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13 Tips for New College Students

13 Tips for New College Students

College is the time to try new things, meet new people, and have new experiences. The things is, it can all fall apart if you don’t have a clear idea of what you are getting into. Be sure to make the best of it with these tips for new college students.

1. Go to class

Oh, it will be so tempting to sleep in. After all, you’re a college student! You can do what you want, right? Well, you sure can if you want to scramble to make up for it later on. It is much easier to hold a GPA than to attempt to bring it up!

2. Know what you can handle course-wise

It is much better to finish a semester ‘late’ (who doesn’t these days?) than to have a nervous breakdown because of over-scheduling yourself. In the bigger picture, a few months or even a year does not make that much of a difference, unless you want to brag about how you finished school on time.

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3. Get involved

You might be attending school in a different state, or even in your own state. Either way you can afford to expand your interests and meet new people. College is an easy way to make contacts and new friends!

4. Make friends in your program who are ahead of you

This way you might be able to borrow their old tests, notes and/or lab reports. This is not cheating, but using your resources and contacts wisely. Many sororities and fraternities have these resources available, some even in database form! You can trade off with this friend or do something nice like bake him/her cookies for their help.

5. On that note, consider joining a sorority or fraternity

I was/am a nontraditional student (about five to seven years older than most students at my university), so this was not quite in my realm, but I was often jealous of the many opportunities afforded to these students. Yes, you have to go to social events. Yes, you might get categorized as a snob or fill-in-the-inappropriate-name-blank, but you really can benefit from the social network and resources (such as old tests).

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6. Buy your books online or from a friend

Holy cow, the universities make a boatload off of textbooks! Using one book for a semester (even with selling it back) can cost $100 plus! Many companies like Amazon sell textbooks cheaper than at universities and offer gift cards at a decent rate to sell them back. I had a great experience with the buyback program…much better than selling a book back for next to nothing at the school store!

7. Keep in contact with your family

Yes, you should make contacts and friends at college. This does not mean you should ignore your family who likely supports you, or encouraged you to get to where you are today. Give them a call, Skype them, send them a card, or do something during the semester to let them know you are thinking about them.

8. Keep in contact with old friends

One of my biggest regrets in life was intentionally falling out of touch with high school friends. I had joined a group of people who convinced me that the only important thing was their group and if friends or family did not understand, they should be cut off (read: I got into a pyramid-like scheme). I missed out on so much, and now the stream of Facebook updates from my high school friends makes me sad.

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Sometimes something similar happens if you meet the man or woman ‘of your life’ who you can’t stand being away from. Break away and connect with the friends who have been there for you forever. You can undo some of the damage if you lose touch, but it will never really be the same.

9. Learn from mistakes

If you do something stupid (like join a pyramid-like scheme), learn from your mistakes. College is a time not only for learning about Chemistry and the correct way to cite a source, but for learning about life. Learning how to come back from mistakes is a big part of the college experience.

10. Be silly

You have a little bit of margin during this time to get away with crazy things and not look too foolish (hey, it’s college!) Use this time to go on adventures and do silly things that likely will be looked down upon later in life. This is also a great way to bond with your new friends.

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11. Be careful

Yes, have new experiences. Yes, be silly. Do not do things that you know might endanger your life, health or self-image.

12. Learn how to balance and prioritize

Time management skills are completely necessary to explore all that college life has to offer. There will always be activities, social events, school events, trips, homework, and tests for which to study. Part of life is managing the time that we have, so my advice would be to learn this early on in your college career.

Check out the article: Why To Do Lists Don’t Work and How to Change That

13. Learn about yourself

Figure out what you want out of life. You don’t need to know right away, but be thinking about this as you experience new things, meet new people, and explore the world of knowledge.

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Amanda DeWitt

Writer. Photographer. Instagrammer. Future Educator.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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