Welcome to the spectacle that is UNC, kids. Apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to have ME, of all people, give advice about college. I have to laugh.
But alas! It happened, and here we are. So, in the spirit of the first week of classes, I present you with my top ten FREE college hacks (terms and conditions may apply):
- GO TO OFFICE HOURS! Everybody says this, but that’s because it’s actually true. The same goes for help sessions, peer tutoring, etc. They really make a difference (EconAid Center, I love you).
- I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to be confused and ask questions. No one expects you to know it all or understand everything on your own.
- There are probably going to be white supremacists on campus every now and then. That’s probably not going to change any time soon — trust me, we’ve tried.
- Don’t go to frat parties. If the crowds don’t scare you away, the toxic masculinity ought to be enough to send you running in the other direction.
- Speaking of frat parties, if you do go, don’t go alone. Be wary of the PJ and always keep an eye on your cup.
- Always keep an apocalypse survival kit on hand — you never know when a water crisis may strike. Or a hurricane. Or a snowstorm. Or a power outage. UNC is a thrill, really.
- Prioritize your mental health — I cannot emphasize this enough. This place will tear you apart if you let it, so be kind and gentle with yourself. You deserve it.
- Failure is OK. You’re guaranteed to tank a midterm or two. It’s going to feel like the end of the world, but I promise it isn’t.
- It’s easier said than done, but try not to let your grades get you down. Know that you are so much more than letters and numbers. UNC is a competitive place, and many people are all too eager to use academic achievement as a means of social comparison, but it’s such a simplified depiction of your worth and potential.
- This is more of a general life tip, but it needs to be said: be a good person. Have empathy. Own your privilege and use it for good.
People have probably always told you that your college years will be the best of your life. I have one thing to say about that: I really freaking hope not. College is fun, but it’s HARD, so God, if you’re reading this, please don’t let this be my peak.
On the bright side, though, I’ve made it through the past two years in one piece. If I can do it, anyone can (jury’s still out on the next two, though).