The transition from high school to college can be a challenging culture shock. You may be living away from home for the first time and learning how to pay bills, and cook meals--all while taking classes that pertain to your future career. Although this change can be stressful, here are some tips that will help you survive the obstacle known as higher education.
The key to avoiding being a broke college student is to budget. When you receive your financial aid package and disbursement, allocate certain funds for critical expenses. For example, if you decide not to purchase a campus meal plan, dedicate a tangible/reasonable amount of money for food. A rule of thumb to live by is to always try to save at least 20% of your monthly income.
When it comes to buying textbooks, don’t always rely on the campus bookstore. Search for deals on Amazon, Chegg, and Barnes and Nobles.
Don’t spend all your money at once. A lot of students make the mistake of blowing their large financial aid refund check on unnecessary things. Think of necessities first (food, rent, savings etc.) and then you can splurge on other items.
Embrace Your Social Butterfly
Your social life in college is what you make of it. When you first arrive, your college will have welcome week events for you to attend. Try to go to as many of them as you can. This is the perfect opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Also, join clubs and organizations. The routine of just going to class and coming back home can get boring and monotonous if you do not have extracurricular activities. Find something that you are passionate about or even create your own club. Don’t let FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) rule over you. There’s always going to be that “hottest party of the year.” If you have schoolwork and responsibilities, don’t neglect them in the name of socializing.
Make School Your Priority
At the end of the day, you are paying thousands of dollars to get an education. Do not get sidetracked with distractions that don’t relate to your academics. College is not like high school. There are going to be classes where you will not be able to procrastinate or “B.S.” your way into getting an A. Be prepared for a rigorous academic course load. Additionally, put in your best effort in your classes. This discipline is preparing you for your future. You don’t want to jeopardize a quality future because you were being immature.
Have a question about surviving college? Let us know in the comments below!