How to Survive College Without Losing Your Mind 101

College can be stressful. Scratch that, college is one of the most stressful things you will go through. Sure, it has times of fun and not caring about what comes next, but if I had to guess the majority of the time you’re stressing about what you want to do, who you want to be, and trying to finish all your homework without having an anxiety attack. So I’ve come up with a few tips on how to get through college with good grades and your sanity in tact.

1. Major in something you genuinely like 

I’m amazed when people tell me they absolutely hate what they are majoring in. My first question for them is “why?” I get the whole wanting to make a lot of money idea but if you’re going to college you don’t love, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’m sure my parents would have loved to have me to major in chemistry, engineering, or anything that would certainly make me more than my english major will, but it’s not about them. I am going to college for me, not for my parents. You give what you get in education, if you’re only giving half your effort because you aren’t very interested in the topics being presented, you’re only going to get half of the benefit (maybe less, college is hard). Major in things you like, better yet, love.

2. Plan, plan, plan

If you don’t have some sort of a planner, HOW. Please explain to me how you are surviving, because if I didn’t have my Passion Planner, I would be a hot mess. Now, if you don’t plan out your day in 30 minute increments like me, that’s fine. I understand how that can be a little too much to some but having a place to write down assignments due and meetings with teachers is a must. I can’t tell you how many times I have been saved by my planner late night on a Sunday. If a planner isn’t for you, use some colorful post it notes and write assignments/important date then put them on your door or mirror so you’re forced to see them!

3. Don’t cheat

Cheating is college is pointless, I mean really? Getting good grades is important but you’re honestly just cheating yourself out of a good education. Take some extra time to study and really let the information sink in. You might not get straight A’s (if you do props), but really understanding the information is more important in the long run.

4. Get involved

College is great for your education, but it isn’t just about school. You have great opportunities to be social and make a difference! I’m part of my school’s volleyball team, a sister in Chi Omega fraternity, and I write for Her Campus Oregon State. While I may be busy, and will only be getting busier over the next few years, I love it. I have so many different aspects going on in my college life and having a lot of different things going is keeping my sanity. I can only be with one group of friends for so long without going crazy, and I know I’m not the only one that feels that way. College is a time where you are able to have SO much going on in your life… try new things, branch out. The worst thing is thinking to yourself years later, “Wow I wish I would have tried this out in college”.

5. Take a break

Being away from family is hard for me. Even though I’m only a few hours away from home I still miss my family, friends, and mostly my bed. It is 100% ok to ask for help when you need it. Don’t hesitate to call your parents or your best friend if you’re going through a tough time. The worst thing you can do is put so much pressure on yourself and hold it in for so long that you eventually explode and burn out. Don’t let the pressure build up, instead reach out when you are starting to feel like things are getting hard. Drive home for the weekend and clear your head, Skype with your parents, see if a friend can visit you for the day, hell just grab some ice cream and watch a movie! It’s ok not to always be on, no one can be perfect all the time. While college is a time for new experiences and to take chances, it doesn’t mean you aren’t human. Everyone needs to take a break, trust me, it’s normal and it’s OK.

I hope these tips will be beneficial for you and let me know if you have any helpful tips for college. Stay sane everyone, only a few more months until summer!

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