Top Ten Things To Help Make Your College Experience A Little Easier

Published: February 24, 2015

This is a list of the all the things that can make your college experience a little easier, and help you improve your academic performance and stay on track with your goals. College is already stressful enough as it it; following some of these tips may help minimize some of that stress and make the ride a little less bumpy.

  1. Write it down

    "It" being assignments, dates, notes, or anything important you have to remember. There's always "that one guy" who claims they'll remember the assignment or the meeting and does not write it down. Guess who ends up forgetting? Even if you don't end up looking at the paper later as a reminder, the act of writing it down will help you remember. This applies to notes as well; do not just take pictures of the notes on the board with your phone. Writing engages your mind and helps you retain information more thoroughly. So write it down!

  2. Sit down less (and if you must sit, sit correctly)

    This can be tricky. You spend all day sitting, whether commuting to school, at a desk, at lunch, or at a seat in lecture. Chances are, however, that when you are sitting, you are slouching. Over time, this creates tension in the neck and upper back, which can cause spinal issues and tension headaches. If you can, take a quick break. During class, a quick minute walk around in the hallway is enough to help loosen you up, and when you go to sit back down make sure you are sitting up straight and not slumped over in your seat.

  3. Plan Ahead

    Procrastination is an epidemic among college students, and it creates undue stress in their lives. Make sure you are well aware of all due dates, and know how much work must be put into each assignment. For some assigments, it is easy to underestimate the amount of time that must be put in. Planning ahead effectively can help prevent you from having to pull all-nighters or missing out on social functions due to last-minute attempts at catching up on work. 

  4. Sleep

    No, seriously. All-nighter's are a great way to get things done. That is, until the effects start to catch up to you. Headaches, difficulty concentrating, over-active appetite, and blurred vision are just some of the things you can expect. Not to mention, if you're a student athlete, your athletic perofrmance will most certainly take a turn for the worse. Not only will your coordinatipn and reflexes be off, but your body will not recover as well from all the training you put it through. Not procrastinating is a good way to make sure you don't have to pull all-nighter's, and if you must cut some sleep out at night, try to get a nap or two in there. Your mind and body will thank you. 

  5. Research your professors first

    Some courses are in such popular demand that they are available at multiple time slots and are taught by mutliple professors. Certain univerities have their own database of professor reviews, but a quick google search will yield websites with revues of various professors by past students. Try to find one whose teaching style matches your learning style, and be sure to do your research well before it is time to register; the best professors tend to have classes that fill up quickly. 

  6. E-books

    If you can afford to invest in a tablet, you will be able to purchase digital textbooks. Not only will this make it easier to remeber all your books because they will all be on the tablet, but the wight of your backpack will be lessened. In addition, many times digital versions are at least somewhat cheaper than their hardcopy counterparts. Just be sure to take out insurance on the electronic and also get a screen protector for your tablet; these electronics are fragile, and you want to make sure to protect your investment. 

  7. Workout

    Working out can relieve stress and help your brain function better. It does not have to be a huge time commitment; even taking a ten minute walk is a good way to get moving and release some stress. In addition, reliveing stress will help you sleep better. This, in turn, will improve your mood, academic performance, and energy levels. Many colleges have fitness centers that offer classes, whether they are yoga classes, cardio fitness classes, or classes on proper wightlifting form. Check out your college's fitness center to see what classes and programs they have to offer.

  8. Drink water

    Your body is mostly water, yet most people live their lives in a state of near constant dehydration. The best way to tell if your are propery hydrated is the color of your urine; if it is clear or very light yellow, then you are hydrated enough. The best thing about water (especially for college students) is that water is free. Buy a reusable, BPA-free water bottle and refill it. Many colleges have water fountains that are also made to also water bottles quickly in an effort to cut down on plastic. Some benefits of being properly hydrated are clear skin, improved energy, and a more controlled appetite.

  9. Learn to Cook

    Food on campus can be expensive, unhealthy, and sometimes not that tasty. Learning to cook your own food can be a valuable skill. Not only will you use it during college, but once you move on to your independent adult life, it is a skill you will be glad you have. Plus, you can save money. Many times, the price you are paying has less to do with the product and more to do with the labor that goes into making it. By making it yourself, you save on the costs of labor. So buy a cookbook or two and try out some recipes!

  10. Find a balance

    This is perhaps the most important item on this list, and also the hardest. College is one of the most defining four years of your life. You find yourself, start to realize what you want in life, and even if you do not come out knowing exactly what you want, you at least start to figure out what you DON'T want, and that's half the battle. Try to find time to relax, and have fun. Make some friends, make some memories, and expand your horizons. Never again will you have so many resources for knowledge and travel at your disposal. Make the most of it!

Item ten is the hardest on the list, but also the most important. Finding a balance between and work and play is vital, not only to make the most out of your college experience, but also to prepare yourself for the realities and responsiblities of the work world.