After these first few weeks and midterms coming up in the next few, I’ve learned the hard way on how to survive on campus both academically and physically! These are the huge major tips I’ve been following after finally getting my overall schedule in order:
- Go to a library to study/read/do homework
Find a quiet library/setting to I found it much easier to concentrate without a friend in the room with me, because I find it difficult to refrain from talking and getting distracted from my work.
- Practice your RBF (Resting B**** Face)
Trust me, you’ll need it if you’re walking all alone on campus (and especially at night). I’ve had more creepy strangers than I’d like to acknowledge approach and/or harass me already in the first three weeks of school, and many times even in broad daylight. I noticed that a mad RBF, sunglasses, or both can often ward off these unwanted advances. But stay safe in general and keep that pepper spray handy!
- Go to office hours accordingly
Office hours often offer one-on-one tutoring or help with the lectures, homework, or discussion and can be a better way to approach the class content and the instructors! Even if you still don’t understand the material afterward, it’s a good way to build a strong connection with your professor/GSI/instructor.
- Keep your course syllabus!!
We’re all used to tucking the course syllabus away in the back of our folders, a shelf, or the trash can, but in college, professors will expect you to keep up with the readings and homework. They sometimes don’t put out reminders either, so you’ll be totally lost if you don’t look at it every week or so to be up-to-date with everything!
- Learn to take public transportation
For us in NorCal, it’s the BART system and AC Transit! Super convenient, but I’d recommend taking them with people who know what they’re doing if it’s your first time – super grateful for the friend who showed me how to take BART and accompanied me to San Francisco for an assignment last weekend!
- Know the HUGE difference between lectures and discussions
Every class varies, but generally each will have a lecture and discussion. I would recommend always going to discussion, but lectures are really what you make of them – if you find that a lecture (in which attendance is usually not taken if the class is way too big) doesn’t seem to be helpful and that you’d study better on your own, skip it! Your time can be used productively elsewhere.
- Be prepared for a lot of fire alarms during testing season
With midterms coming up, it’s apparently a trend for people to pull the fire alarms, making everyone evacuate and accomplishing nothing except irritating entire buildings of students and faculty. I’ve already suffered minor temporary hearing loss from the sheer number of fire alarms that I’ve endured – they’ve all not only been false alarms, but also were often pulled in the last 10 minutes of class. (Which doesn’t make sense because why not at the beginning?? 🙏)
- Keep on walking
I actually honestly haven’t had the time (nor the energy) to go to the gym since I started school, but walking 7+ miles (~15,000 steps) on average everyday has kept me fit and actually made me lose weight! Biking or driving is definitely faster, but walking/speed walking/running is a good way to stay fit when you lack the time to go gymming!
- USE GOOGLE CALENDAR. or some kind of calendar/planner!
Google Calendar is the best thing in my life right now and the only app helping me keep my life in check – it sends notifications to my phone based on my time and destination (“Leave before 12:25pm to arrive at ____ on time”) and is basically the most useful online resource I’ve ever used after coming to Cal. Especially if you’re in a lot of activities like me, it’s fantastic of reminding you of that Saturday lunch date or Thursday lecture! I also keep one academic planner, one activities planner, and post-it reminders as backups.
- Eat healthy – keep track of what you’re eating
If you don’t have sufficient nutrients for studying, how are you going to keep your grades up or have the energy to party/have fun? “Freshman 15” is a result of not being able to eat correctly and balance diet with exercise LOL. Make sure not to eat out too often or binge on junk foods either! (1 milk tea + boba = 350 calories = empty nutrients = gross yucky fat accumulating on your body) Make sure to eat the main food groups every day and have a balanced meal routine + diet!!
Will blog more on anything advice/fashion/college/life every Friday – message me or comment any suggestions! Love all your feedback 😊