Only week two, and somehow you are already behind? Did you have a little too much fun this weekend, making going to class a little tricky? It must be your first year! Moving away from home and starting a new chapter in your life is challenging. It is very easy to get lost in the fun of college and allow yourself to fall behind. Here are a few tips to help you survive your first year.

Go to class 

Common sense is not a very common thing, so we have to put this one on the list. If you go to class, you will do well in school; it is quite the simple formula. However, you cannot just go to class and dissociate while the professor rambles on about something you probably need to know for the midterm. That is a waste of your precious time and money you pay to UCR. Go to class and actually pay attention to the knowledge spewed at you, take notes and ask questions so you can understand the material. This way, once you are studying, it won’t be your first time encountering the information. Instead of pulling three all-nighters trying to learn the whole quarter, you might only have to pull one.

Don’t spend all your money 

Being a “broke college student” is all fun and games until you are actually broke in college, deciding whether to buy groceries for the week or the $70 required reading. It is essential to learn how to budget your money so you can afford not only the essentials of living but also things that spark joy. Track your spending. Instead of going out to eat for the eighth time this week, use the dining plan you are paying for with your tuition. However, some expenses are unavoidable, so try finding those soul-crushingly expensive textbooks for free online or renting them via Amazon or the bookstore. Never forget, your student ID is like a pocket coupon book! Always ask if places offer a student discount; you would be surprised how many establishments will give you a little money off for your pursuit of education.

Get a planner 

You and your planner should become best friends. Whether this be an actual day planner, a PDF file with every assignment, or a digital planner, any device used to plan will simplify your life. Get a planner and put every due date, every assignment, every discussion post and every exam in it so you never forget the next due date. It is hard to keep track of the millions of different assignment due dates; a planner keeps your life organized and all in one place.

Balance your life

One of the most complicated challenges you will ever face in college is finding a way to have sleep, a social life and success in school. It is a balancing act; there are weeks where you might get all three, and others where you might sacrifice sleep to have a social life and get your schoolwork done. At the end of the day, finding a healthy balance between all three is vital. It is impossible to succeed without sleeping, a support system, or staying on top of school. For more tips on balancing all three, check out one of our previous articles entitled, “Campus Cope: balancing sleep, social life, and grades… can you really have it all.”