5 Tips For Not Screwing Up College This Year

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Before you get too carried away with big dreams and plans for the year, remember that there is more to college life than just having a blast. (Right? Right.) We have five tips to keep you on track and ensure that you start off your school year on the right foot.

1. Create a budget.

We know – it’s hard to budget money when you don’t have any, right? But, seriously, it’s easy to get carried away and swept up in nights out during your first semester … and then realize in February that you’re too broke for a killer Spring Break trip. If you’re smart and responsible now, your future self will thank you when you’re on a plane to Belize.

2. Stay organized.

Losing track of time, deadlines and appointments is easy – and before you know it, you’ll be staring down midterms that you completely forgot about. If you’re “old fashioned” and prefer writing things down, we have tons of day planners, from colorful Lilly Pulitzer bestsellers to Panda Planners that are designed to keep you motivated. If you prefer to keep everything logged on your phone, there are tons of apps out there to help, like Planner Pro and any.do.

3. Take advantage of office hours.

Professors hold office hours for a reason – and it’s not to sit alone in an empty room. The opportunity to sit down with your teacher and ask questions one-on-one to ensure that you grasp material can prove invaluable come test time. Not only that, but putting in a consistent effort throughout the semester can go a long way with your professor, should you have a last-minute question or emergency in the days leading up to an exam.

4. Get your tech in order.

Getting outfitted in the hottest technology can help your school year go much smoother – but it can also cost a fortune. The good news is that you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars to be a tech king or queen. You can pick up the things you really need like the Seagate Backup Plus and Itian wireless phone charger at low prices by shopping through a site like BIGWORDS, and opting for less popular brands of luxury items can help you save big bucks. For example, rather than pay hundreds of dollars for a Sonos or Bose speaker, check out more affordable models, like the Nixon Sound Blaster. With a little research, you can get some of the coolest tech around, even if you’re on a budget.

5. Get into a routine.

The best way to ensure that you’ll stay on-track this year is to get into a routine. Studies have shown that waking up at the same time every morning is critical to maintaining a solid sleep routine, so whether your first class is at 9 or 12, commit to setting your alarm for the same time every weekday. And when it comes to study time or heading to the gym, follow the same strategy of getting into a routine in order to stay on top of things and remain consistent all year.

What are some of your tips to ensure that you don’t screw up this school year from the start? Do you have any lessons learned that you can pass along to your brethren?

Ali Reynolds

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