What Are The First Things To Do When You Get To College?

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The moment you arrive at college for the first time can be a seriously exciting and intimidating experience. It’s often enough to leave a lot of people with their heads spinning and no idea what they’re supposed to be doing. However, the first couple of weeks can be the most formative period that you’ll have in your first year at college, so it’s important to try and make the most of it. But where should you start? There are so many different things going on that it can be really difficult to figure out how to make sense of it all. Well here are just a few things that you should definitely do during your first few weeks at college.

Get to know your roommates

 

Let’s face it, the idea of having to spend a full year living with someone you hate is pretty much at the top of most freshmen’s list of fears when it comes to arriving at their dorm on the first day. That’s why it’s a really good idea to get to know whoever you’re sharing your space with as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the more awkward it’s going to be. There’s nothing weirder than trying to make awkward conversation with someone that you barely know despite the fact that you’ve been living together for months. Not only that but it’s much harder for you to be patient with each other if you don’t know or get on with each other. If your friend asks to borrow your milk, then that’s no problem, but if your roommate, who you barely know, decides to use it then that’s practically a declaration of war! Go out for some food on the first night, find out what each other’s major is, do what you can to learn what they’re like. Not only is this going to make those precious first weeks a lot less awkward but it’s also a great way to deal with that feeling of isolation that can often come with being away from home for the first time.

Join a club

When it comes to college, there is always something to do. That might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s one-hundred-percent true! There are so many clubs and organizations on every college campus that you’re never going to find yourself in a position where you don’t have something to do. Whatever kind of person you were in your hometown, you’ve now got the chance to try something new. Check out some of the clubs that are available on your campus and see what piques your interest. You might be surprised by what you find. You could end up joining a sports team, or perhaps spending your nights playing D&D with a bunch of people you’d never expect to be friends with. One thing to be careful of though is that you might find yourself discovering a passion that you never knew you had that may well take over your life. You might check out the marching band during the first week just to see what it’s like, and before you know it you’ll be buying a new color guard accessory every week as your dorm room slowly fills up with more and more stuff. Then again, as problems go, that’s one of the best ones you could possibly have. Not only are you likely to find a new hobby that you can throw yourself into with plenty of enthusiasm, but there’s also a pretty good chance that you’ll be able to make a whole bunch of new friends.   

Get lost

You’re going to get lost during the first couple of weeks after you arrive at college, there’s nothing you can do about that, so it’s better just to come to terms with it straight away. The best thing to do is to take some time where you don’t have to be anywhere, and just wander around campus, getting lost and getting to know the space a little bit better. There are few things more stressful than finding yourself totally lost when you’re already late for class, so it’s definitely a good idea to learn your way around when you don’t have anything to do. Not only is getting lost a great way to make you campus seem a little less intimidating but it can also help you find some fun little places that you’d never discover under any other circumstances. College campuses almost always have all kinds of surprising little nooks and crannies that make the perfect places to study, relax, or just get some alone time.

Find the best places to eat

The food halls at any given college are usually something of a mixed bag. Some places are going to offer you the best sandwiches you’ve ever had in your entire life, and others will be legendary for the dangers of eating their tuna melts! The only way you’re going to figure out which is which without trying them all out. Don’t just assume that the place you found on the first day is the best you’re going to find. Experiment, try things that you wouldn’t normally give the time of day to. Not only will you discover the places that serve the best food, but you’ll probably find new foods that you never even realized that you liked. At least that way you don’t have to tell any white lies when your mom calls and asks if you’re eating properly.

Create a schedule

College is such a busy experience that it can be pretty intimidating for a lot of freshmen, and nothing makes that more difficult than trying to fly by the seat of your pants the entire time. If you really want to make sense of all of the things that you have to do at college, then it’s best to create a clear schedule that you can easily follow. Print it out and stick in on the wall of your dorm room so that no matter what you’re doing to you can keep track of where you should be next. You could even color code it so that you only have to glance at it to know whether you should be in classes, clubs, or if you just have some time to yourself where you can actually relax. Trying to wing it is just going to leave you feeling weighed down by the sheer amount of things that you need to do every day.

Start writing everything down

Seriously. Write everything down. You might think that you’ll be fine to hold the information from your classes in your head, but unless you’re a very special case, then you’re almost certainly going to forget every single world within a few days. Learn to take notes quickly and efficiently so that you can keep up with your professors and still be able to read what you wrote. There’s nothing more frustrating than looking over your notes a few weeks later and having no idea what the scribbles on the page are even supposed to mean. But don’t just limit it to your classes. If you’ve never been the kind of person who kept a journal, now is the time to start! You are probably going to change more over the next few years that you could possibly imagine and you’re going be amazed to look back over the things that you wrote in the first weeks of your freshman year and see how different you were. No only that but it’s a great way to hold onto memories that might sleep away when you’re constantly being bombarded by all of the amazing, exciting things that can happen in your first year of college.

Go to your classes! Seriously!

 

This might seem completely obvious, but it’s something that a lot of freshmen seem to forget. There are so many fun things happening when you first arrive at college that it’s surprisingly easy to find yourself forgetting to actually go to your classes. Sure, the parties, clubs, friends and other exciting things might be the stuff that everyone talks about, but you should never forget why you’re actually at college in the first place: to learn. If you’re not doing that, then there’s not much point being there in the first place. If you just want to go to parties, then you’d be better off just staying at home. And make sure that you’re actually paying attention while you’re there as well! There’s no point going to classes if you’re just going to sleep through the entire thing because you stayed up all night partying or talking to your roommate!

College might be an intimidating experience, but once you’re through that first couple of weeks, you’ll barely be able to remember a time before you knew every inch of campus, all the best food places, and had made dozens of new and interesting friends. Getting off to the best possible start is the best way to avoid feeling like everything is too much and getting buried in the sheer number of new things that you’ll undoubtedly experience during your time at college.

I hope you enjoyed the post, what did you do to adjust to the college life?

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

May 16, 2017
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3 Tips On Making New Friends After You’ve Moved Out Of Home

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Leaving your parents house and moving away to college or university can be a daunting part of anyone’s life; I mean, who’s going to make your mac and cheese and do your laundry? Gaining your independence will also be one of the most exciting memories you’ll make, and you’ll have the chance to explore a fresh place, learn new things and make some lifelong friends. However, it can sometimes be a little difficult finding new people that you enjoy hanging out with, so here are some tips on meeting friends when you’re new in town.

Events And Festivals

A specific event or festival is a successful way of bringing together people who share a love of whatever is being celebrated there, ensuring you’ll be surrounded by (at least some) like-minded people. If it’s a particular genre of music you’re into, from folk to hip-hop; there will more than likely be a festival, gig or a night dedicated to that category. Therefore, you’ll have an automatic mutual interest with some of the other attendees, and should be able to spark a conversation (or you can just show off your knowledge of all the lyrics together as you sing along).

However, specialized events are by no means limited to music; food festivals are ever more popular, and if you’re into beauty, movies,  or perhaps crafts, they’ll be something organized by a community that loves the same things. These get-togethers, no matter how big or small, are a chance for you and your potential new crowd to flock together and hang out; giving you the perfect opportunity to make some new friends.

 

Sports And Teams

Whether you’ve competed and practiced a sport your whole life, or you just want to get fit and meet new people; joining a team is the perfect way to integrate yourself into a group and build new friendships. Alongside noticeboards and posters around your campus and local town, a good place to start searching is the internet; well, you’re here already, so you may aswell!

You might know exactly what you’re after; maybe you played soccer or tennis at high school, and are keen to join a team at college. However, if you’re excited to take on a new challenge; why not look into learning to swim, or get more info on cheerleading, you’ll be surprised how many people are there to achieve the same as you, and you’ll come away with new friends, as well as a new skill. Your parents aren’t going to recognize this new person you’ve become! For some more inspiration on what sports to try; take a look here: http://www.raechic.com/?p=1550.

 

(The e-board of the Active Minds chapter at my university! I’m in the green jacket).

Clubs And Organizations

Luckily for you, there are always others who will share your passions and beliefs, so joining a related club or organization is a no-brainer. If you’re of a particular religion, an obvious place to start is your nearest place of worship, and these often provide ways to mingle and get out and about within the community. Perhaps animal rights are where your enthusiasm lies; you’ll be able to find friends who want to meet up and discuss the latest issues and petitions in your new town and on campus.

The club you join might be less of a deep rooted belief and more of a hobby like chess, reading or cooking; the possibilities here are endless! Clubs will ensure when you’re meeting up with fellow members, you’ll always be doing something you enjoy together, which is the perfect route into a new and long lasting friendship. There’s also the option of being brave and forming your own club, which can be as serious or light-hearted as you want; you might be shocked as to how many people enjoy building model train sets are you do. It’s really about finding and embracing your crowd, however unique you all are. Check out some crazy college club ideas here.

Moving out and saying goodbye (until the holidays) to mom and dad doesn’t have to be scary at all. Remember that everyone starting at university is feeling the same way as you are, so everyone will be eager to make friends and form their own security blankets. It’s important to be open to fresh ideas and new cultures that you may never even have heard of before; this way exciting opportunities to meet people and make friends won’t end up passing you by. Lastly, don’t forget to be yourself; strong friendships are built on trust and a genuine like for a person, so make sure new acquaintances are getting to know the real you. Don’t worry, you’re great, and they’ll love you (and if they don’t, there’s plenty more folks out there who will).

I hope you enjoyed the post.

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

xoxo, Rae

May 15, 2017
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Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Studies?

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Whether you are at college, university or any other educational institution, you probably have times when you wonder if you will make it through. All students have experienced this feeling of not being entirely confident in their abilities, and if you suffer this it is worth remembering that others have been there before. Of course, there are many things you can do to ensure that you get as much out of your time in education as possible, and it’s a good idea to learn what those are. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get the most out of your studies.

Find A Balance

If you are a good student, you will probably spend a lot of your time thinking about your studies. This is often a good sign, as it means that you are taking it seriously. But you should also remember that studying is not everything – there are many other aspects of life which are just as important, and it’s healthy and helpful to focus on those as well. Of course, you don’t want to focus on them so strongly that it is to the detriment of your studies – and that is where the notion of finding a good balance comes into it. Work hard to get to a place of harmony with your schoolwork – that way, you will be able to enjoy your studying, and the rest of what life has to offer, much more.

Use All The Help You Can Get

When you do feel a little stressed or overwhelmed by it all, it can be useful to remind yourself that there is always plenty of help to be had. This help actually comes in so many forms that we often completely forget about it. But if you stop and think about it, you will realise that there is help all around you. You can consider asking your friends for assistance, especially those who are taking the same course as you. Your family will often be a good kind of support as well. Let’s not forget the Internet, too – online you can find thousand of useful studying apps such as https://gradebuddy.com/, and these can make a huge difference to your studies. Make the most of whatever help is available, and remember that there is no shame in asking for help if you really need it. You might find resources like http://www.testtakingtips.com/study/ are also useful for this purpose.

Be Honest About Your Interests

There’s nothing worse than waking up one day and realising that you are taking the wrong course – that, actually, you’re not all that interested in your subject, but would rather do something else instead. But if this does happen, respect the change that is happening within you. It is much better to go with the flow than to doggedly finish a course you don’t really care for anymore. Make sure you are honest with yourself about what you really find interesting and what you really want, and you will be able to have a much better time of it on the whole.

I hope you enjoyed the post! <3

Thanks so much for reading, as always.

Xoxo, Rae

May 12, 2017
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A Guide to Easing the Anxieties of Being a Grown Up

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Adulting is hard, we all know this. Especially if we are tired, hungover or sick but the world hasn’t stopped turning, and your mom isn’t around to feed you grapes and serve you meds. It’s also pretty scary because, y’know, debt, mortgages, college, getting a job, getting married (or not!), desperately trying to meet expectations and trying to struggle through while simultaneously creating the illusion that you know what you’re doing. Cue: anxiety.

It’s okay, we’ve all been there (or are there), and know that sometimes a little helping hand is needed to stop panic setting in. Here are my top tips for making adult life a little bit simpler.

Get control of your finances

This is the biggie. The one that makes all students and graduates tremble in their boots. Nobody really wants to take a good hard look at how much they owe post-college, right? Tough. Taking control of your debt, working out how you are going to pay back your loans and earning enough to survive is one key element to subdue anxieties. There are loads of options out there to make debt easier after college, such as Student Loan Forgiveness Obama Program, deferring your debt or simply consolidating your payments into smaller and more manageable chunks. There are professional services out there to help. But remember, you did the hard part when you chose to get yourself into debt and go to college in the first place. You’ve got this.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness may be the buzzword of the year, but it’s popular for a reason. Try and work in some time in your daily routine for some self-care; try yoga, meditation, pilates or time spent in nature – it’s whatever works for you! At its core, mindfulness is a way to change your overall outlook on life and to increase your ability to deal with stressful situations.

 

Sleep

 

Not always as easy as it sounds, but not getting enough sleep is a surefire way to increase stress and anxieties. Try to schedule in at least seven hours of sleep per night, as this will give your mind a chance to workout all the things that have happened in the day, as well as repairing any physical damage done to your body!

Work on relationships

We are social creatures, and the relationships we enter into are big parts of our wellbeing. Be sure to keep in touch with the people you love, even when you are busy. This connection will put a smile on your face, which is key to keeping anxiety at bay, and will ensure that you always have a support network around you if the going gets tough. Happy relationships = happy people!

Eat well

Feeling stressed and anxious can throw our bodies completely out of whack, and can cause us to crave high-fat and sugary foods which, although satisfy the initial craving, can have long and lasting implications on the body. If you are feeling the strain, try to eat foods which are high in Vitamin B – science says that this vitamin is closely associated with good mental health!

I hope you enjoyed the post! What do you do to help ease your anxiety? Let me know! 🙂

Thanks for reading, as always <3

xoxo, Rae

May 8, 2017
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As One Door Closes…

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Let’s put it out there; life is scary. And, it doesn’t get better as you go. If anything, you become more lost the further into adulthood you get. But, at least we’re all in the same boat. The downside is, we often slip into places we don’t want to be because they feel safe. It may be that we stick to a job without prospects because it’s comfortable. Or, we stay in the family home because we don’t want to take the leap and move out. Whatever the situation, getting stuck isn’t going to help anybody. It’s certainly not going to help you face your fears. So, you need to change your thinking. Have you ever heard of the saying ‘as one door closes, another one opens’? It’s time to put it to the test.

Know When to Shut the Door

The first step is, of course, closing the door behind you. It’s manners, right? Your parents probably taught you to this when you were tiny. But, shutting life’s doors is about more than just being polite. It isn’t as easy as turning the door handle, either. It’s important to recognize when a door needs shutting. If you’re feeling fed up, or uninspired with your life, the chances are there’s a flapping door somewhere. Finding it isn’t always easy, so take some time to consider the problem. If you’re unhappy in your job, you need to move onto the next chapter. Easier said than done, granted. But, it’s a step you need to take. If you’re arguing with your parents and feeling crowded by them, it may be a sign you need to move out. Once you start looking, you should be able to diagnose the problem quite fast. My boyfriend and I recently moved into our new place and it’s so much easier being on our own and not having to deal with other people’s’ schedules. 

Then Open a New One
Opening new doors is even harder. It’s not as simple as recognizing a problem. You have no idea what’s in your future. But, there is such a thing as creating opportunity. And, sometimes that’s what you need to do to get the right door open in front of you. Sometimes, things seem to work out. Other times, you need to give them a helping hand. If you want a new job, go out and find one. If you need to return to studying to do so, find a way. You may not have the money, but you could turn to something like Obama student loan forgiveness to see you through. It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. And, when you manage to get one door open, you may find that others follow.

 

Sit Back and Relax

We all need to give ourselves a pat on the back now and again. Sometimes, when we make changes, we’re so caught up in the process that we forget to enjoy them. Once you’ve changed your situation, make sure you take the time to remember how far you’ve come. And, if you ever find yourself in the same position, look back at this for inspiration.

I hope you enjoyed the post! Did it make you think of any doors you need to close, or maybe you’re now looking forward to opening a new one? Let me know in comments!

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

 

May 4, 2017
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