No, you do not necessarily need a notebook or binder with wooden pencils anymore. You’re in college now, buddy. Time to grow up, right? Well, even though college might feel like it is suffocating at times, it is said to be the best years of your life. Upperclassmen have revolutionized the way we do college, so here is a list of basics to remember when attending university:

  • ALWAYS have a pair of headphones handy! You never know when the anxiety bug might bite and you just need to be left alone. What better way to tell people that you just need a second to yourself and still be polite than simply popping in earbuds?
  • ALWAYS go to class. You may reach the halfway mark in the semester feeling disgruntled and disappointed with your grades. You may think that you might never pass this class, but there is always hope if you have perfect attendance. If you show even the slightest interest in the class, most teachers will cut you a break, as long as you show up. And when you’re lying in bed feeling a little under the weather due to the previous night’s possibly terrible decisions, still go to class.
  • ALWAYS hand in assignments. If you accidentally miss a due date, don’t give up! Just email the educator or swing by their office during office hours.
  • ALWAYS try to sit as close to the front of the class as possible. This will force you to concentrate and will help you receive the best grade possible. If you absolutely need to sit next to the most attractive person that you have ever seen in your life, please don’t distract them too while you pine after them.
  • ALWAYS carry an extra pen or pencil. You never know when someone might need one, and an act of good karma is always rewarded well when in college!
  • ALWAYS hydrate, especially after a long night of studying, homework or other shenanigans. A neat trick is to get a good, BPA-free water bottle and refill it every time you see a water fountain. They’re located all over campus.
  • ALWAYS give the tutoring center, otherwise known as the CFAA a shot. Many professors can attest that students who visit the tutoring services before mid-terms have a much better shot of achieving an A-grade. Besides, it’s free!
  • ALWAYS ensure that your electronics are charged before arriving to class. It helps maintain your sanity throughout the day.
  • ALWAYS wear sunscreen. We aren’t going to be young forever.
  • If you’re hungry, but you face the plight of the college-kid budget, don’t worry. ETSU has the Bucky’s Food Pantry for students who can’t seem to scrape together enough for a meal. One Acre Café is downtown Johnson City is another option. Both provide students in need with free meals.
  • NEVER FORGET that you are not alone. University can get difficult and test your limits, but you can’t let it crush your spirit. The ETSU Counseling Center is there to help, as well as friends, family and other sources. College is tough, but remember that you’re tougher.

It’s easy to write-up a list of things to remember, but that’s just not achievable because everyone’s college experience is different. The best advice that anyone could offer a college kid is to participate.

These are the years where you get to discover who you really are and what kind of person you want to be. Experiment, enjoy yourself, climb a mountain and scream at the top of your lungs – this is the time for you to be you. Just enjoy yourself responsibly and never forget to memorialize the moment.