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College Life 101: Leaving the Nest

I love my family. They have the ability to get me to completely change my plans of being lazy and unproductive on my weekends to do “stuff”. Prime example is last weekend when I found myself thrown back into college life – surrounded by freshmen, weepy parents, and multiple trips to pick up forgotten necessities.

Yep, my little cousin was starting college. The college years seem to be ones that can truly make or break you. As someone who went the very non-traditional route – I stress the importance of going to college right out of high school, if possible. Once kids, bills, spouses, jobs, and life kicks in – adding college to the mix is definitely doable but can be much more stressful.

I’ve committed to be available for my younger cousins as they go through their ups and downs of life. They definitely keep me entertained on my toes. Many thanks to the divas below who have offered their words of wisdom for those experiencing college life for the first time.

College Life 101: Words of Advice for Your College Freshman

 

  • Most important would be to come up with an organization system that works for them and will help keep them on track! Then my next one is to stay away from frat parties as tempting as they are! – Lena Blair, Uncreative Mommy

 

  • Pace yourself….you will not be able to attend everything that is happening at the college & maintain your grades. Be selective in your extracurricular activities. Find a good balance between attending class/studying/social activities. – Pamela King, Still Dating My Spouse

 

  • As a mother of 3 daughters who have each enjoyed the college experience, what I would offer is for the freshman teen to be a Leader and not a Follower, to set the standard and to be mindful of whom they choose to call “friend”. For the Bible tells us that Bad Association spoils Useful Habits. Happy Learning!!! – Rene’ W.

 

  •  This really helped me: all freshmen are probably just as nervous as you. – Laura Benedict, Ambassador for Plexus Slim

 

  •  First, do not leave your laundry unattended! Some people will not think twice about pulling your newly washed laundry out and throwing it on the filthy floor so that they can use the machine. Bring homework with you when you go to wash your clothes and kill two birds with one stone. Second, ALWAYS wear shower shoes! As a former resident assistant, please trust me on this one … Finally, tie your room key around your neck and never take it off! Because everyone laughs about it when they tell their friends they locked themselves out of their room when they went down the hall to take a shower. But, let’s be honest … we were all mortified when we had to walk across campus to the police station wearing only a towel. ~ Sarah

 

 

  • Find a good study partner who will help you to stay focused. Never wait to the last minute to seek out tutoring services on campus. Always communicate with your professors. Let them know if you need help. Most professors I know are approachable and are willing to help students who show interest in the subject and are eager to learn. If you must drop a class, make sure you file an official withdrawal slip with the Registrars Office. Unofficial withdrawals become “F’s” which tanks your grade point average. Make sure you connect with your academic adviser and and check in periodically during your four years so that you are taking the right classes. Plus, at the end of your studies you would have made great connections on campus with your professors and advisers that you will be able to request letters of recommendations for grad school. ~ Renee R.

What words of wisdom would you give a teen starting their freshman year in college? Any key advice stick out from your college years?

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Making A Happy Home

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63 thoughts on “College Life 101: Leaving the Nest

  1. D Johnson says:

    These are good tips on adjusting to college life, but shouldn’t some safety tips should be included? Kids are away from their parents, free, and on their own and a lot of times will think it’s all “okay”.

    Reply
    • D Johnson says:

      Please excuse the extra word in there…it’s past my bedtime lol.

      Reply
  2. Julie Simpson says:

    Although my kids did not go to school out of state it's still a very off feeling that only a parent can understand

    Reply
  3. marywithrow says:

    Eating healthy seems to be hard for them. I have one in college who believes pizza fits every meal, lol. These are really great tips. I would tell them to be sure and it healthy. Fruit is often called “Brainfood” lol -

    Reply
  4. Rachel Buiten Rohde says:

    My husband is in college and it is stressful for the both of us.

    Reply
  5. Lily Kwan says:

    This advice for college life is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. Nicole Howell says:

    My boys havent even started school yet but I am going back to college soon. I know it will be hard but it is necessary.

    Reply
  7. Nicole DiGrazia says:

    My advice would be to understand your internal clock and schedule your classes accordingly. Hold yourself accountable! No more mom and dad making you go to class so if you schedule a MWF 8am class, you need to make sure you're prepared for the consequences of not going. Stacking all my classes on T, TH was probably the smartest thing I ever did but it took me until Junior year to be able to.

    Reply
  8. Becky Egan says:

    Thanks for the tips! My boys are very young still so it will be a while before they leave the nest. It will be hard to see them go.

    Reply
  9. Adam Morgan says:

    I would agree with these things. Especially the picking of a responsible study partner. That can go a long way to getting you through classes.

    Reply
  10. Michelle Elizondo says:

    I agree, you have to be independent, responsible, and a self starter.

    Reply
  11. Anna says:

    These are all great tips! I’m still in college and I can relate to some of them haha!

    Reply
  12. Renee Fischer says:

    i went to college in defiance of my parents demands of me. i will say the worst thing that happened is that i took my homework to the laundry room and turned my back for a second to use the money changer and my text books got stolen. OH, messenger bags are all important, never leave your stuff off your person even for 30 seconds, students wont think twice about selling your books back to the bookstore. and when you cant just fork over $100 or more for new textbooks, you get kicked from class! talk about paying double for someone else s crime!

    Reply
  13. Emily Linton says:

    These are great tips – I especially love the one about never leaving your laundry unattended!! I saw many people’s clean, wet laundry thrown on the ground because they didn’t get it out of the machine fast enough! :)

    Reply
  14. ShootingStarsMag says:

    These are all great tips! I do think balancing fun and homework is important, but also MAKE SURE you have fun. Try out clubs, but don’t think you have to stay if it’s not a good fit. Find a place for you and enjoy things now and then.

    Reply
  15. Lizzi G. says:

    Great tips! I would include learning how to budget in there too. With all the free stuff they throw at college kids these days for signing up for a credit card can lead to bad habits early.

    Reply
  16. Susan Smith says:

    Great tips, my son left for his first year of college 2 weeks ago. He is on a scholarship so we stressed to him the importance of keep his grade point average high so he keeps his scholarship. Skipping classes and partying are not options.

    Reply
  17. Erica Ardali says:

    I have one going off to college next year. It’s kind of scary to think about, but I know he’ll be ok. Thanks for sharing these tips. :)

    Reply
  18. Elisabeth says:

    It’s so great that your cousins have someone like you to be there for them! I did not take the traditional route of going to college after high school and want to make sure I’m there to support my younger siblings if they choose to go that route!

    Reply
  19. Marthaia Norris says:

    ALL TIPS ARE REALLY HELPFUL,,,, ALWAYS TRY TO STAY FOCUSED AND TRUR TO ONE SELF WHILE TRYING TO LEARN AND HAVING FUN AT THE SAME TIME…..THANKS.

    Reply
  20. Miki says:

    I’d add to remain focused on your goals – why you are there in the first place, what you hope to gain from the experience, why you chose your area of study…it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, the pressures of new friends/parties/activities, so you have to have an anchor in the midst of all the emotions and excitement to keep you grounded.

    Reply
  21. Michelle Burnett says:

    I wish I had known most of this when I was in college! Thankfully, I did make use of a study partner which helped keep me focused and motivated.

    Reply
  22. Christine says:

    I am actually starting college this year so I really appreciate all these advices! I will remember them (:

    Reply
  23. debbie campbell says:

    I just sent my youngest off to college, and this is all great advice!

    Reply
  24. giulia says:

    I used to study with my friends! It helped me a lot! =)

    Reply
  25. Kristen Holan says:

    You are right on with not trying to go to every event… I was quite overwhelmed with everything there was to do my first year in college that I blew it. I am now going to school online. I appreciate the flexibility and I truly do enjoy it, but I wish I had had this advice when I went to college the first time.

    Reply
  26. Katie says:

    fortunately I have 13 years until my daughter leaves for college, but your tips are great – and I only wish I would have followed them more when I was in college!

    Reply
  27. Arelis Cintron @djrelat7 says:

    Start looking into internships early on. Whatever experience you can get the better. It’s harder to gain experience after you’ve graduated.

    Reply
  28. lisa says:

    Those are all good tips. I really have nothing to add. Mine didn’t go to college. I guess study, of course and stay out of trouble. And call home even when you don’t need money!

    Reply
  29. Billsn Beaks says:

    Thanks for these links and tips. I wish I was more prepared for college when I went. there is a lot to prepare for!

    Reply
  30. Dasha Binderova says:

    …I would do things differently If I could go back….I will remember these tips for when my kiddos grow up:)

    Reply
  31. judy gardner says:

    i think pacing yourself is a great tip. also, i think balancing studying with fun is important or you will either get burned out or not do well in classes if you do too much of one or the other

    Reply
  32. Dorothy Dreyer says:

    Great tips. I’ll have to remember this for when my kids leave the nest.

    Reply
  33. Uma says:

    Great tips!!

    Reply
  34. Tammy Adams says:

    Wonderful advice. Wish I knew all this when my son left for college all those years past.

    Reply
  35. Sherry Compton says:

    Remember it’s all an experience. There will be ups and downs. Try to find a group of friends/study partners. Get to know you teachers and don’t be afraid to call home as much as you want. :)

    Reply
  36. Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) says:

    I remember when I started college, I was very ill prepared for it. I was not ready for all the “freedom” I suddenly got and did not realize the impact of 1 failed class next to a sea of As & Bs. It only takes 1 to drag the whole thing down. Wish I had more advice and mentors available to me then!

    Reply
  37. Jen Bigerton says:

    I’m so glad that my kids are so far away from College. I don’t even want to think about them leaving the nest yet.

    Reply
  38. Ronnie Epstein says:

    I loved college. The laundry tip is SO TRUE. People will take your clothes out even mid-cycle.. no one has patience! Another tip: It’s important to find people you can connect to and trust. Having close friends in college really solidifies the experiences and gives you a necessary support system.

    Reply
  39. Nadine Tobefitbyfifty Larsen says:

    My daughter went off to college, I had a horrible time with it. All these things are great to help with it, but I really don't think anything makes it easy for a parent. Easier, yes, easy, no. LOL

    Reply
  40. Rachée Fagg (@sayitrahshay) says:

    My niece started college this year and my advice to her is ask for help. Even if you think you are wrong, don’t know how to ask or are just feeling lost. Seek out someone to help muddle it out.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Awww…Shirley! Congrats on your new college student! The winter holidays will be here before you know it :)

      Reply
  41. Janeane Davis says:

    My teenie bopper will be going off to college next year so I have to save these tips to share with her.

    Reply
  42. Dr. Sports Guy (@newhousebailey) says:

    My biggest piece of advice is to take it slow and don’t let small things get you down. If you didn’t get the grade you wanted, talk to the professor and figure out a plan to work things out. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Great suggestion. Communicating with your professors and showing them you are proactively working to improve and make the best out of your time in their classrooms makes a difference.

      Reply
  43. Andrea Smith says:

    Great tips. Thankfully, my oldest is only 6, so I have a long time before I have to worry about that. I would miss him too much.

    Reply
  44. jheylo says:

    I went to college and graduated a bachelor’s degree yet I still live with my parents :) that’s the good thing of living in the city, I don’t have to rent a dorm or whatsoever. It’s different here in America though.

    Reply
  45. Chubskulit Rose says:

    Choosing the peers that you want to interact with is very important.

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Very true!!! While it’s great to have a diverse group of friends – ensuring their goals and aspirations are positive will make a huge difference in the role they play in one’s life.

      Reply
  46. Nova says:

    I was thinking the same thing as you do, but since my son is too young and i don’t trust most of the people around except my family and very close friends, i end up not proceeding of going to school this year.

    Reply
  47. Mel Cole says:

    These are cool college tips. Oh how I miss going to college…

    Reply
  48. becca112971 says:

    i don’t even want to consider the time when son will lave the nest

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      I can relate but with my 7th grader I’ve realized it will be here before I know it. I’m going to enjoy my kindergartner and almost-2 year old as long as possible :)

      Reply
  49. Marie Baker says:

    Great tips! my husband is 41 and in college, well he'll be 41 tomorrow. I think I should be baking right now lol thanks for sharing these I"ll share then too!

    Reply
  50. Sara Martin says:

    these are great! I'll have to remind myself of these in a couple years!

    Reply
  51. Bonnie Holt says:

    These are great for the first time college students. I know it can be scary and stressful . I will be passing this along to my friend

    Reply
  52. Erin @ The Speckled Palate says:

    This is great advice, Michelle, and I especially love the, “All freshmen are probably just as nervous as you,” tidbit. I wish I had known that when I got my start at college!

    Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Same here! That realization would have alleviated lots of the stresses and apprehensions that I had.

      Reply
  53. KalleyC says:

    These are all great tips! I will be sharing this!

    Reply

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