Welcome back, y’all! So, maybe you’re currently in college, struggling through your final year of school, or maybe you’re still in high school, getting acceptance letters and thrilled to be going off to school in the fall. Maybe you’re just like me and done with the underclassman part of college, but not quite through the upperclassman part.
If so, this post is for you.
I don’t care how prepared for college you were or thought you were, I can guarantee you that there will be something listed here on today’s post that you either don’t currently know how to do, or had to figure out how to do. Maybe you still don’t know how to do it!
Below are the five things I think every college student should know how to do or if currently in school, should learn how to do better. A lot of these tips definitely came from my own experience, so here’s hoping that you learn from me!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.
Budget and save money
This is definitely the first thing you need to learn how to do: save. your. MONEY. Little expenses will add up. That pizza you got at 2 a.m. because that was the only place open in your town, that raffle ticket for a contest to win a finals care package, that day you wanted to #treatyoself? All of those little purchases can and will cause you to go broke way before your (or your parent’s) payday.
So how do you manage and budget your money? For me, I like to use an app and carefully watch my bank statements. There are plenty of other ways to budget your money, from hanging up envelopes so you can physically put what money should go where, to budget planning notebooks if you like to keep track of everything by writing it down.
I personally love using EveryDollar! It’s free on both the App Store and Google Play Store, and there’s a website. For a premium price you can automatically get all of your purchases and credits automatically imported into the website, but manually adding them in works great for me.
You can use their preset categories, or add your own. You set a monthly budget for each category and add in your purchases or your sources of income, the date you got them, and what category it is. After you log for a month, you’re able to transfer over your budget goals from the previous month to the current month.
All in all, an amazing and easy to use app that even a budget novice can use.
Go to bed
Going to bed at a decent hour is SO important! I’m guilty of not doing this one, but nonetheless, it’s still incredibly important. So many college students don’t get enough sleep because they’re up watching Netflix, working on homework, or just up procrastination or cramming. Getting sleep is essential to school performance. If you’re sleepy, obviously you’re not going to want to go to class, much less complete homework assignments for a class you slept though.
IPhones have amazing features that can help eliminate distractions and help get you on track to falling asleep.
The first one is under the standard Clock app. Titled Bedtime, you are able to set what days of the week you want for your bedtime as well as what time you’re wanting to fall asleep and wake up. If you have an Apple Watch you can set your device to track precisely when and what time you moved during the night.
At the time you want your phone to go off, a soft ringtone rings out, or whatever other ringtone you want to set your phone to. This feature on the Clock app also allows you to be sent an reminder 30 minutes before your scheduled bedtime.
Another one is Night Shift, when at a certain time of night, your iPhone can adjust its display settings to have more of an orange hue, which is supposed to help get your eyes adjusted for bedtime.
I take full advantage of Night Shift. My eyes aren’t struggling to focus on the typical iPhone settings, making it easier for me to fall asleep.
Manage your stress
Everybody gets stressed out. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, really. In fact, you’re probably stressed about something right now and you don’t even know it. Sometimes stress can be good, as it can force you to focus on an assignment or project coming up. But stress can also be bad and if you don’t manage it correctly, it can cause you to do drastic things in order to alleviate it.
Some of my favorite ways to get rid of stress is to take frequent breaks when I’m working on something, watch something on Netflix, or go for a drive to get my mind off of whatever the cause of stress is.
If you find yourself constantly stressed out, however, it might be signs of something more serious, like depression. Make good use of the counseling center on campus, as you’re likely paying for it through your student fees or will be paying for it once you come in. My center personally allows you 12 free sessions to go in and talk about anything that’s on your mind.
While everybody will experience stress at some point in their collegiate life, recognizing and combating that stress is key to passing your classes and excelling in college!
Avoid that “Freshman 10, Sophomore 15, Junior 25, etc.”
You’re away from home for the first time and you have an entire dining hall at your disposal. Maybe your parents are sending you money every week for groceries and you simply can’t resist junk food and ramen rather than the veggies that you grew up with. Maybe you’ve been on campus for a year or two and you’re no longer on the dining plan so now you’ve got to rely on feeding yourself fast foods because that’s all that you can afford.
Whichever the case may be, you gotta know how to eat right, exercise and make sure you’re not eating foods that aren’t good for you. A perfect way to track exercise and calories is by using various fitness apps, such as MyFitnessPal, which I have mentioned before as being a totally essential app. You could also bring along a friend, roommate, or even start a fitness accountability group where you all try to help each other with your fitness goals.
I cannot STRESS this enough, y’all, you gotta learn how to cook. This ties in with the point above. If you’re always eating fast food out, you’re all but guaranteed to gain unnecessary weight. Nobody’s asking for perfection, especially in college. But learning how to scramble eggs, make pasta (that’s not ramen) and other basic cooking tasks will go a long way.
Long gone are the days of having to squint at a cookbook with super small print. Pinterest has millions of pins for all sorts of food and even dorm cooking hacks. There are plenty of delicious pins on my own recipes board perfect for a dorm room, apartment or anywhere else!
and do laundry
Finally, if you learn nothing else about laundry, don’t mix your colored clothes and your white clothes. You’re just asking for a pink disaster.
The things you should learn how to do in college don’t just stop at this list! What do you think a college student should know how to do? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,