You should drive as little as possible. It will save you money, relieve stress and give you exercise. When in doubt, walk it out.
Buy a wristlet that you absolutely love, but that isn't too expensive. For class and also for the parties and bars, having a little companion to safely store your phone, money and ID is essential.
Use a day planner. Get a day planner app. Basically, organize your sh*t in order to maintain your sanity.
Create a junk mail email account and sign up for a bunch of different coupons and offers. The email blasts that go out often have coupons that cannot be found anywhere else and can be an incredible help to those shopping on a budget.
Cook giant meals and condition yourself to love leftovers, because groceries are freaking expensive.
Rejoice in a good pair of slippers. Especially if you are living in a dorm, they are life savers.
Take a multivitamin and try to eat healthy foods. You are exposed to so many different people in college. It's a germ-fest and being sick really puts you behind.
Don't give your trust away easily. Some guys (and girls) lie, no matter how cute they are.
Travel as much as you possibly can. If you can study abroad, book your flight.
Never get stuck walking home from any party or late-night event alone. No matter how safe you feel your college town is, you can honestly never be too careful.
Actually try to do the readings from class. Yes, I know you don't always have to, but you're paying an absurd amount of money to go to school and you deserve to get the most out of your classes.
Stop at Big Lots and the Dollar Tree before making usual grocery store runs.
Keep empty wine bottles because they make awesome apartment decorations.
Build lasting friendships, not just a list of acquaintances from parties. Find people that motivate you, teach you and make you laugh. Take the time to really discover who they are, because college friends often last a lifetime.
Dedicate some time for exercise even if it's just a long walk to the store with your roommate.
Go to sporting events. Join clubs. Do everything that you can only do in college while you still have the chance.
Use Pinterest for recipes and household tips as you start to branch out into your own apartment and have no idea how your mom possibly did it all.
Make your own coffee, don't buy it.
Never feel pressured to do anything that you aren't comfortable with. You don't have to make up lies or excuses, you just have to be straightforward. The people who don't respect that don't deserve you.
Download PayPal for a quick and easy way to exchange money with your roommates and friends.
Take a multitude of classes for all of your different interests.
There's no shame in changing your major, it's much better than a career change farther down the line.
Watch your drink. I know I sound like your overprotective mom right now, but seriously, even watch how much alcohol goes into what you're drinking.
Ask about the student discounts at the local pizza places and other restaurants because they are usually a godsend.
Set reminders in your phone. It's useful for anything from exams to dinner dates with your friends.
Call your mom. Call your grandma. Call anyone who thinks you're awesome, especially when you start to disagree.
Don't compromise your self-respect for anyone.
Get Netflix. You can get it from a friend or even just on your computer, but you have to get it. Netflix is a stress reliever no human should ever have to suffer without.
Make an infinite amount of inside jokes with your girlfriends.
Email your professors and make it a point to make sure you know one another if possible.
Try being a little crafty. When it comes to furnishing an apartment, house, or even dorm on a tight budget, creativity can go a really long way.
Follow your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that they are unreachable.
Don't be a jerk to underclassmen girls or any girl, for that matter. Ultimately, the nicer you are to the world, the nicer the world is to you, and college is no exception. You were a freshman once too and probably that drunk girl embarrassing herself at a party once in your life before as well, so don't be judgmental and cruel to others.
Makeup wipes are quick little heroes that you should stock up on.
Have girls' nights. Seriously, you are never too old to paint your toenails and talk about your feelings.
If you go to parties, I suggest investing in a cheap pair of shoes that you don't mind watching get completely destroyed by muddy walks home and dingy basements.
Buy multiple phone chargers. I don't know what is wrong with the phone charger gods, but they literally develop some kind of issue every few months, and you need one at all times.
It's never too early to start building your resume. Make a LinkedIn account, it's a phenomenal tool.
It's also never too early to start looking for internships, because they go fast and I know that getting an internship at a young age was one of the best opportunities of my life.
Buy a few wall art decals because they look much classier than posters and usually peel off pretty nicely. There are a ton of them at Target and they'll make your room look artistic and unique.
A winter coat is worth spending the extra money on because it will become your best friend come wintertime.
Stay humble enough to learn and yet confident enough to know that you can achieve anything.
Figure out what your best study environment is and get into a routine.
It's so easy to say you can do group study sessions and then end up talking to your friends the whole time without actually getting any studying done. If you get together to study, make sure it's productive.
Network. Network. Network. I cannot stress enough how important maintaining relationships with professors and fellow students can be for your career after college.
Take an insane amount of photos.
Wait to buy your books until the first day of class. Every year a professor will casually drop the bomb that one of the books you shelled out a hundred bucks for is unnecessary.
Keep headphones on you at all times. On those horrible, cold winter mornings when you're walking to class, listening to a little music can transform your entire mood.
Don't let yourself get too wrapped up in your small circle of friends. You are never too old or too cool to meet new people.
Expect the unexpected.
Check out Pinterest for workouts that are easy to do from your dorm room or apartment for those busy days when getting to the gym becomes a difficult feat.
Sign up for a rewards card for gas because it will actually start to make a real difference for those drives home or commutes to your internship.
Use Facetime or Skype. When it comes to connecting with your long-distance boyfriend or friends from different schools, setting up some kind of video chat keeps the communication so much more personal and special than texting. Being away from the people that you care about can put a strain on your relationships, but the little ways you connect with each other can change everything.
Get a pair of roll-up flats. You just put the roll-up shoes in your purse when you go out in heels, and then switch into the little flats when the time is right. Mind blown.
Watch what you put on social media. It can seriously make or break you in the future.
Do not hesitate to get a tutor. It doesn't matter how smart you are or how high your GPA is, there is no shame in doing what is best for you academically. Asking for help builds character and demonstrates a determination to succeed.
Be open to the possibility of falling in love.
- Download AnyList to share grocery lists with your roommates and keep everything straight. It will make your lives so much easier.
For more fun, check out my personal blog at www.serendipityandcreativity.com
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