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Survival Guide: College Edition

by Jess on October 4, 2016

in Academics,College Life

I’m sure by this point in the semester, we’re all starting to grasp the difficult truth that college can be a little overwhelming. Your parents have probably called you recently to ask how your year is going, and the conversation is likely to have gone something like this:

Parental unit: “How are classes going?”

You: “Great. Fantastic. I am totally fine.”

You (internally): f95bde6c18808a09b31ad21e173c27751cd51c3924c46f8e302154d7a92d248e_1

I get it. I wholly understand your pain. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day for everything that needs to get done. That’s why I’ve written a very basic survival guide to help you get through the following months of seemingly endless papers, tests, and late-night cram sessions.

Five Essential Items You Need to Survive in College


  1. Coffee. Embrace it. The summer before my first year of college, I was completely free of a caffeine addiction. That totally changed about a month into freshman year. There was a Starbucks on campus, and it was all too convenient to stop there between classes – especially after my frequent 8 ams. Some days, it was all I could do to drag myself to the student center, keep myself upright for five minutes in line, and successfully communicate my order to the barista before he or she handed me that glorious cup of life. Thankfully, pretty much every worker in that Starbucks had my order memorized within a few weeks. Yay.
  2. Friends. These people will keep you sane. You will need someone who understands the agony that studying can cause. You will need someone to vent to and cry with. And you will need someone to go get that celebratory scoop of ice cream with when you’ve finally conquered that test you stayed up all night studying for.
  3. A good place to study. The upper floor of Fontbonne’s library is pretty nice, but if you’re like me and prefer to get away from campus, Kaldi’s on Demun and Starbucks at the Cheshire Inn are both convenient to Fontbonne and worthy places to cozy up with your textbook (bonus: they both have delicious food + that glorious asset we discussed earlier, coffee). I’ve also recently been bringing my schoolwork to the Art Musuem – they’re open until 5 pm most days and have plenty of places to sit quietly with your work. It’s kind of inspiring to be surrounded by all that loveliness, tbh.
  4. SLEEP. I’m horrible at this. I drink too much coffee and stay up too late and wake up too early. I’m trying to fix this. I promise, you’ll feel much better if you’re rested most of the time (although sometimes it’s essential to skip out for good times with your friends). Just try to get at least seven hours a night, and if you can’t, nap the next day.
  5. A planner. I 100% double-book plans. Sometimes, I triple-book. This is okay if plans aren’t in stone or you have understanding friends. It’s not okay if it involves obligations for class. During my first two years at college, I wanted to do ALL OF THE THINGS ALL OF THE TIME and I had zero time for recuperation. Do not make this mistake. You will be so exhausted you can’t enjoy anything. Planners help, a lot. Keep up with it and you won’t regret it.

Keep your chins up. You will get through this, I promise!

Keep moving forward.

xoxo Jess


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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.