Lifestyle Tips for New College Students

Going off to college means big changes. This is true whether you’re a teenager moving out of your family’s home for the first time or you’ve been an adult for years and are just going back to get your degree. For most people, this will be a shift to a lifestyle that is both more unstructured and more demanding than what you are accustomed to. The tips below can help you settle in and get the most out of your college years.

Have a Budget

If you’re just out of high school, you’ll be budgeting for the first time, and if you’re going from working full time to being a student, you’re probably going to have a lot less money than you’re used to. The key is having a budget. If you are like most college students, you are planning to pay for school and other expenses through a combination of sources, such as savings, loans, scholarships and grants. Keep in mind that private student loans can be a big help too, with flexible payment and terms. You can do more research online and find an offer and rates that suit you.

Have a Schedule

One great thing about being in college is the flexibility of your schedule. This is also a not-so-great thing about being in college since it can be all too easy to fall into a pattern of irregular sleeping, eating and working and get behind on your classes. It’s best to make a schedule for yourself even when there may not be anything external forcing you to do it. You’ll thank yourself as it gets closer to the end of the semester and you aren’t scrambling to catch up on weeks of reading and other work.

Have a Social Life

College is about learning, but it’s also about getting to know people. Maybe setting a budget and a schedule isn’t challenging for you but getting out to meet people and being spontaneous is. Build in some flexibility to both your time and your money budget so you can afford to hang out with your classmates sometimes. If you’re struggling to meet people, see what kind of organizations your school has. At most colleges, there is something for just about every interest, from rock climbing to chorale music, politics to film and much more.

Have Big Horizons

College is a great time to practice saying yes to things you wouldn’t normally do. There are so many low-risk opportunities to explore interests, activities and fields of study that you might never get a chance to otherwise. You might want to look into opportunities to work or study abroad. Internships can give you a leg up when you are job-hunting after graduation. Take the opportunity to go hear speakers on campus that you wouldn’t ordinarily listen to, or go to cultural events outside of your usual experience. Most campuses are places where people come not just from all over the state or country but all over the world, and this can provide a great opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds.