It is time for students to head back to campuses all over the country. Soon their days will be full of studying, class, tests and maybe a little partying here and there. But first, do not leave home without these ten tips to get the college year off to a great start.
1. Make a list and check it twice
Before you start your road trip back to school, make sure you have the essentials loaded up! The last thing you want to do is sleep on a barely stained mattress or step on the gross shower floor barefooted! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are a few vital things to make sure you have before you pull out of the driveway:
- Linens – sheets and towels (multiples sets of each)
- Clothes – enough outfits so you only have to do laundry once a week
- Shower essentials – flip-flops, shower caddy, toiletries and robe
- Bed risers and under-the-bed storage containers (more on this later)
- Coffeemaker/Keurig (if your dorm allows them)
- Mini-fridge – fully stocked by mom and dad, of course.
- School supplies (that’s what you are there for, after all!) books, notebooks, pens
2. Raise the roof
Dorm rooms are typically tiny. So make the most of what vertical space you have by raising your bed up with risers. You can raise it to the level of a bunk bed and then put a desk underneath, or you can just raise it enough to put storage containers. Make a study corner and put a hutch on top of your desk for more vertical storage. Gaining extra floor space and drawing the eye up is a big gain, so definitely use these tips.
3. Optical illusion
Does your room feel cramped and dark? Make your dorm seem larger by placing mirrors strategically. A mirror across from a window adds more natural light and tricks the eye into thinking there is more space than there really is. Even a simple floor length mirror will do the trick. Hang two horizontally on a wall and people will never guess they are so cheap.
4. Light it up
Not literally, we all know open flames are a no-no in dorms. Instead, string lights over the headboards or curtain rods for a festive look year-round, attach battery-operated pop lights to dark cabinets, or place floor or table lamps in empty corners. Any extra sources of light will brighten your room and make it more cheerful.
5. Show your personality
Dorm rooms are a dime a dozen. We can picture it now: white concrete block walls, dingy tile floors, cramped squares void of appeal. That can be depressing for anyone. So do something about it. Make sure that you let your personality shine in your room and you will feel at home as well as energized.
How? Pick out unique custom bedding, hang your favorite pieces or art or posters, choose a fun rug – anything to add your flair! Just make sure that you respect your roommate’s space as well! Better yet? Coordinate with one another for a cohesive wow-factor.
Read also – 7 Great Part-Time Jobs for a College Student
6. Set yourself up for success
The whole point of college is to get an education and make your parents proud (right??) so make sure that you do enough prep on the front end of the semester to ensure good grades without all the cramming and late nights.
Write down all important dates from your class syllabus in your planner as soon as you get them during your first week of classes. Have a physical and digital folder for every class to save notes and assignments in. Block out at least one hour a day per class to focus on studying and honor the schedule. Small steps like these will help you stay on track!
7. Get help early
Do you have a class that you know you are going to struggle in? Does calculus or biology give you the sweats? We do not blame you but be proactive about it. Find a tutor early before all of the good ones are taken. Ask your teacher for references or look on campus bulletin boards for flyers. There is no shame in asking for help and it just may be the difference between a passing grade or having to take a class over.
8. Stay organized
Your mind is going to be pulled in a million directions, so staying organized takes work. First step? Keep a planner and use it. Write down every assignment, due date, and event and check it often. Need an extra nudge? Use your smartphone for reminders that you can’t afford to forget like study groups and tests. Being organized is crucial for success and it will help ease stress.
9. Stay healthy
Taking care of yourself is absolutely vital when you are in college. Eating healthy foods will give you more energy, so squeeze in a salad between pizza slices when you can. Carry a bottle and drink plenty of water. Take a multi-vitamin every day to ward off bugs. And get rest! Your body needs to reset every night so you better make sleep a priority or you will end up paying for it and missing out on something that you actually want to do.
10. Enjoy this time
It goes by so quickly. Take advantage of your college years by getting involved in social activities. Join a club, do the Greek life thing, play an intramural sport – whatever floats your boat! The point is, just do something instead of wasting the years away stuck inside. You will make lifelong friends and memories, but first, you have to come out of your shell.
College can be the best time of your life, but it takes a little bit of planning to make sure that you have everything you need for a successful school year. With these tips and a little bit of work, we know that you will have your best year yet.