How To Survive College With Minimum Efforts (Based On Own Experience)

Randy Johnson
Dec 4, 2015 · 6 min read

There are plenty of things you need to know in college that are simply not taught to you. They are perceived in what is usually a painful process. Get a heads up on the most vital freshmen hacks right here.

Living In College And On Campus

Explore the campus more often

Do not just stick to a certain area and fester. Get out there and experience different areas otherwise, you will get into a mundane routine that saps your spirit.

Do not just study with books in your room

You need to study online, by making quizzes, coming up with flash cards and writing up your notes. Bookworming is boring, and boring makes you sleepy.

Protect your laptop and/or PC against viruses

It may just be an excuse that students use, but many freshmen claim they couldn’t do their essays because a virus ate their work or froze their computer.

Put your alarm on your phone and place it out of reach

You have to make it so that you have to get out of bed and walk somewhere to actually turn off your alarm. Your body is still growing and it makes you crazy tired at our age.

Make sure you have enough clothes for at least two weeks

It will mean you go for longer between washes, which is going to save you a lot of time and money. It will mean bags full of dirty clothing after a fortnight, but it is worth it for the savings in time, hassle and money.

Don’t be the one that drives

Cars are expensive, they are difficult to park, they are crime magnets and you will spend most of your time turning people down for lifts. Plus, when the professors start in on how cars are killing the earth, you will have at least 50% of your liberal minded peers hate you.

Wear flip-flops when you go to the bathroom

Do not use any campus bathtubs because you will catch everything from the flu to ringworm. When you use the showers, you must wear flip-flops. Many students think a shower is also a walk-in toilet.

College clubs are good for you

Even if they simply allow you to mingle more during your first year — it’s worth it. You may feel like a nerd, but you will have more friends by the end of it. Plus, you may have fun.

What You Should Be Doing During Your Freshmen Year

Get in touch with the career center

They are not good at advising you on what you should do, in fact, they are pretty terrible, but if you need information on what to do and where to go for standard run-of-the-mill jobs, then they can help.

Get an internship

It helps you create professional relationships and may help you get a job when you leave college. You can make some influential friends.

Try to get more experience or professional relationships

You may be given the chance to take a double major. If you do, you still need to find time to build professional experience or you may struggle in the long-run.

You should be taking smart notes

These are nothing more that powerful bullet points that you understand in context. Focus on taking bullet point notes in class and then writing your notes out in full when you get back to your dorm.

Wash your whites with your whites if you have enough of them

If you only have a few whites, then wash them with your other washing. There is a mild chance that the whites will lose their crisp brightness if you wash them with coloreds, but it is not a big risk.

If you can afford a tutor, then get one

Some people think it makes them look dumb, but people with tutors do better in college, and aren’t you there to learn?

You need to find out what your college offers

They may have health centers, important speakers, lunch discounts, free washing services, tech centers and so forth. You need to find out what they are offering to students.

Back up all your files

Many students complain that they have lost their files in some way or another, to which their professor will tell them they should have backed up their files. It’s time to grow up and take responsibility.

Advice Seniors Wish They Had Known In Advance

Live in the residence halls

During the first year, you are more likely to be offered a place in the residence halls on campus. If you have the chance then take it because it is great. It is only a shame they kick you out to student housing for your second and third years.


You may think you can take it easy for the first few months, but if you do not get ahead right away then you will always be behind. Learn how to be more productive right now.

Get some light when you wake up

For some reason, if you are exposed to light, especially sunlight, it is harder for you to go back to sleep. It is not impossible though, so you should still use the alarm clock trick mentioned earlier.

Sign up for a bank account you can access

It may mean you have to sign up for one that is in town, especially if that one has free ATM withdrawals. It is far better that you sign up for a new account rather than having to pay ATM fees or go out of town to get to your bank.

Go to career fairs

Every time you miss one, you will hear some fantastic story about how a nerd got a career in an amazing company because he or she was talking to one of the bosses at a job fair.

Do not get into debt

The sheer amount of freshmen that have to quit because they are in debt is crazy. Debt shouldn’t be allowed for students of any type besides the massive student debt they have gotten themselves into already. Credit cards shouldn’t be given to students.

Create a resume just for the job in hand

Do not write a resume that includes all your academic achievements if you are just looking for a little part-time work at McDonalds whilst you work through college. They will just go for somebody a little dumber, why do you think the gender studies, sociology students and drama students are so easily able to get minimum wage jobs?

Play cards with your roommate

It is imperative that you do not allow issues to build up with you and your roommate. If you are both stuck on two sides of an argument, come to an agreement to play cards and the other person has to be an adult and concede if he or she loses.

Do not be the drunk one

Get tipsy, but for the first six months do not let yourself get drunk. You are going to see many of your friends get drunk and make fools of themselves. You do not want to be tarred with that reputation during the first six months whilst people are still making their minds’ up about you.