As summer draws to a close, get in your last tanning sessions, lake trips, and all night Netflix marathons. It’s time to start packing and getting back into “school-mode.” This blog post is a list of my 9 college tips for incoming Lumberjacks (even returning students can learn something). Many of these tips come from my own mistakes – such as almost getting a speeding ticket when driving up to Flagstaff for the first time or forgetting my chap stick.
1. Don’t pack too much.
If you need an entire day to move in all of your stuff, chances are you over packed. Pack the essentials and whatever you need to be comfortable. If anything, you can always go to Target or go home a weekend to get whatever you forgot.
2. Do you REALLY need a job? Think about it!
I had a job interview the first day I moved in. Campus was packed with parents, and I had NO idea how to get anywhere. It was kind of a disaster when I realized I didn’t have enough time to adjust while also getting a new job.
3. Some items you wouldn’t think that you would need…
- Shower shoes (cheap dollar flip flops) and a shower caddy.
- Chap Stick. I cannot expand on this enough. Flagstaff is 7000 feet. If you are from Phoenix, which is 2000 ft, like I am, you will FEEL the elevation and need to adjust to it.
- Water. See last bullet on why.
- Earplugs. Your roommate might be a night owl and you might be the one with 8ams.These will save your sleeping hours and sanity. An eye mask might also be a good idea when that Flagstaff sun decides to say hello in the morning.
- Alarm clock.
- First-aid kit.
- Power strip. With coffee pots, TVs, alarm clocks, computers, printers…yeah, there aren’t that many power outlets in your room.
- Coffee pot/tea kettle/Brita filter. If you are a coffee addict like I am, this will be one of your most prized possessions.
4. Don’t speed on I-17 or I-40.
On one of the most exciting days of my life – the day I moved up to college and left the nest – I was pulled over for speeding on I-17. Yes, I have that kind of luck. Highway patrol is everywhere especially on move in day, so be careful and remember, there is no need to speed especially when weaving through a mountain. Use the cruise control feature if you have it!
5. Go to class!
I cannot stress this one enough. It sounds appealing to ditch class (especially in ones that don’t take attendance) but once you get in the habit of not going, you will regret it. You PAY to go to college, not ditch class to hang out in the quad. Remember why you are at college and that you can hang out after class.
6. Don’t bring your laptop to class unless you are a master of paying attention.
I learned this early on. If I brought my laptop, it was too easy to go on Facebook. Instead, I just bring a pen and notebook and take notes. If you really do like taking notes on a laptop, get a browser extension that blocks certain sites at your choosing (like Facebook, youtube, etc) so you can focus on the lecture.
7. Get along with your roommate.
Your roommate and you are packed into a small room. Get to know each other – learn what you both like and don’t like. You don’t have to be ‘besties’ but you can also avoid having problems. Be respectful, clean, and open with each other.
8. Don’t forget about the snow.
If you have a small sedan like I do, always keep a snow shovel and ice scraper in your car. Don’t be late to a job interview at the mall because you got stuck in the snow (and yet another occasion of my luck)!
9. Last but not least, have fun.
Okay, super corny. But really, college is one of the best times of your life so enjoy it. Get a whiteboard for your door (for other people to leave notes on), talk to people in your hall, and go to campus events. Make the best of it!