Advice for College Students from a Recent Grad

Get practical advice for college students from a recent graduate to help you manage academics, dorm life, friendships, and finances.

Bet you didn’t know this, but starting college can be a total mind-flay, no cap. Feeling lost in the sauce? Yeah, same. That’s why I, your OG college homie (just graduated, like, yesterday) am here to drop some knowledge bombs. We’re talking hacks that’ll get you through the wild ride of college, from the FOMO-inducing parties to the all-nighters that make you question your life choices.

This guide is basically your cheat sheet for adulting (kind of). We’ll get you prepped for the dorm life, the class drama, and how not to fail all your classes. Whether you’re a nervous freshman or a senior who still feels like a freshman (it happens!), these tips are gonna be your saving grace. This ain’t your parents’ lame advice; we’re talking real, practical tips to help you become an adult and dominate college life.

Dorm Life

Living in a dorm is like being dropped into a giant friendship mixer. Those shared bathrooms, dining halls, and hallways give you a chance to make new friends. Feel free to get out there and join your RA’s group activities. It’s the perfect chance to vibe with your roomie and meet folks from all walks of life!

The key to not having a meltdown, though? Communication is boss. Set ground rules with your roommate, like “borrower beware” for clothes, you know?

Packing for dorm life? Don’t just bring Insta-worthy stuff. Laundry detergent is a game-changer (trust me!), and outlets are rarer than a good Wi-Fi connection on campus. Grab a power strip and maybe an extension cord for good measure.

And for those times when stuff breaks, and maintenance moves slower than a sloth on melatonin, pack a mini toolkit. Duct tape and a multi-screwdriver will become your BFFs when that wobbly desk leg acts up.

Study Habits

Let’s discuss the not-so-glamorous yet oh-so-crucial aspect of college life: study habits. Studying isn’t precisely Insta-worthy, but hear me out. First things first, designate time for after-class reading and set yourself up to avoid distractions.

And highlighting notes and texts? Trust me, total game-changers! My studying was a total breeze, thanks to them! And don’t sleep on those note-taking apps like Google Keep, OneNote, or Evernote; they’re legit lifesavers.

But remember, college is about lit times too, but don’t FOMO so hard you forget about exams. If you’re out there social-butterflying 24/7, you’ll be stressing come finals week. We all gotta YOLO sometimes, but balance is key, fam.

Slay your grades while still having a blast with your crew. Speaking of crews, don’t go it alone; grab a study group or a bestie from class. They’ll be your hype squad, keeping you on track and motivated to hit those study goals. Plus, study buddies can quiz you, brainstorm project ideas, and level up your communication skills, making studying way less sus.

Have Boundaries

College can be lit but also super chaotic. That’s where boundaries come in, like your secret weapon to adulting. Basically, you gotta set some rules to make sure school and your sanity stay on point.

First up, study time. Pick a schedule that works for you, like hitting the books from 9 to 5 every weekday. That leaves your evenings and weekends free for the fun stuff. Or you could squeeze in 3 hours of intensive study sessions every evening after class. If you can stick to a consistent schedule, you’ll see a positive change in your GPA.

Social stuff? College is about making memories, duh, but that doesn’t mean FOMO-ing into every invite. Gotta say no to that random midnight pizza run when you have an 8 AM class looming. Real friends get it, trust me.

So, the bottom line: boundaries are key, but gotta keep them chill. Make sure they’re reasonable and healthy, you know? Think about what matters most and build your limits around that. You got this!

Craft a Sustainable Class Schedule

Yo, listen up! Scheduling college classes can be a low-key nightmare, but let’s make it fire. Here’s the tea:

First, gotta cram in all those required classes for your major. Now, let’s be real; not every req course gonna make your heart sing. But if you’re constantly zoning out in class, maybe it’s time to reconsider your major, ya feel?

The electives can be lit, but choose wisely. Not all electives are created equal. Big mistake; I once thought a random language class would be a breeze because it slotted in perfectly. Turns out, it required way more homework than I bargained for, and my GPA went on a downward spiral faster than…well, you get it.

Here’s the game plan to keep your schedule on point:

  • Core classes first: Gotta ace those! But leave room for the fun stuff outside of class, you know, clubs and all that.
  • Study time for every subject: Cramming ain’t cute.
  • Don’t forget to chill! Schedule downtime to avoid burnout – self-care is important, fam.
  • Organize those notes! It makes studying way easier later.

You got this, rockstar! This way, you can slay those classes, have a life, and avoid becoming a stressed-out zombie.

Living Away From Home for the First Time

As a freshman, living away from home is fun and exciting because it gives you so much freedom. However, most first-year students underestimate the responsibilities that come with this newfound freedom. First, you gotta learn how to adult fast, like managing your money and making choices that won’t wreck your semester.

Staying connected is key, though. Don’t ghost your family and besties. FaceTime your parents and text your crew. The first year, I basically had my sibling on speed dial. It was like therapy sessions with way more inside jokes and zero copays, feel me?

Heads up, freshman year ain’t always sunshine and pool parties. College can be stressful, and anxiety can creep in real quick, leading to mental health problems. Don’t suffer in silence, fam! Talk to your classmates; there’s a good chance they will feel the same way. Most colleges also have resources to help you navigate the stress, so don’t be afraid to use them. College is supposed to be lit, not a horror movie.

Manage Your Finances

Here’s the not-so-fun side of adulthood: Managing those daily expenses. But fear not; I’m here to arm you with some financial wisdom. First things first, have a budget or budgeting app, like Mint. Gotta be mindful of those expenses, ya feel?

Now, let’s talk about saving money on fleek. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Grab some roommates. The more, the merrier when splitting rent and bills. #SquadGoals
  • Look, gotta ditch some unnecessary expenses. We talkin’ overpriced outings or spending a fortune on unnecessary purchases. Homemade gifts for Xmas and birthdays are totally acceptable during these broke college years, trust.
  • Water is your new BFF. Tap, filtered, bottled, it doesn’t matter. It’s good for you and low-key free (or like, super cheap). Hydrate or die-drate, fam!
  • Student discounts are your secret weapon. Use all the campus resources and free stuff they offer.

Plus, there’s no shame in couponing! Download apps like Honey or Rakuten and watch those savings stack up faster than your textbooks. #AdultingLevelUnlocked

Applying for Financial Aid

OMG, you guys, let’s talk about the money maze that is college. But hey, don’t trip, I got your back. If your fam’s income qualifies you for some financial aid, you best believe you should snag it.

As a fresh face in college, hit up the info on funding, grants, scholarships, bursaries, and loans. And don’t snooze when filling out that FAFSA form. Get on it pronto to help ease the cash crunch. Oh, and peep this: you can also throw your hat in the ring for scholarships like the National Merit Scholarship.

But hold up, ’cause there’s more where that came from! Surf the web on sites like Fastweb,, and College Board, your cheat codes for finding scholarship gold. Free money is out there; you just gotta do some digging. #FinancialAidGoals

Get Involved

Yo, college life isn’t just about hitting the books. It’s about leveling up your whole life, finding your squad for life, and maybe even unlocking some skills you never knew you had.

So ditch the FOMO and get out there! Whether it’s joining a sports team, volunteering to save the planet, hitting up parties, or screaming your lungs out at pep rallies, there’s a million ways to get involved on campus.

Student government? Do your thing. Board game club? Heck yeah! Don’t be a scaredy-cat; push your boundaries and try some new stuff. College is all about the wild ride, so buckle up, bestie!

Remember, You’re Not Alone

I get it; college can be a roller coaster ride. Sometimes, you may feel overwhelmed. But don’t even trip; most schools have fantastic support services. Hit up the career center and chat with your academic advisor. And mental health resources are there, no cap. Also, remember to enjoy the college journey. You only get to do it once, so make it lit!


  • Krissie Apatow

    Krissie Apatow is a budding wordsmith, weaving stories that leave readers interested and eager for more. Armed with her pen and imagination, she's on a mission to craft narratives that spark thought and ignite imagination.

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