1. Do NOT loft your bed! At least if you're like me and like to sit in your bed quite often and lazily roll out of bed in the morning, lofting makes this nearly impossible. The comfort of falling onto your bed at the end of the day is one of the greatest feelings and climbing a ladder to do so definitely ruins it. I highly recommend you don't put yourself through this!!
2. Steal food from the dining hall. We all know dining hall food sucks, but make the most of it! I would steal apples and bananas almost every meal and sometimes even bring a ziplock for grapes or blueberries. As a broke college student, save as much as you can!!
3. Invest in a s'well water bottle!! My campus has water bottle fill up stations all over so its very convenient to have a refillable bottle. The s'well in particular keeps water ice cold (the only way I like it.) In Miami especially, the heat would make all my water warm instantly, but not in my s'well! Very good purchase 10/10 do recommend.
4. Use ratemyprofessor.com. I personally have a hard time studying on my own and need a really good teacher to get the key concepts down. Rate my professor helped me a lot with getting the best available teachers I could find while making my schedule!
5. Introduce yourself to your floor mates. My roommate and I made some best friends in a different building the first day of orientation so we unfortunately didn't really bond with the people on our floor. We also got the corner room that nobody ever came into, so that definitely didn't help. Towards the end of the year we started bonding more with girls on our floor and realized how cool they really were and wished we had gotten to know them earlier in the year! It was cool being able to just walk a couple doors down to see your friends rather than an entirely different building, so be friendly and open to meeting everybody on your floor at the beginning of the year before it's too late!
6. If you are not a morning person, do NOT schedule 8 ams. I'm definitely not a late sleeper, but getting up for school was always SUPER difficult for me. In college, I stupidly thought I could handle an 8 am, being much later than my start time in high school. Moral of the story: I was WRONG, slept through 10 alarms and missed class several times. Even when my roommate would wake me up and I made it to class on time, it was equally as terrible.
7. Stay organized. This was a big one for me in high school as well. I can be a bit of a scatter brain with major ADD and short term memory loss, so a planner and lots of todo lists always kept me on track. I would write down pretty much every single thing I had to do and even set reminders in my phone if things were time-sensitive. When I had a ton of things to do at once I would pretty much plan my day hour by hour to be the most efficient!
8. Find your study space. I have friends who live in the library, but the library isn't for me. I would do most of my work outside or in Starbucks. I'm a person who needs a little noise and things going on around me while I work but everybody's different! It took me a couple of months to find what worked for me, but this is definitely an important thing to figure out!
9. Go to office hours. In High School I was never somebody who went for extra help, mostly because I was lazy, but in college I've found it extremely helpful. Even if your professor isn't the best, the one-on-one time usually does help, and is a great way to get to know your professor and get them to like you! A professor who developed a connection with you and knows how hard you work is much more likely to give you a good grade than one who doesn't even know who you are!
10. HAVE FUN! Do not over stress about classes 24/7. Although school is the most important thing, give yourself a break! These are the greatest years of your life, so study hard but also live life to the fullest!
Biggest tip: Be smart with how you spend your time and balance work with fun!