College tips 101 from a fresh grad

3:49 pm on 7 August 2022, Sunday

By Jade Veronique V. Yap

School starts in a few months, and I bet some first-time college students are anxious about surviving university life. But don't worry, here are a few tips for you (that I wished someone told me!), sincerely from a fresh grad.

Whether you live in a province, are planning to stay in a dorm for the whole duration of your college life, or are from the metro and travel daily to school, this information might come in handy for you.

Stay organized

With tons of homework, activities, quizzes, and recitations piling up in a day, it will surely take our sanity away! The best way to keep everything under control is to stay organized.

Having binder fillers for each subject and a folder for reading materials will make things easy. Bringing a planner and recording your updated schedule and things you must accomplish is also necessary if you want to keep things on track!

Make friends

University life is stressful and complex, but making friends makes it more bearable and enduring. While it's true that it takes courage and confidence to have friends in college, it's not that scary. You have to find the right people with the same wavelength as you, and everything will be fine! Having someone to share your worries, frustrations, and randomness is the most comforting feeling ever.

But remember, choose your friends wisely. You don't want to get in trouble, do you?

Join clubs and orgs

My first semester at my University was filled with school clubs and student organizations applications. Joining a film organization, writing club, advocacy group, and any other organizations that picked my interest was nothing but a learning experience for me.

Clubs and organizations are a great way to expand your networks, develop intrapersonal skills, and learn new knowledge. But, be careful in choosing which club you should sign up to because you might pick the wrong side of the fence!

Attend classes, listen attentively, and take notes

PSA to all freshmen out there! It is important to ATTEND your classes, LISTEN to your professors and TAKE NOTES. No matter how boring the subject or the prof is, attending classes, listening, and jotting down notes is the key to a hassle-free academic life. In addition, your notes and good listening skills will come in handy in your recitations and quizzes. Who knows if you might get that coveted "uno" because of that?

Don't get fooled when your classmates say attendance is not vital in college. No! Some professors are strict in attendance and only allow seven unexcused absences in a semester. We don't want to get that failure due to attendance, right?

Dedicate time to have fun

If there is one thing I regret I didn't do when I was still in college, it was having fun. I rarely have fun because I always go home after school and miss every funny opportunity, like partying all night in BGC or a late-night food trip at Maginhawa on a Friday night.

Having fun was the best remedy after a week of academic stress and breakdown. So have fun! If that means treating yourself to a shopping spree, dining out with your friends, feasting over a Samgyupsal, partying all night, or anything that sounds fun, then do it. It's okay to unwind and have fun, but not too much!


When I was still studying, I always made every minute productive. I usually spend my past time in the Library doing my homework in advance or just reviewing my notes. But I realized it was sometimes exhausting, and I needed a breather.

While productivity is essential in college, healthy and balanced life is also vital! Know that binging over your favorite Netflix series, spending time in a spa resort, or taking power naps is not a sin. You deserve that for your hard work!

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone

Meeting new people and attending a University miles away from your home is scary. For an eighteen-year-old girl like me who was fresh from high school, my University was a big city dream. Aside from its hectares of land, I felt that everything inside of its walls was a colossal ship ready to wreck me -- the people, the environment, the professors, the student life, the subject courses, and so many other things that made me want to throw up on my first day.

I learned from it that seizing every opportunity would help you step out of your comfort zone. From meeting people you think are not your cup of tea, joining university events that are not in the line of your interest, developing skills and hobbies that you think you can't do, or anything that makes you want to go out of your comfort zone. Feel free to explore the world around you!

With these few college survival tips, are you ready to step into the new world of academic life, terror professors, raining threes, and sleepless nights?


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