Finding Balance in College

Hello freshmen!  Happy first day of classes and welcome to the jungle.  This jungle is full of monkeys we like to call professors, leaves on trees we call papers in essays, and lots and lots of jungle juice.  I know, they say don’t drink the jungle juice, but let’s just admit it here…we poor underage college kids will drink what is offered to us, whether its smart or not (tip: its def not).  For the record, I am not condoning underage drinking or consumption of jungle juice, but let’s just say hypothetically you underage drink in college. *gasp*  We are going to break down finding a balance so that those nights spent in the off campus frat house’s basement don’t come to bite you in the sweet, fresh, skinny freshman ass.  Oh yeah, we are going to be sure we find balance on that too so that you steer clear of the infamous freshman 15.

balance in college

Scheduling 101

Welcome to college where you pick your own schedule.  It’s new and exciting.  But, with new and exciting comes a load of new responsibilities.  Be wise with making your schedule.  You’re in a new phase of your life and the classes are twice or thrice as hard as they were in high school.  Don’t overload on credits.  Avoid 8 a.m. classes.  Skipping ahead a bit…if you do have to schedule an 8 a.m. class on Friday morning, you are no longer eligible for Thirsty Thursday – no ifs, ands, or buts.

Frats 101

Now on to alcohol and parties.  Alright, alright.  I’m going to give you the clique advice to avoid the jungle juice but I’m assuming you’re going to drink it anyway.  Honestly, most of the time it’s full of the cheapest vodka and its actually quite delicious.  But let’s not be naïve.  Some frats are shady af.  Do not drink the jungle juice when the boys seem shady.  Date rape and college rapes are real.  Second, don’t take any pills.  Just don’t.  You don’t know what it is, you don’t know how it will affect you, you don’t know who’s looking for the drugged up girl who needs a shoulder to exploit the opportunity.  Third, always go out with your girls.  If you don’t have girlfriends to go out with, you do not go out.  Get a good group of girlfriends who you can trust.  They are there to have your back and you to have theirs.  There is no point in having friends who aren’t going to be there to make sure you don’t get blackout and end up in some sleezy guys bed.  You shouldn’t be afraid of drinking so long as you are smart.  Speaking of smart, you are not 21 yet if you are a freshman.  Remember that.  Cops are looking for you.  Don’t be obvious and don’t act your age – act older.  If the party gets busted, get out.  Do not be a sitting duck there for the taking.  One underage is all it takes to screw up your future.  Finally, if your friend is unconscious and you cannot wake them up no matter how hard you try, call 911.  Don’t try and save their reputation, try and save their life.  You will not get in trouble for calling the police for a friend.  There is no greater regret you could make than to not call for help when you should have.

Calendar 101

Buy a calendar.  As soon as you get your syllabi, all due dates and deadlines get written on that calendar.  This calendar is your new best friend.  Color code your deadlines by class and keep it all straight.

Homework

Get the assignment, do the assignment.  No one is there to baby you and be sure you complete your homework on time and turn it in.  That’s your job now.  As soon as you get an assignment, start working on it.  Don’t wait for the 11:59 p.m. deadline unless you are so swamped with other homework and studying that you genuinely do not have time for it.  Use your homework to learn the material to set yourself up for the exam.  If you totally botch the homework assignment, do it again to be sure you learn the material, and some classes may give points back when you re-do the assignments.

Exams

Study early, study often.  Study alone, study with friends.  Talk to people.  Talk to professors.  Figure out how the exams are set up from students who have taken the class in the past.  Read the textbook.  Whether the exam comes from the text or not, if you know the material, you’ll do well on the exam.  Use note cards (both that you make yourself & from quizlet – major key here).  If the class has powerpoints, take notes on the powerpoints, either printed or online in the notes section, and be sure to recopy your notes after class.  Use colored highlighters and post its to highlight key points.  Look for practice questions, reread material, and make posters or charts of material.  Don’t go in to a test unprepared, especially in your first semester.

Skinny Bitch 101

If you’ve never read the book Skinny Bitch, do.  It’s a great read.  Bottom line is: eat wisely.  If you’re partying and you haven’t before, you’re consuming way more calories than you have before and you need to account for that.  Most cafeterias these days are buffet style – you swipe in and eat all you want.  Do not eat all you want.  Time to learn portion control.  Fried foods, soda, and the dessert station look so good when you’re hungover and have an exam to study for, but I promise you they won’t look so great three months from now when you’re well on your way to the freshman 15.  Avoid it.  Grab a wrap, a salad, grilled chicken and rice or potatoes.  Remember to eat real foods.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a diet.  It’s a lifestyle.  Meaning, you’re allowed to eat what you want and everything is totally fine in moderation.

Get my drift?  Feel more prepared to start school?  Probably not.  But it will come with time, trust me.  It isn’t easy to find balance when you’re first starting school, but it can be done.  Take some time to learn your footing.  Party, but not too much.  Study, but not too much.  Eat, but not too much.  Procrastinate…or just let’s not procrastinate.  Good luck & enjoy this exciting time in your life!  Make the most of it; it flies by.

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