100 Major Keys [Tips] for the incoming class of 2021 and on to guarantee success in College.

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WOW….you guys make me look like a dinosaur…where do the times go??  /  Courtesy: Instagram

It is officially June which for many, will be the month of multiple high school graduations across the country. And most likely they will be attending college in the fall. Somewhere in the jungle of New York City, the sunny beach of Flordia and maybe the suburbs of Ohio.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in October 2016, 69.7 percent of 2016 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities.

So like the meme that is going viral: Congratulations to surviving the easiest part [4 years] of your life. Literally. Because college is a whole DIFFERENT ballgame and in my mind, a lot of you guys are glamorizing college as what you see on bougie kids Instagrams and Snapchat. And as pillar of the community, I will share with you 100 college tips..I got this idea from asking several students what would be their advice for the incoming freshmen coming to New Haven. Most of them said don’t come here. So here goes something:

  1. Don’t buy textbooks. At all. Rent them. It is Way CHEAPER. You will be tight if you paid over $300 for textbooks that when you try to sell at the end of the semester, college textbook stores and vendors will only buy from you for $32.
  2. Get along with you roommate as much as you can. You don’t have to be best friends or friends with them. You just have to co-exist with each other. As long as there is respect given you’ll be alright.
  3. Don’t wear your lanyard around your neck (unless you know you have a tendency to lose things quickly)
  4. If you’re coming to the Northeast or Middle America from a warm state like California or Flordia, bring the proper clothes to get you through our brutal winters. Cause I’m from Long Island and I went to college in Boston for a year. WINTER is brutal.
  5. Don’t take 8 AM classes at all (unless you’re an early bird which most of my friends & colleagues are not) You’ve spent four years waking up at the crack of dawn for 7 straight hours of school. Unless you absolutely have to take it because there’s only one section of the required class offered or open.
  6. 5 classes are enough. Most colleges consider a full-time student to be someone taking 12 or more credits.
  7. Don’t join 1400 clubs, you need to FOCUS on your studies and your freshmen year where people are rooting for you to succeed. Trust me, your grades will suffer because you join a whole bunch of organizations and didn’t allocate time to study or perfect that paper.
  8. Join clubs (but not too much)….I understand many of you guys have a hermit/I-Don’t-Like-People personality…but it only helps to get involved on campus. For example, you’re a Communication major like me..it’s essential (if you want to land a job after you graduate) to be involved on campus at places like the Film/TV club or the radio station. because employers don’t just care about your high GPA or letter of recommendation… a lot of them want to see that you made a difference on campus or making strides towards your dream career. Also as a transfer student, it is very essential as well…. me deciding to join organization and come to their meetings was how I ended up meeting new people and making friends as it can hard for transfer students coming into a new school (half re-living freshmen year/half upperclassmen without knowing anybody)
  9. Don’t become an RA only for the free housing/meal plan. Listen I sympathize with a lot of you who go to an extremely expensive school and need to find ways to save money and loan debt. I had a financial hold on my account for almost four months that barred me from registering for classes. But being an RA is way more than just receiving free housing…it’s a full-time job and whole lot of stress. I personally don’t give enough fucks to want to become an RA. RAs & especially Senior Resident Assistants have to give up a lot of their free time to dedicate it to helping their residents and putting on programs.
  10. There’s a website called RateMyProfessor.com and it comes in total clutch. You’re able to see ratings and reviews of the professors at your school. Trust me, you need to check out if your future professor a complete asshole who is very disorganized or the professor from heaven.
  11. Apply for financial aid early. The earlier completed, the more money you’re likely to get.
  12. Thursday is the new Friday….why? Most people don’t have classes on Friday so Thursday night is the LITuation (#ThirstyThursdays)
  13. Wear whatever you want. If you want to wear pajamas to class, go ahead!! No one is going to penalize you.
  14. The Deans of Students is the college equivalent to the High school principal’s office that you to if you get in trouble.
  15. The Freshmen 15 is real. In college, you’ll get a meal plan. And you’ll want to pig out in the dorm. But know that the dining hall food IS NOT going to taste like your mom and dad’s home cooking.
  16. Don’t spend all your meal plan dollars before the semester ends. You will regret it.
  17. GIRLS: beware of the upperclassmen boys. They’ll only want to date (or get with you) because you’re freshmen (= freshmeat). You guys are new which means you don’t know how they operate (or operated in the past) like the senior, junior female students know.
  18. COMMUTERS: Don’t feel like just because you’re commuting 15-40 minutes to campus means you can’t be (heavily) involved in the campus community. It’s the complete opposite. The editor for the Arts & Entertainment section of my school newspaper (and is in a sorority) happens to be a commuter. You’d be surprised to see there are residents barely leave the room instead of partaking in the Student Activities.
  19. Black and Latino Students: If you’re attending a mostly white school (like me), then you know it’s important to surround yourself with a community that looks like you. If your school has a Black Student Union (of it could be called African American Student Union) or a Latin American Club join it. (You’ll probably find someone that could do your hair.) If you see one or two of us in your classes, be there for them.
  20. Avoid dormcest. Dormcest is defined by Urban Dictionary as sex between two (or more) people living the same dorm[itory]. Because when things go sour with you guys, it’ll be awkward running into each other in the hallway and on your way out to the building.
  21. Unless you and your bae is serious, ditch the long-distance relationship.
  22. Use your RESOURCES. Your tuition $$ pays for it. Go the tutoring center, see your first-year success advisor, go to the library to have them show you how to use the database for when it’s time to do your research papers.
  23. Don’t like your major? Change it. But do it as soon as possible so your graduation date isn’t delayed. You don’t want to be a senior and be unhappy that going to walk away with a degree that you’re not going to pursue a career in.
  24. If you get even one D or F….it will bring down your GPA…big time. Withdraw or drop classes before deadlines.
  25. As far as professors go: Befriend your professors. Ask questions during and after class, utilize their office hours, email them. Show them why you’re valuable outside from just the classroom. Step out of your comfort zone.
  26. Don’t give into peer pressure….remember it’s your choice.
  27. Find an on-campus job. If you don’t come from money like I do, start a bank account and seek student employment on campus. You could be eligible for work-study which gives you a part time job that help pays your tuition and gives you paycheck paycheck. If you’re unsuccessful, then look for places off-campus to work (that is convenient). I went to college in Boston for a year and Boston loves hiring college students. The career center also helps as well and can help fix your resume.
  28. Carry your Student ID with you at all times.
  29. Coffee is will your best friend.
  30. You will not enough sleep. Trust me.
  31. Be prepared for the truckload of homework and required reading that will come your way.
  32. Take a chance and study abroad. It’s a life changing experience. Save up if you have to. Plus there is study abroad scholarships.
  33. Befriend upperclassmen. They are a great source of advice and they pretty much know the campus culture.
  34. Take out student loans. Don’t be afraid. You’re not the only poor students. If you work hard in college, you will land a career that will allow you to able to pay them back.
  35. Professors don’t like Wikipedia
  36. Have a good laptop. It’s a necessity these days in college. There are student discounts offered for a laptop (and tablets).
  37. Don’t cheat and DO NOT plagiarize. You will get in SERIOUS trouble. I’d rather take the L in that Philosophy quiz than risk being kicked out of school. And as far as plagiarizing goes, there are websites that will scan your paper for plagiarism.
  38. Use Grammerly.com. Call me crazy. I make sure I reserve $29 in my bank account so I can pay the monthly membership cause it is worth it.
  39. Google Docs, Powerpoints, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and GroupMe is a college in 2017 starter pack.
  40. If you have a lot going on during your typical week in college, you probably won’t have that much time to watch television. That was me this year. I missed many episodes of American Horror Story & Riverdale.
  41. You will meet some of the best friends of your life at college. Compared to HS, you will have a lot more control over who you want to be friends with, spend your time with, and get close to. It’s so easy to find a group of friends that are the right fit for you. They’ll make you see all of the things that you can be.
  42. When drinking, know your limit.
  43. Befriend your RA….it could keep you out of trouble
  44. Start or join a study group. Whether it’s in your dorm’s common room or the library.
  45. Finals week will be hell….and professors will clutter you with end-of-the-year assessments all at the same time.
  46. You’re going to hate have group projects. Deal with it.
  47. Friendships and associates can change. And sometimes the person you least thought you weren’t going to be friends with, become your friends. Opposite attracts sometimes.
  48. Use a condom. The school offers them for free.
  49. In class, don’t ask to use the bathroom. Just go.
  50. If you walk in late to class, just do it calmly. Don’t disrupt the professor’s lecture.
  51. Read the syllabus.
  52. You can’t be constantly late or absent to class. Most professors cap the absence allowances to 2 or 3 before taking off points.
  53. Some people make great roommates but bad friends and some people make great friends but bad roommates.
  54. When you’re angry about one thing, you’re suddenly angry about everything. And that’s just life in general but it’s applicable to college. I’ve gotten an F on a paper and spent the whole day livid about everything else going on.
  55. Don’t be prissy (or uppity). People aren’t going to like you if you act that way.
  56. Go the football or basketball game…for the experience.
  57. Being a student athlete doesn’t give you an excuse to slack off on your work.
  58. Set short term goals and long terms goals.
  59. Participate in class. Ask questions and provide input in ongoing class lectures. Your grade will most likely depend on it.
  60. Learning to survive on a budget. Penny pinch if you have to.
  61. Utilize public transportation. And Uber as well.
  62. Take advantage of free stuff (and free food) as a college student.
  63. Know what you’re getting yourself into before taking out a credit card or deciding to get an off-campus apartment.
  64. Expect greater diversity. People will come from all over, from different cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and walk of life. And feel free to educate yourself on what a microaggression is as well.
  65. It’s okay if your friends come from all over the place in the country. Some of my friends are from Boston, Rhode Island, and Maryland.
  66. Exercise. Use your school’s fitness center.
  67. Let your friends change over the course of four years…it’s probably for the better
  68. Check out the different fraternities and sororities on campus…it might not be for everyone but give it a shot.
  69. Be careful about what you post on social media apps.
  70. Take an elective class outside your major. It’ll open up your mind.
  71. Call your parents at least once a week.
  72. Ramen Noodles will be your friend.
  73. Your school will most likely have a student portal to submit assignments and communicate with your professors.
  74. Don’t overpack.
  75. Take college serious from the start. This isn’t high school anymore.
  76. Professors will not accept late assignments. When my News Writing & Reporting professor Susan Campbell says submit by 6 pm and not a minute later, she ain’t playing.
  77. Know that there are counselors available on-campus to see if you’re having issues. They can help you cope with stress and other mental health dilemmas.
  78. Take a break from studying if you have to.
  79. Don’t treat yourself like a workhorse. Reserve some “me” time.
  80. If you go college far from home (like across the country far), check out the policies of staying on campus during the breaks. Maybe make a friend who lives somewhat close to school, whom you can spend Thanksgiving break with.
  81. Try to get your textbooks beforehand or wait until the first for the professor to let you know if it’s required or not.
  82. Learn how to do laundry. Buy TidePods.
  83. Go to your RA if you’re having issues with your roommate. Don’t let the tension build up.
  84. Flip Flops in the bathroom.
  85. Set up 12 alarms to wake you up.
  86. Care packages come in clutch.
  87. Have fun your first two year of college because when you’re a junior and senior…things get serious.
  88. Go and explore the local area surrounding your school. I didn’t realize until I came to UNH how downtown New Haven is a hidden secret between NYC and Boston.
  89. Be open-minded and get ready to defend your stance on things.
  90. Explore different career if you’re unsure of what you want to do.
  91. Get an internship after a year or two of college, it’ll help get your foot in the door to your future job field.
  92. Join the concert committee so your school can get a bomb-ass artist to come and perform for the spring concert.
  93. You can get a lot of discounts just for being a college student.
  94. If you’re truly unhappy with you school, don’t be afraid to transfer to where you know you truly want to be. The application as a transfer student is exhausting but is worth it in the end.
  95. If you’re the first person in your family to go to college, give yourself a pat on the back. No, I actually mean it.
  96. It could be a race to get into a class that you want when it’s class registration time.
  97. Girls (again): Please be safe..because campus sexual assault is very real. If you’re going to a party, go with a trusted group of friends. Don’t leave your cup anywhere. If you want to exit a situation immediately and are concerned about frightening or upsetting someone, it’s okay to lie. Know about the emergency services (number) at the school. *Boys can be raped too*
  98. Think about grad school later in your college career.
  99. Start a club, be an advocate for yourself, become an activist for a cause that’s close to you.
  100. If you’re thinking of dropping out, DON’T. College isn’t easy and you’re going run into situations that you don’t like but you got to suck it up and deal with and walk away from college with a diploma. Trust my friends and I all have the moments where we feel like throwing in the towel. Cause shit gets real. There have been times I’ve contemplated dropping out and becoming a gay porn star. But then I realize I came to college for a reason and so did you. In Bible verse, Jeremiah 29: 11 reads “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You gotta trust your struggle.

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