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College Survival Guide: How to Survive & Thrive in College

You've just received your college acceptance letter, and you're on your way to the next chapter of your life. But before you can even think about unpacking your bags, there's one more thing you need to do: survive college.

For many students, college is a time of significant transition but it can be an amazing experience – although it can also be challenging. If you’re not prepared, the transition from high school to college can be tough. As first-year students, you may be living on your own for the first time, managing a budget, and taking on new academic responsibilities. That’s why we have put together this College Survival Guide for the dreaded freshman year (and beyond).

While avoiding the dreaded freshman year is impossible, this ultimate survival guide is designed to help you make a successful transition to college life. Thrive in your new environment, and follow these tips like how to manage your time, make friends, and get the most out of your education.

We will also give you experts' advice on how to handle stress, homesickness, and other common college challenges like the laundry and dining hall experience.

So what are you waiting for? Start reading and get ready to take your college experience by storm!

Preparing for the University Life

Going to college and moving out of your parents' home can be both an exciting and scary time. College is a big step in your life, and it's important to be prepared for what's ahead. The best way to do this is to arm yourself with knowledge, so you know what to expect and can hit the ground running when you get to campus.

Weeks Before the Big Move

As the big day approaches, start researching your new school and town. Learn about the area's history, attractions, and local news. This will help you get a feel for the community and make you more comfortable when you move there.

You should also start packing your things and getting organized. Make a list of everything you need to take with you, so you don't forget anything important. And start thinking about how you're going to furnish your new place. Will you need to buy new furniture, or can you use what you have? In addition, you should also check the room situation. If you're going to be living in a residence hall, see if there are any restrictions on what you can bring.

The bathroom situation is also important to consider. If you're going to be sharing a bathroom with other people, find out what the rules are. Are there set times when you can use it? How do you schedule showers? If you're sharing possibly a coed bathroom, then you might want to bring some extra toiletries and personal hygiene products.

It's also a good idea to get to know your roommates before you move in, so you can figure out what kind of living arrangement will work best for everyone.

A Few Days Before College Starts

As the start of college gets closer, there are a few things you need to take care of. First, ensure you have all the documents you need, such as your ID, health insurance card, and class schedule. Next, pack your bags and get ready for the move.

If you're driving to college, make sure your car is in good shape and that you have everything you need for the trip. If you're flying, check the airport's website to find out about security procedures and what you can and can't bring on the plane.

Finally, say goodbye to your family and friends. It might be tough, but it's important to make a clean break so you can start your new life.

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Moving In

Once you've arrived on campus, the first thing you need to do is find your new home aka your dorm room and unpack your things. Then, take a look around and get familiar with your new surroundings. Find out where the dining hall is, as well as the library and other important buildings on campus.

If you can, try to meet some of your neighbors. It's always helpful to have a few friends in your dorm, especially if you're living in a large building. You can also introduce yourself to the people who work in your residence hall, such as the RA or the janitor. They can be a big help if you ever have any problems.

Once you've settled in, it's time to decorate your space and make it feel like home. When decorating your dorm room, feel free to hang up some pictures, put up some posters, and personalize your space however you want. It could be a small room shared with a stranger, but with a little effort, it can feel like home in no time. Just remember to respect your roommates' belongings and not go too crazy with the decorations.

Then start your college career! Go to your first class, and introduce yourself to your professor. Get involved in campus life, and try new things. This is your chance to learn and grow, so make the most of it!

Choosing the Right Residence Hall

When it comes to college, choosing the right residence hall is essential for survive and thrive. There are a variety of factors to consider, including room type, location, and amenities.

One important factor to consider is whether you want to share a room with another student. Room sharing is a popular option for many college students, as it can help to reduce costs and promote social interaction. However, room sharing is not right for everyone. Some students prefer to have their own space, and room sharing may not be an option if you have specific housing needs (such as a private room for medical reasons).

There are also important differences between co-ed and single-sex dorms that should be considered. In addition, each residence hall has its own unique culture and community, so it is important to take the time to explore all of your options before making a decision.

Here are the things to keep in mind:

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  1. Consider your budget
    College is expensive, and you want to make sure that you choose a residence hall that you can afford. There are a variety of residence halls available, and the cost of each one will vary depending on the location, amenities, and other factors.
  2. Consider your lifestyle
    Are you the type of person who likes to party all night? Or are you someone who prefers to study in peace and quiet? Dorms can be overwhelming so your answer to these questions will help you narrow down your options and choose the right residence hall for you.
  3. Consider your academic needs
    If you are someone who needs peace and quiet to study, then you will want to choose a residence hall that has quiet hours or study lounges. If you are someone who likes to be surrounded by people when you study, then you will want to choose a residence hall that has a lively atmosphere.
  4. Consider the location and amenities
    Do you want to be close to campus? Or do you want to be close to off-campus activities? Some residence halls have gyms, pools, laundry facilities, and other amenities that may be important to you. Other residence halls may not have as many amenities but may be located in a better area or be cheaper.
  5. Ask around and Read reviews
    Talk to your friends, family, and classmates about their experiences with different residence halls. They may have helpful insights that you didn’t consider before.
    There are also a variety of websites that allow students to rate and review their experiences with different college dorms. These reviews can be helpful in getting an unbiased opinion about a particular dormitory.

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College Dorm Survival Guide

Moving into a dorm can be both exciting and intimidating. And while dorms can be overwhelming at first, dorm life can also be a lot of fun! Dorm life offers plenty of opportunities to meet new people and a great chance to explore your interests and take on new experiences.

Here are our top tips for surviving in the dorms:

  1. Get to know your roommates
    One of the most important things you can do is get to know your roommates. If you’re living with someone you don’t know, take the time to get to know them, especially in situations where you are renting a small room sharing possibly anything. You don’t have to be best friends, but it’s important to have a good relationship with the person you’re sharing a space with.
  2. Create a budget
    Another important thing to do is create a budget. Determine how much money you have to spend each month and make sure you stick to it. This will help you avoid going into debt and will make dorm life a lot easier.
  3. Get organized
    It’s also important to get organized. Develop a system that works for you and make sure you stick to it. This will help you stay on top of your work and avoid missed deadlines.
  4. Find your study spots
    One of the best things about college is the opportunity to learn in different places. Take advantage of this by finding your ideal study spots. Whether it’s the library, coffee shop, or dorm room, find places that help you focus and get work done.
  5. Make time for yourself
    Last but not least, make sure you make time for yourself. College can be stressful and it’s important to take a break from time to time. Whether it’s taking a walk, watching a movie, or reading a book, find things that help you relax and recharge.
  6. Handling conflict
    Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn't have to be bad. If you and your roommate are having disagreements, try to resolve them in a constructive way. Talk to your Resident Assistant (RA) if you need help getting the conversation started. Either way, living with a roommate and handling conflict can be a learning experience.
  7. Do your laundry regularly
    One of the most important things you can do to survive college is to do your laundry regularly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many students let their laundry pile up until they have nothing clean to wear. Doing your laundry once a week is a good rule of thumb, but if you have a smaller wardrobe, you may need to do it more often.
  8. Don’t forget to wash your sheets
    In addition to doing your regular laundry, don’t forget to wash your sheets and pillowcases at least once a month. Your bed is where you spend a large portion of your time, so it’s important to keep it clean. Washing your sheets more often may be necessary if you have allergies or if you tend to sweat a lot at night.

Dining Hall Survival Guide

The college dining hall can be a daunting place, but with a little know-how, you can make it work for you. With so many options and so little time, it’s easy to make poor choices. But with this dining hall survival guide and a little effort, you can make the most of your experience.

  1. Don’t be afraid to try new things
    The college dining hall is a great place to try new food. Be adventurous and try something new every once in a while. You may be surprised at how much you like it.
  2. Make a budget and stick to it
    One of the biggest challenges you will face in college is learning how to manage your money. Dining halls can be a big drain on your finances if you're not careful so it’s important to make a budget and stick to it. Decide how much you can afford to spend on food each week, and then plan your meals accordingly.
  3. Get a meal plan
    One of the best ways to save money on food in college is to get a meal plan. Meal plans typically offer a certain number of meals per week or per month at a discounted rate. If you know you'll be eating most of your meals at the dining hall, a meal plan can help you save a significant amount of money.
  4. Know what's included in your meal plan
    Before you purchase a meal plan, make sure you understand what's included. Some meal plans only cover meals at the dining hall, while others may also include meals at other campus eateries or even off-campus restaurants. If you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, make sure your meal plan will be able to accommodate them.
  5. Take advantage of discounts and promotions
    Many colleges offer discounts and promotions for students who eat at the dining hall. For example, some schools offer a discount for students who purchase a certain number of meals per week or per semester. Others may offer promotional prices for certain items on certain days of the week. Keep an eye out for these deals and take advantage of them whenever possible!
  6. Utilize Campus Resources
    In addition to the dining hall, most colleges have other campus resources that can help with food-related needs. For example, many colleges have on-campus markets where students can buy groceries, and some even have food delivery services. Additionally, most colleges have student organizations dedicated to food security and assistance, so don't hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

College Financial Guide

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  1. Save for Emergencies
    No matter how well you budget, there will always be unexpected expenses that come up, such as a car repair or a trip to the doctor. Having an emergency fund will help you to cover these unexpected costs without having to put them on a credit card or take out a loan.
  2. Live Within Your Means
    One of the most difficult financial responsibilities you will have while in college is learning to live within your means. This means understanding what you can and cannot afford and making choices accordingly.

For example, if you cannot afford to go out to eat every night, then you need to be willing to cook at home or eat at the campus cafeteria more often. It is also important to resist the temptation to keep up with your friends when it comes to spending money on clothes, electronics, and other items.

  1. Avoid credit card debt
    One of the worst things you can do financially while in college is to rack up credit card debt. Credit card companies target college students because they know that they are often inexperienced with money and more likely to make impulsive purchases. If you do use a credit card, be sure to pay off your balance in full each month so that you avoid paying interest on your purchases.
  2. Invest in a good laptop
    A laptop is a necessity for most college students, as it will be used for everything from taking notes in class to writing papers. However, not all laptops are created equal. It’s important to invest in a quality laptop that will last you throughout your college career and beyond. Be sure to compare features and prices before making your purchase.
  3. Get a part-time job
    In addition to saving money, working while in college can also help you build your résumé and gain valuable work experience. If you can find a part-time job in your field of interest, even better! Not only will you earn money, but you’ll also gain skills and knowledge that will be beneficial in your future career.
  4. Start paying off student loans early
    If you have student loans, start paying them off as soon as possible—even if you’re still in school! The sooner you start making payments, the less interest you will accrue over time. Additionally, making payments while you’re still in school can help reduce the amount of interest that accrues during the grace period after graduation.

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Time Management Tips for College Students

One of the most important things you’ll need to do in college is to manage your time effectively. With so much to do and so little time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Check out our top tips for managing your time in college:

  1. Make a schedule and stick to it
    One of the best ways to make sure you’re using your time wisely is to create a schedule. Sit down at the beginning of each week and map out what you need to do. Include time for classes, homework, study sessions, extracurricular activities, and socializing. Then make sure you stick to it!
  2. Set priorities
    With a busy schedule, it’s important to set priorities. Decide what’s most important to you and make time for those things. Everything else can be secondary.
  3. Take breaks
    It’s important to take breaks – both mental and physical. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, take a few minutes to relax and clear your head. And don’t forget to take care of your body! Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.
  4. Delegate and ask for help
    You don’t have to do everything yourself! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, delegate tasks to others or ask for help. There’s no shame in admitting that you need a little assistance.
  5. Stay organized
    A big part of time management is staying organized. Develop a system that works for you and make sure you stick to it. This will help you stay on top of your work and avoid missed deadlines.

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How to Make Friends in College

One of the best things about college is the opportunity to meet new people. But if you’re shy or introverted, making friends can be a challenge. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Check out our top tips for making friends in college:

  1. Get involved
    One of the best ways to meet people is to get involved on campus. Join a club or organization that interests you. This will give you a chance to meet people with similar interests and passions.
  2. Attend events
    Another great way to meet people is to attend campus events. Whether it’s a party, concert, or lecture, there are plenty of opportunities to socialize and make new friends. If you are staying in a residence hall, enjoy dorm living by participating in activities with your fellow residents.
  3. Study together
    One of the best ways to make friends is to study together. Not only will you get to know people, but you’ll also be more likely to succeed in your classes!
  4. Bond with your roommate
    University life isn't complete without a roommate. If you live in a dorm, take this opportunity to get to know your roommate better. You may not be best friends, but it’s important to have a good relationship with the person you’re sharing a space with. The residence hall staff can also help you get to know your floormates and build relationships with them.
  5. Branch out
    Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. College is a time to explore and discover who you are. So go out and meet new people! You never know who you’ll meet or where you’ll end up.

Getting the Most Out of Your Education

  1. Get Involved on Campus
    One of the best ways to get the most out of your college education is to get involved on campus. There are a variety of organizations and clubs that you can join, and getting involved in extracurricular activities can help you to meet new people, learn new skills, and gain valuable experience.
  2. Utilize Office Hours
    Another great way to get the most out of your college education is to utilize office hours. Office hours are a time when professors are available to meet with students to discuss course material or provide extra help. Attendance during office hours is not mandatory, but it can be extremely beneficial, especially if you are struggling with a particular concept or topic.
  3. Get to Know Your Professors
    Getting to know your professors is also a great way to get the most out of your college education. When you have a good relationship with your professors, they may be more likely to write you a positive letter of recommendation or help you find an internship or job after graduation. Additionally, getting to know your professors can make your learning experience more enjoyable and personal.
  4. Form Study Groups
    Forming study groups with other students in your classes can also be helpful in getting the most out of your college education. When you study with other people, you can bounce ideas off of each other, share resources, and hold each other accountable for keeping up with the material. Additionally, studying in a group can make the material more interesting and engaging.
  5. Do Your Reading
    Although it may be tempting to skip the readings or only read them superficially, taking the time to really read and understand the material will pay off in both your grades and your understanding of the course content.

top-view-portrait-woman-lying-desk-near-laptopTips for Handling Stress in College

College can be a stressful time. Between classes, homework, and exams, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But don’t worry, there are ways in dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety to make college a lot easier. Here are our top tips:

  1. Take breaks
    When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Step away from your work and take a few minutes to clear your head. This will help you relax and refocus. Some relaxation methods you can try include deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.


Taking breaks could also mean using your spare time to do things you enjoy outside of schoolwork. Spend time with friends, go for a walk, or watch a movie. Doing things you enjoy will help reduce stress and make college more enjoyable.

  1. Create a schedule
    One of the best ways to handle stress is to create a schedule. Many people might be bored out of routines, but since you are adjusting to a new environment, it would help if you could condition yourself to have a daily plan. Having a schedule will help you stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.


A to-do list, for instance, can be very useful in keeping you aware of the tasks that need to be done. Make sure to include both school-related and personal items on your list. And don’t forget to give yourself some free time! You can schedule your me time too.

  1. Set priorities
    In college, you’ll have to juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, set priorities and focus on one task at a time. This will help you stay focused and get things done more efficiently.


And to help you get more things done, you can try different methods like the Pomodoro technique. This time management method involves working on one task for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break. After 4 Pomodoro's, you can take a longer break of 20 minutes or more. Another helpful tip is to start with the easiest task on your to-do list. This will help you get into a productive mindset and make it easier to tackle the harder tasks.

  1. Avoid procrastination
    Procrastination is one of the main causes of stress in college. When you put off assignments, they tend to pile up and become more overwhelming. To avoid this, start working on your assignments as soon as possible.


If you’re having trouble getting started, try breaking the task into smaller parts. This will make it seem less daunting and help you get started. You can also set a timer for a specific amount of time and work until the timer goes off.

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  1. Get enough sleep
    It’s also important to get enough sleep. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to feel stressed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day. In fact, not getting enough sleep or being sleep-deprived drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with a number of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

To get enough sleep, create a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. Also, avoid watching television or working on your laptop in bed. These activities can make it harder to fall asleep.

  1. Eat healthily
    Another way to reduce stress is to eat healthily. When you fuel your body with nutritious food, you’ll have more energy and will be able to focus better. So make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The best way to get through your busy schedule is by planning ahead. Meal prep ahead of time so you have healthy food options readily available. This will help you avoid unhealthy junk food and save you time and money.

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  1. Exercise
    Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress. It helps improve your mood and gives you more energy. And you don’t have to go to the gym to get a good workout. There are plenty of other ways to get active, such as going for a walk, playing sports, or even dancing.


So make sure you’re including some physical activity in your daily routine. Even just a 30-minute workout can make a big difference.

  1. Find a support system
    Another way to cope with stress is to find a support system. Talking to friends and family can help you feel better and may even give you some helpful advice. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people you know, there are plenty of other options, such as therapy, support groups, or hotlines.


Having a support system is crucial during tough times. So don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. If you feel that you need to consult with a therapist, you can also seek help from your university’s counseling services. 

  1. Practice relaxation techniques
    There are plenty of relaxation techniques that can help you cope with stress. Some popular options include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. These activities can help you clear your mind and focus on the present moment. Find a relaxation technique that works for you and make it a part of your daily routine. This will help you reduce stress in the long run.
  2.  Find a hobby

Last but not least, one of the best ways to cope with stress is to find a hobby. Doing something you enjoy can help you take your mind off of your worries. It can also give you a sense of accomplishment and help you meet new people. So whether you like painting, hiking, or playing an instrument, find an activity that brings you joy and stick with it.


The college years can be some of the best years of your life. But they can also be some of the most stressful. By following these tips, you can learn how to reduce stress and make the most of your college experience.

How to Deal with Homesickness in College

Homesickness is a normal part of the college experience. It’s common to feel homesick when you first leave home for college. But for some people, homesickness can be more intense and long-lasting. If you’re struggling with homesickness, there are things you can do to ease your symptoms.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings
    The first step to dealing with homesickness is to simply acknowledge that you are feeling it. It is perfectly normal to feel a sense of nostalgia and longing for home when you are away at college. Don’t try to bottle up your emotions or pretend that everything is okay when it’s not.
  2. Keep in touch with loved ones
    One of the best ways to cope with homesickness is to keep in touch with your loved ones. Send them emails, or text messages, or give them a call when you’re feeling homesick. This will help you stay connected and will remind you of why you’re away from home in the first place.
  3. Get involved on campus
    Another way to deal with homesickness is to get involved on campus. Join a club or organization, go to campus events, or make new friends. This will help you feel more connected to your school and will give you a sense of belonging.
  4. Talk about your feelings with someone you trust
    One of the best ways to deal with homesickness is to talk about your feelings with someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, roommate, or even a counselor at your college's student health center. Talking about your homesickness can help you to better understand and cope with your emotions.
  5. Explore your new surroundings
    Homesickness can be caused by unfamiliarity. So one of the best ways to cope with it is to explore your new surroundings. Check out the local restaurants, parks, and attractions. The more familiar you are with your new environment, the less homesick you’ll feel.
  6. Stay positive
    It’s also important to stay positive when you’re feeling homesick. Remember that this is just a temporary phase and that it will eventually pass. Homesickness is normal, so try not to be too hard on yourself.
  7. Seek professional help
    If you’re struggling to cope with homesickness, seek professional help. Talk to your doctor or a counselor about your symptoms. They can provide you with additional resources and support.
    Homesickness is a normal part of the college experience. But if it’s impacting your ability to function, seek professional help. There are plenty of resources available to help you cope with homesickness and make the most of your college experience.

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Conclusion: Survive and Thrive in College!

So, you're off to college! Congratulations! These next few years will be some of the best and worst of your life. You'll make great friends, have amazing experiences, and learn a lot about yourself - but you'll also encounter plenty of challenges along the way. That's why we've put together this informative and funny guide, full of expert advice on everything from studying to managing your finances.

We hope our guide helps you prepare for what's to come, both academically and emotionally. No matter what challenges you face during your college years, remember that you can survive and thrive! With a little planning and effort, you can make the most of these important years. Thanks for reading!

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