There are many costs associated with becoming a full time college student, and while you may be aware of the upfront costs of college, there are many hidden costs too. Consider how much money you spend on extracurricular activities. It’s fun to go out with friends and do things, but at the end of the month you may be shocked at how much you’ve spent if you don’t keep a budget. If you know beforehand what you can realistically be spending each month you’ll be prepared to make smart decisions about the way you spend your money.
You may think to yourself, “OMG, I have to bring my whole life with me when I move to college.” Resist this urge! Lay out everything you think you must have to survive in your college apartment then divide it in half. Most likely, you may even be able to divide it in half again. As a Freshman, odds are your living space will not have a walk-in closet. Only bring the essentials because you will not have room for everything. Besides a lack of room, you’re going to be getting a lot of t-shirts throughout the school year that will build up by the time the year is over, and believe me moving out is going to be a bigger pain than you think. Therefore, the less you bring the easier life will be at the end of the term.
The first two weeks of college provide everyone with something called “social capital.” Social capital is like a type of currency that allows you to make friends. During those initial weeks of school everyone is looking for a friend. Take advantage of this time to make two or three “key” friends. While it may seem enticing to befriend as many people as possible, by week three of college almost everyone has entrenched their new “crew”. Spend this social capital wisely and you’ll have several key friends you do everything with, but spend it unwisely and you may have many acquaintances, but no true friends.
There will most certainly be many pressures as a new college student that can cause great stress. Between completing your education, making friends, building your resume, and many more, you need to find time to relieve stress and find balance in your life. Find time every day to relieve this stress by exercising regularly, eating correctly, and getting plenty of sleep. Maintaining balance during college can go a long way in ensuring you do well and don’t “burn out” in certain aspects of your life.