College Survival Guide for Dummies

Attending college is one of the biggest milestones in one’s life. Regardless if you’re studying in a private or public institution, there is bound to be a lot of stress and confusion as you enter this phase.

This is because as we approach adulthood (not a girl, not yet a woman – Britney Spears, anyone?) – it’s time we got our lives in check before all the debts become the bane of our existence! To prosper smoothly throughout that 3-6 years of your life, here are some tips to make it happen! (Source: personal experience)

1. What YOU like, not what your parents want

Before anything; MAKE SURE you enrol in a major that you like. It is common to see students regretting their choice, switching courses midway through the semesters or having to be forced to do a course they don’t like. Pick a major you have interest in and you will find yourself enjoying the things you learn later on.

2. Watch YouTube videos faster

Right now, all your lectures will be available in tech mode. Set the speed of your videos to 1.25x or 1.5x depending on your pace to go through the syllabus a little faster. This will be very useful in long chapters.

3. Don’t buy your books immediately

Attend your introductory classes; check if your professor actually uses a textbook or not. If so, go through the library first or search for the PDF version online. Some people go as far as sharing it with their friends! Hustle, people, hustle.

4. Attend your classes and pay attention

That is the whole point of going to college but most people don’t actually do it! Understand what is being taught and it will smoothen the revision process during your finals. You don’t want to be downing 3 cans of red bulls the night before your exams just to suffer from heart palpitation and shakey hands during the finals!

5. Mingle around and make friends!

You know what they say – you’ll never be as REAL as your college days. This is why your college friends are the REALest people you’ll meet in your adult life. Put your social skills to good use before you enter the working environment. Chances are you might even find your other half! *winkwink*

6. Join a club or society

Not only does this spruces your resume, you get to spend useful time with like-minded people who share the same interest as you! This is one of those little things that will make your college life more interesting.

7. Don’t just read or type your notes, write them down

Writing down your notes repetitively is one good method to remember your lessons. This has something to do with kinaesthetic memory where if you were to write the notes repetitively, it will become something you do automatically during your finals!

8. Understand your lessons instead of memorising

Memorising is an age-old method your predecessors use (ask your older siblings or parents). But If you choose to learn the concept and absorb the context, you can answer questions coherently during the finals. But you’ve gotta understand why this is important: it is not just about acing the finals, it is about preparing yourself for what happens after your graduation.

9. Divide your notes into smaller parts

Splitting your notes into different parts will help you digest the lessons by stages. You trick your mind into thinking you’re only studying very little so it makes you less stressed out. With lesser stress, you’ll be able to focus better.

10. Do not study overnight

Sleep is important in keeping you feeling fresh during your finals. IF you continuously procrastinate everything because you know, that’s what college students do, you could catch some rest during the night, and wake up earlier to do your final revision instead. Going into the exam hall with zero sleep – signifies the lack of oxygen to your brain – which will not give you the optimum output during your finals. Even a 1-hour power nap is better than no sleep at all!

While college life is meant to be fun, trivial and carefree, it can also be pretty high-strung, given how there’s a distinct REASON why our parents are spending hundreds and thousands to put us through the 3-4 years of lectures and tutorials, or in some other cases – how most of us are already riddled with STUDENT DEBT the moment we graduate.

These are just some tips and tricks that I personally use to make my college life more manageable; I’d strongly recommend you try them out if you’re in quite the messy state!