happiness

A survival guide for the first day of college

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Good morning Loves.  Well it’s official we are officially in the middle of back to school madness.  Students all over the country are moving into their dorm rooms, attending classes and waiting in line at the bookstore.

As you know I absolutely love this time of the year; there is just something about back to school that makes me very happy.  It also always gets me thinking about my very first day of college.  Even at 33 years old trust me when I say as long as I live I will never forget the very first day of my first semester in college.  We didn’t have social media back then but all I have to say is #awkward.

5 things no one tells you about the first day of college

You will get lost.  Even if you have a map, trust me you will get lost – and you should.  What a better way to get to know your new college campus than wandering around looking for your next class.  Big campuses and crowds of people can be overwhelming but my advice is to stop and ask someone.  I was too embarrassed to ask for directions during my first day of college so I just ended up being late for two of my classes.  Walking into a class already in progress is a lot more embarrassing than asking for directions – so just ask.

It will be awkward and that’s OK.  Despite what you see in movies no one masters college on the first day.  It takes time to get into your routine, it takes time to get acquainted with your new roommates and it will take some time before you know your way around – this is all normal.  Feeling like a fish out of water is definitely uncomfortable but before you crawl into bed and cry just remember that it’s temporary.  The more time you spend getting into your groove, the less uncomfortable you will be.

Keep some money in your pocket.  Students are notorious for being broke, but it’s a good idea to keep some money in your pocket even if it’s only $10.  I can’t count the number of times I wish I had some change to buy a drink or pay classmates for group project supplies.  There is nothing worse than running around trying to find a bank machine when you only have 30 minutes in between classes.

You probably don’t need every book on your reading list.  This is the biggest mistake I made in my first year of college.  I was so wrapped up in the college life that I wanted to spend hours in the campus book store.  The truth is I didn’t even read one book my entire first semester of college.  If you attend every class you may not need to buy the book – unless the teacher specifically bases the tests on the text book material and only covers examples in class.  But if they talk about the book in class you can probably save the money.

A lot of students think they can buy a book and sell it back afterwards but if the book looks used aka highlighted many bookstores won’t take it back.  It’s important to know that even used books in perfect condition get less than half the original value back when they are resold.  So if you don’t absolutely need the book, don’t buy it.

What advice would you give students for their first day of college?

Photo from my Flick

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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