Ken’s Declassified College Survival Guide

Although I only have one year of experience at college, I have learned more than I could have hoped for, both in and outside of the classroom. Here are the five most valuable things that I have learned this year that I wish every freshman would know coming into school:

1. You need to get involved

If you do one thing during your freshman year, make sure you join a club or organization that interests you. There are endless amounts of clubs to join, so join one! I joined multiple student organizations this year, including Greek life, Music Matters, and the ICCP(International Coalition of College Philanthropists). Getting involved with these groups has allowed me to meet many people with many different interests, which in turn has enabled me to truly find out what interests me. 

2. College Professors are on your side

Class will be much more difficult and intimidating if you don’t know your teacher. So do yourself a favor and introduce yourself after the first class to the teacher. You will find that teachers aren’t necessarily as scary as they seemed, and that they want to help you. Establishing connections early with teachers is crucial, so go ahead and talk to them! Maybe they will end up writing you a letter of recommendation, or maybe you’ll find that you have a ton in common. One thing is for sure though, you won’t learn any of this about your college professor if you don’t talk to them.

3. Manage your expenses

If there is a time to learn how to handle your money, it is now. For many people, college is their first time that people live on their own, and this can be a problem if you are a big spender. To help save some money, try to eat at the dining halls as much as possible – there are places all around campus that serve great food. There are also many other hidden costs of living, so keep track of how much you are spending. It is very important that you manage your money, so start with these tips!

4. Pack less than you think

It can be very exciting packing up for college, but it can also be very stressful. One thing to keep in mind when packing for your new dorm room: Less is More. Dorm rooms are relatively small, and the last thing you want is to bring something that you don’t have room for. One easy way to save space is by packing less clothes. Don’t bother packing up all of your clothes from home, but instead learn how to use the washer and dryer at school.

5. Stay Organized

An easy way to stay ahead in school is by staying organized. Make sure to write down a “to do” list everyday, and then do it! If you can stay on top of your work, you will be less stressed and have more free time to do whatever you like.


One thought on “Ken’s Declassified College Survival Guide

  1. Couldn’t agree with point #1 more. UM (or any college) is a enormous place that you’ve got to make small if you want to have success; one way is definitely though student organizations. Not to mention these organizations are solid networking opportunities too!

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