Now that Labor Day is over, many people are back into the swing of college! I actually started my last first day of school yesterday! Senior year is coming in at full speed. I’ll be spending my weekends with my head in a book, like I’m sure many of you college students are doing as well! If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know I just love writing about my experiences in college and sharing any helpful tips with you guys!
Transitioning from living at home with family to living on your own in a dorm or apartment can be quite nerve wracking! I pulled together a list of 13 things every college student should know how to do. If you are unsure of something, talk to your parents! They are still there for you even though you may not be living with them anymore.
These tips not only will help you during your time as a college student, but they will help you transition into the real world once you graduate. Some of these tips will come with time and being at school, but others you will just need to sit down and do some research!
I really hope you enjoy today’s blog post. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
13 Things College Students Should Know How to Do
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1. School Finances
Even if your parents are paying for your schooling, you should know the gist of it. This would be due dates, payment plan options, where to call if you have questions. You should be able to handle how to pay your school fees.
2. Budget Correctly
In addition to knowing your school finances, you should be able to keep track of yours! College students are known for being on a budget/being broke! Now is the time to start understanding your spending habits. Sure you may be able to go to your parents if you need some extra cash, but it’s time to start adulting!
3. Use a Credit Card Responsibly
It can be very beneficial to open a credit card while in college. Do your research to find out what type would be the best fit for you. I have a travel rewards credit card because I travel quite a bit. By the time you would like to purchase a car or a house, you’ll have quite a few years of credit history under your belt. Make sure you understand all the fine print of the card so you’ll have good credit history!
4. Tip at Restaurants
While we are on the topic of broke college students, remember that you still need to tip! If you know that you cannot afford to tip at a restaurant, maybe go to a cheaper place. Servers make their living off of tips and have their own bills to pay too! I’ve seen too many people skip out on tipping or just not leaving enough. It’s suggested to tip between 10-20% of the meal. Don’t forget to do this!
5. Dress Professionally
There are so many times where you’ll need to dress professionally on campus! Maybe it’s a job interview, a career fair, or an important meeting. You don’t need a ton of professional outfits, but having one will be super helpful for last minute things. Nothing’s worse than going to the store the night before to try and find something! I had a few classes where we gave a presentation and had to be dressed business casual for it. H&M and Target have a ton of affordable options!
6. Time Management
With all of the crazy college class schedules, clubs and meetings you are going to be busy! Not to mention time to do homework and study! This is the perfect time to learn how to manage your time. Maybe you’ll find out you don’t have time to go out every weekend. Sometimes you have to stay home and study this weekend and have fun the next.
7. How to Write a Resume and Cover Letter
Again with applying to jobs, you should know how to write these things! Being a college student means that you are becoming prepared to have the jobs you want. I learned recently that you should tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. This is such a great tip! For example if you are applying for a clothing retail position, include any fashion experience you have! Then, leave out any irrelevant info such as landscaping! This way, you can show the company that you have a ton of experience that would make you a great fit for the job.
8. Book Appointments
This one is really important. It totally is OK if you are in high school and your parents still make your appointments for you. But once you are in college, learn how to do it yourself! Ask your parents for any tips such as what type of insurance you have, but just call yourself. It’s not as daunting as you might think. It also cuts out the middle man. You know your schedule the best, so it should be you who schedules the appointment.
When I first went to college, I was in absolute shock to how many students didn’t know how to do laundry. Or even those who had never done it in their life. It is such a simple thing to have know. My school even had a service where you could send out your laundry and it would come back clean and folded. Trust me-your money can be better spent on anything else!
10. Cook a Few Meals
You don’t need to be an extravagant cook, but know how to cook a few meals! This will help you budget and eat in a few nights a week. Maybe invite the cute boy from your class over and surprise him with a great home cooked meal! This is much harder if you are living in the dorms, but once you have a place with a kitchen, try to experiment with some meals! I love this cookbook!
11. Make Coffee
If you spend $5 a day on coffee, by the end of the semester you’ll have spent over $300. That is insane! Make your own at home and bring it with you in a reusable container. Not only is it more eco friendly, it will help you keep your budget down. Maybe you’ll have some extra money for those shoes you’ve been wanting. Don’t forget to double check what is allowed in dorm rooms! Some colleges allow for a single cup Keurig. Here is a link to a small single serve one!
When I left for college, I didn’t have a license. Luckily I was in a town where everything was in walking distance and the bus system was great. I wish I learned how to drive for when I needed to be anywhere that was further away. Another reason would be for the Target trips I loved to take! A lot of college campuses use Zipcar. Zipcar is a service that you can rent cars by the hour to use. With this system, you don’t need to be 26 and it’s pretty inexpensive! Whenever my boyfriend would come and visit, we used Zipcar! If you have your license but won’t be using a car, see if Zipcar is at your college!
13. Say No
There are so many events, parties, clubs to attend in college. While it is the time to get out and meet new people, learn how to say no every once in a while. This also means if you aren’t comfortable doing something. Maybe your friends want to attend a big party, but you don’t feel comfortable going. It’s okay to have a night in and pamper yourself! Peer pressure is a very real thing for many students, so know your own morals and limits while in college.
Saying no doesn’t just relate to peer pressure/parties. It also means not over booking yourself. It is ok not to join every club your friends are in. It’s totally fine to walk on your path of life and do what you enjoy!
I really hope you guys enjoyed today’s blog post! I absolutely love writing college blog posts for you guys! Do you have any tips that college students should know? Let me know in the comments below!