As a college freshman, it can be tempting to spend all your money. Instead of draining savings accounts or accruing credit card debt, consider getting an on-campus job that allows you to control expenses more easily.
Colleges often provide student advisors as a resource to answer your queries and offer advice. Take advantage of them regularly!
1. Get to Know Your Advisor
Your advisor is an invaluable asset during college. They can assist with course conflicts, scheduling classes for future semesters and major selection decisions. Your school should provide instructions regarding when and how often to meet with their advisor, but for additional help simply search your college website’s advising department for further instructions.
Take your meetings seriously, and attend all scheduled appointments with your advisor. Your advisor cares deeply about your success and wants to make sure that you’re on track for graduation; they can connect you to campus resources like learning labs or tutoring centers, and can even offer career and internship opportunities that align with your academic goals.
2. Get to Know Your Peers
Your peers in college will teach you a great deal, yet some may have completely differing morals and values than you. It would be best to associate with people who place high value on academic integrity, honesty and hard work. Attending parties and public forums is also an excellent way to meet new friends with whom you share similar interests and build new friendships.
Growing startups often face issues when teams clash. Peer one on ones are an invaluable way to discuss blue ocean ideas and see where you could improve working relationships – this should happen periodically in such a way that both parties perceive it as beneficial.
3. Don’t Isolate Yourself Online
Isolation can be a grave threat for online students. Isolation has been linked with reduced lifespans, poor sleep quality, reduced immune systems and depression – among many other negative consequences. If you find yourself isolating too often, therapy might help address any unresolved traumas or negative emotions you’re feeling; also take advantage of learning labs and tutoring resources provided by your college to meet people outside your class or roommates.
4. Take Advantage of Online Resources
High school may have been an easy transition for you; but college requires much harder work if you want to achieve good grades and master new learning material. Don’t hesitate to seek help from university resources if needed!
Academic advising services can assist with setting learning goals and offering advice on how to study effectively. Schools also often offer virtual office hours, one-on-one tutoring, Web-based math and reading centers and virtual office hours as tools that will help you succeed this semester. Make sure that you also devise a plan to reduce distractions at home – for instance some students find studying from local coffee shops helpful to prevent the urge to multitask while working from home.
5. Build an Emergency Fund
Financial experts often recommend saving enough to cover three to six months’ of expenses, which may seem daunting at first.
Anastasio suggests breaking down your goal into more manageable monthly savings goals to give yourself positive momentum and make the task less daunting.
Try to put any “extra” money you receive – such as tax refunds, rebates and bonuses from work – directly into an emergency fund so it will be harder for you to spend it elsewhere than needed in an emergency.
Be sure to store your emergency fund somewhere liquid (so you can access it quickly should an emergency arise), yet also where it may earn interest – for instance a bank or credit union savings account, money market account, or investment vehicle are good choices.