They’re heeeeeeere! The parental unit will be back on campus soon so this will be your first test to show them that you (their pride and joy) can hold your own at college.
Here are five steps to proofing your room for their arrival:
1. Hide any and all traces of non-parent-friendly behavior. This includes bottles, wrappers, receipts… you catch my drift, just don’t let them catch on!
2. Make your bed. It’ll make your room look nicer and your parents will probably want a place to sit as they ask you all sorts of questions about your “new life” at college.
3. In case they decide to peruse your drawers or closet, make those areas look presentable too. They do NOT need to see what you plan on wearing to some upcoming homecoming bash…
4. Keep your textbooks (especially the ones for the advanced classes they never took) and maybe a few old papers (with “A”s on them) prominently displayed on your desk.
5. Find that family portrait they tucked away in your boxes and put it on your nightstand. It’s always been there, right?
When an instructor assigns a group project, bet your mind heads in one of two directions: (1) “Sweet, I can take the backseat!” or (2) “Crap, I’m going to have to do this all myself.”
It’s no secret you learn a lot about your team members and their working styles from these projects… kind of like in cheerleading! Here’s how to land the grade you want without getting upset with your group:
1. Pick a captain: A squad can’t get anywhere until the captain rolls out the routine for you to learn. Assign someone to take the lead—maybe it’s you!—who can map out what needs to be done. Also, no one will get anywhere if everyone takes charge at once, so decide early on who should do this to avoid tensions down the road.
2. Set your schedule: Think cheerleaders start prepping the week before a competition? Think again, because the final result takes weeks, if not months, of practice. Make sure to set daily or weekly goals so that you begin the project like champs.
3. Reinforce each other: The success of the cheerleader pyramid rests in everyone’s mutual support. Remove one member and the whole thing falls apart! Check in with each other periodically to make sure all members are on top of their deadlines. That way, nobody has to cover for anybody at the last minute!
Your parents couldn’t be more proud that you’re off to college – they’ve already bought half the bookstore’s stock of T-shirts, sweats and mugs, right? So don’t be surprised when they ask how things are going. And don’t freak out! You can fill them in and keep them happy… without giving too much away:
What you say: “I’ve joined a great study group!”
What you don’t say: … because there’s a cute guy in class whose number I want.
What you say: “I attend all of the guest speakers’ lectures!”
What you don’t say: … so that my professor will give me extra credit.
What you say: “I always get to class early!”
What you don’t say: …because all my classes start after 1PM.
What you say: “I’m getting a head start on studying for midterms!”
What you don’t say: … for Phys Ed 101.
What you say: “I’ve even started to tutor other students!”
What you don’t say: … so that I can fund the social life you’ll never know about.
Classes are in full swing and it’s time to give you all a 411 on what really goes down at college. This isn’t a huge list of all the crazy (and regrettable) stuff—for that, look here—but these few tips can help make your college experience everything it should be and more!
1. You can fight the freshman 15
We’re all a little afraid to keep a scale in our dorm rooms, but it’s totally possible stay fit this year… for free! Take a gym class (extra credits!), join an intramural sports team, or break it down on the dance floor at all of the campus events. And if that doesn’t work out, a little spandex can be very forgiving.
2. Miss class and you’ll miss out
Exams are notorious for including details from lecture that you won’t know if you’re not in class—so attend and be attentive, even if it means indulging in something sweet to survive a grueling two-hour lecture. Make study buddies from the get-go and borrow their notes if you absolutely must skip class, but don’t make it a habit or your grade will rest in their hands.
3. Homework Help Exists
OMG. You just can’t figure out the solution to this problem set for the life of you! You have 1500 words due and you don’t even know where to start! Stop panicking. Your professors and TAs have this incredible thing called “Office Hours” where you can get one-on-one help because not turning in anything isn’t an option here. And they don’t accept those forged letters from mom and dad like your pushover 10th grade English teacher did.
I’ll be rolling out some more of these tips soon. People say these are “the best years of your life,” so let’s live ‘em up!