The Lunch Table School Survival Guide
By: Candice Teal
It’s that time of the year when students are heading back to school. This can be a stressful time, especially for freshmen. Everything is new to you, and you might find yourself trying to navigate some new surroundings. Even for returning students, this time can be hectic. Between getting your dorm room essentials together, and planning out your expectations for the year, you can definitely get overwhelmed. Well here are some tips to help make your school year go a little smoother, and help keep your pockets from getting too thin. If you already know these things, here’s a friendly reminder.
When it comes to books in high school, teachers supply you with them. However, when you go to college or university you have to purchase them yourself. Do yourself a favor and wait to buy books! Some professors don’t require the book for the class, and some will even supply you with the parts of that book that you may need. You might save yourself some money if you just wait until you actually get into the class. There might even be a peer willing to share their book with you if you absolutely need it.
Most dorm rooms are relatively small. Some HBCU dorm rooms can be even smaller-especially if you go to an HBCU with a smaller population. Make sure you don’t over pack. Don’t bring those clothes that you never wear because you’re under the impression that you may need them. Most likely you won’t need them. Furthermore, try to have more than a hi and bye relationship your roommate. The better you two get along, the more stress-free your dorm experience will be. Try some ice breakers such as: watching movies, playing UNO, or going to school events.
A lot of people complain that there HBCU isn’t “lit”. For this reason it is essential that you attend as many school events as you can. This will ensure that you meet new people, and you have a full college experience. If you don’t like the events that your school throws, try to pitch some ideas to your campus organizations. They are always looking for some new ideas and collaborations for programs.
College is not a fashion show. When coming back to school, you may feel the need to spend money on ten new outfits to impress everyone. You don’t have to. Try and find new ways to spruce up the clothes you already have. College can be pricey, so it is best to not spend too much money on things that you don’t need. Just be yourself. Most people care about what kind of person you are, not how much your shoes cost.
Calling all commuters! It’s one thing to live on campus, but having to drive 20-30 mins to school every day can be a hassle. THINK EARLY. Some professors don’t tolerate lateness. Try getting all your clothes out the night before and everything you’re going to need for the rest of the day. Then get at least 8 hours of sleep. Also, try and also pack some snacks or lunch. The food options are not always the best, and you won’t always have time to drive off campus to get food. Also, try to find a friend that lives on campus so you can hang out in their room sometimes.
With freedom comes great responsibility. To the freshmen and junior transfers from community college, don’t get too tangled into the HBCU party life. Make sure that you find the perfect balance for you. The transition may be difficult at first, but you will find the best balance between work and fun. One thing that is significant is making sure that you stay organized. Buy a planner, use your calendar, and use your reminders in your phone.
Finally make sure that you are aware of your school services, such as counseling, the advisement center, the career development center, the writing center, tutoring, the health center, on campus emergency centers, etc. School can be challenging so making sure you are aware where to go, for any problem, will ensure that you stay at ease.
Remember, getting your degree is top priority. Anything else is extra.