, email your teacher with a valid excuse to demonstrate responsibility. This is certainly something they will take into consideration when working on your final grade at the end of the semester.
5) Save money every week. Whether you have a part-time job or your parents are sending you money every week, try to put money aside instead of spending it all at once simply because you have it in your possession. It’s beneficial to always have extra money on you for keepsake. Little ways to save money are buying the store brand of food or skipping on buying a new outfit for every upcoming event or themed party.
6) Don’t get too close to your roommate. I say this from personal experience and from what I’ve witnessed with other friends. It’s best to always be on civil terms with your roommate, but not too close to the point where you’ll tire of each other after the first month. A lot of roommate situations result in them despising one another if they were extremely close at some point. Living with someone can be difficult, especially when it’s your best friend.
7) Make time to have fun. Studying 24/7 most likely won’t result in perfect grades. Everyone will burn out from studying at some point. Finding a balance between free time and knowing when to sit down and study for a few hours is key to successfully making your way through college.
8) Join an organization. Find what interests you and get involved. You’ll meet people that share similar interests to you, which always makes the college experience more enjoyable.
9) Go to office hours. Again, from personal experience, I’ve learned that office hours are key to earning a good grade. When I took the hardest class of my major this past semester, I struggled to earn anything close to an A in the first month on the several assignments I had to complete, despite the efforts I put into each and every one. Attending office hours significantly boosted my grade for both the assignments and overall participation, resulting in me finishing the class with a solid A. Just think that 30 minutes out of your day twice a week is nothing compared to seeing that final grade on your transcript.
10) Save money on books. Wait until the first few weeks to buy your books to see if you actually need them. A mistake several college students make is buying books the second they see the syllabus to realize they never opened it once throughout the semester. Do yourself a favor and wait it out until you desperately need it, because chances are, you won’t.
Be sure to take these pointers into consideration as you experience the best years of your life!
It’s important to set goals for ourselves throughout college. It’s even more important to push ourselves to actually pursue those goals. I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 goals I feel all college students should aim to work towards, either in preparation of the real world or simply as a form of accomplishment for themselves.
1. Get a 4.0 at least once. This is a hard thing to do, but not impossible. Even if you can only manage to get straight As one semester out of eight, that’s a huge accomplishment in itself and something to be proud of. Set a goal for yourself at the beginning of the semester if you know it’s manageable. But if you’re taking Organic Chemistry, it’s probably best to wait until an easier semester.
2. Find an internship. By junior year, you should start looking for an internship to gain some real world experience in your field. It’ll give you substantial clarification if your major is the right choice for you. Chances are it will also lead to great connections that will assist you in your job search after you graduate, in addition to making your resume just a little more impressive to companies.
3. Meet your bridesmaids/ groomsmen. In other words, find a close group of friends you know you won’t lose touch with after you graduate. College is the time to develop amazing friendships that will last beyond walking across the stage at graduation. A handful of the people you meet should be the ones that you envision in your wedding party years down the road.
4. Learn how to grocery shop. Living on your own means you have to grocery shop instead of running to Chipotle every night. This doesn’t mean easy mac and ramen noodles should be your go-to meals on weeknights. You should be buying a variety of food groups at the grocery store once a week so you have plenty of nutritious food to make for yourself.
5. Cook healthy meals at least 4 times a week. It’s better to start taking care of your body earlier than later. If you know how to cook a healthy meal in college, then you’re doing it right. If not, look up some affordable and easy recipes that will keep you on track to staying healthy and avoiding fast food almost every night of the week. It will eventually catch up to you, so why not start adopting healthier habits now. You’ll thank yourself down the road, but always remember to treat yourself at least once a week.
6. Join at least one campus organization. This is always a great resume enhancer and also the perfect way to meet friends that share similar interests as you. For example, if you’re an English major, check out the campus magazine or newspaper.
7. Find a part-time job. It’s always a plus to make some extra spending money in college rather than relying on your parents. Plus, it’s a great addition to a resume that exemplifies time management and responsibility to prospective companies you may be applying for down the road.
8. Travel. This can either mean study abroad or simply take trips with your friends, whether that’s on a cruise, to Disney, or a short road trip. Whatever the case, find time to treat yourself to a vacation and break free from the stress of college. Those vacation days will slowly start to disappear once the weekends are your only “summer break.”
9. Learn how to dress professionally. Chances are, you will have to go on plenty of interviews during your post-graduation job search, so it’s beneficial to know ahead of time how to go about doing this. Invest in some work attire that’s age appropriate so you’re not completely lost the night before your interview.
10. Save money. College is a good time to start budgeting yourself rather than spending money on a new outfit for the themed party you have on Saturday night. Every little bit of money saved is a step closer to learning how to manage your money and spend it according to what is needed rather than wanted.
A typical day in my life at Longwood University is crazy. Here’s a look at a day in the life.
I wake up around 8:30 every morning and get ready to go to class. Then, since I live off campus, I ride the Farmville Area Bus (FAB), which is a shuttle for students to and from the apartment communities to main campus. Once I get to campus I start my day of classes. After classes are done for the day, or when I have a break between them, I usually grab a bite to eat and then go to the library to get some work done. Every day I try to spend every minute of the day being as productive as I can.
After classes are done, I go to work. I am a desk aide in one of our close-to-campus apartment communities, and so I work a two hour shift every time I go to work. After work the rest of my evening is filled with meetings and homework. Depending on the day, I have to go to a bunch of various meetings such as newspaper, Lancer Productions, Ambassadors, W.M.L.U, and many more. I also have a Thursday night radio show that I host so that changes up my schedule every Thursday.
Being an avid Longwood sports fan and Lancer Lunatic, whenever there is a game, I am there. Right now we are in basketball season, so at least twice a week you can find me in Willett Gym cheering on the men’s and women’s basketball teams. You can also find me running errands and going to my friends events as well. I like to support as many people and organizations as possible, so if someone is having an event, I always try to attend.
At the end of the day, I typically find myself back at the library to finish up work and get ahead. Like I said, I love to be productive, so once I get one thing done, I jump to the next! After I am done with all the things I want to get done for that day including meetings, homework, writing articles, blogging, and other hobbies, I ride the FAB back home to where I live. Once I get there, I clean and organize my room, take a shower, and usually (since i am so tired from the day!) jump into bed and do it all again the next day.
It might sound like a busy, busy day to some people, but for me it is really productive and fun! I get to spend time with my friends, learn new things, make memories, and gain experiences, from being involved and busy. I encourage people to get involved, but also know their limits. I also want to stress the importance of taking time to do the things you like to do, whether that is be involved, blog, play music, cook, etc. That way, if you do those things, a busy day, will always be a PRODUCTIVE and HAPPY day!