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Six Pieces of Advice on How to Excel in College

Ah, the fun is nearly back. Only a couple weeks remain until the start of the fall semester, and sure, summer has been great, but don’t you miss waking up at noon having already skipped two classes? And the fridge is empty so you decide your breakfast will have to be your blueberry flavored Juul pods (okay, that’s a joke, don’t hit the Juul, it’s bad for you). But don’t you miss that freedom of living irresponsibly at school?

Here are six pieces of advice to help you best enjoy your fall semester. Whether you’re a freshman who’ll be living in the tiny dorm rooms without AC, or a senior who knows it all and just wants to land a job so you can kick back and do nothing for the next eight months, or even a 24-year-old grad student like myself still trying to hang onto school so you don’t have to get a real job, there’s sure to be a piece of advice here that will help you succeed this fall.

Via GoodLife Resorts

  1. Keep the fridge stocked with beer at all times. There is nothing, NOTHING, worse than this scenario: It’s a Wednesday night, and you’ve committed to staying in and doing work. But then one friend says something about how nice a cold one sounds, and another friend chimes in, and suddenly everyone is riled up and ready to play pong and throw some beers back. Then you check the time and your heart sinks: 9:03. All the liquor stores closed at nine and your fridge is empty. That’s the worst. So keep your fridge stocked at all times. Besides, you’ll be much happier each time you open the door and see a million beers.

  2. Go to class. This is a serious bit of advice. Yes, it won’t be fun rolling up to your 9:00a.m.'s hungover or sleep deprived, but it’s worth it to get there. Classes are supposed to be the essence of college. Take it from an oldtimer like me. I wish I’d gone to more and even taken a few notes. Believe it or not, you can actually learn a few things while at school.

  3. Get to know the dining hall schedules and the ebbs and flows of the lines. Take Andrew’s Dining Hall at Brown University as an example. At this food court you pay for what you get rather than using a swipe to enter a buffet. In my time, they made exquisite pastas on Wednesdays that could sell for $35 at a restaurant. On Saturdays and Sundays, they made the best breakfast burritos east of the Mississippi. But the catch was the lines quickly built up to an hour long—yes, people, myself included, would wait this long for breakfast or dinner because it was so damn good. So get to know the schedule and save yourself the hassle of waiting in line. Sneak in there at the opening or closing hours.

  4. Exercise every day. Another serious piece of advice. Exercise is important for both physical and mental health. It’s a great way to refresh your brain before digging in for a study session. You’ll also feel a lot better about yourself if you’ve exercised before deleting twenty-three beers.

  5. Ask out that guy or girl that you like. I’m no more of a love doctor than King Julien of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, but here’s something a teacher said that resonated with me: never again in your life will you find a dating pool like college. It’s a place with people all roughly the same age all looking for the same thing. After you graduate, it only gets harder to meet people. So give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? She laughs in your face while everyone is watching and you're forever remembered as the guy who got brutally shot down? Okay, that’s bad, but that doesn’t happen. Most people are pretty nice.

  6. Take a moment to appreciate where you are. College doesn’t last forever, and one day you’ll be that thirty-year-old passing by the group of college students feeling out of place. Or you’ll be that sweet eighty-year-old hobbling in to watch the basketball game. You don’t get to be a young, carefree college kid forever. Appreciate the moment and hold the door for that old man, because, if you’re lucky, one day that’ll be you.

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