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5 Productive Things to Do Your First Week of College

College doesn't have to be overwhelming! Here are a few productivity hacks to help you get stuff established your first week of college. Want an even longer list? Click here to get it!

Written by Blossom

August 15, 2016

You opened this because soon you’ll be starting the first week of college!!! YAY.

I tried not to make the first week of college not so intimidating or overwhelming, and I feel I did a pretty good job of upholding that. All it takes is a bit of planning and understanding that you’re not going to know everything. I sure as heck didn’t know how to get my room the first day (the numbering was hella weird–it wasn’t my fault).

Here is what you need to do the first week of college to start your semester off productively.

1. UNPACK EVERYTHING your first week of college

I remember I would swing by people’s rooms just to say hi and days after, their stuff is still in boxes. Don’t be like them. YOU NEED TO UNPACK.

You’ll know where everything is, and you’ll be less STRESSED now that you can see the floor. Also, it’s not fair to your roommate if your crap is everywhere hogging both personal and mental space.

Haven’t packed yet? Don’t know WHAT to pack? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you do and don’t need for college, delivered straight to your inbox.

2. Get a job

One of the FIRST things I did in college was to get a job. I literally walked up to one place and asked, hey are yall hiring? And now I git money.

If I was to restart, I’d apply for a job in the summertime. Lots of my friends already had interviews planned out on their first week because they spoke with representatives during summer break.

Yeah, I was too busy eating jollof rice working on my baby to care about school in the summer time.

3. Set up a system for scheduling dates

I gotta admit, I wasn’t as organized as I needed to be last year, and I believe it was because I didn’t make any attempt to change my organization habits (or lack of) during the first week of college.

So that you don’t make the same mistakes, make sure you find some type of scheduling system and STICK to it. Are you a planner type of dude? Are you a digital girl in a digital world? Or do you go both ways? Whatever it is, find out what works best for you.

And once you’ve found it, you need to have rules in place. For instance:

When you find out about a date, where do you store it so you immediately don’t forget?

When are your reminders going to go off?

When are you actually going to check FOR UPCOMING DEADLINES?

Another problem I had was relying solely on reminders to remind me of upcoming due dates/ events. Let me inform you on how this is a bad idea.

Little ol’ I-can-memorize-everything put my work schedule in my phone’s calendar. And for each shift, I had a reminder that would go off an hour earlier. I thought I didn’t need any extra reminders because it’s not like I ever leave campus. Too much gas. Plus I have no car.

But then I scheduled a trip out of state, which was fine because it was during the weekend, and I was to leave on a Monday I didn’t have school. But while I was returning home, I got that one-hour warning. I was supposed to go to work in the next hour. And I was like three hours away from the city.

So little ol’ Blossom gets her first citation for being a “no-show.” How responsible do I look?

The first week of school, set up a system of writing down important dates from your syllabus and extracurriculars. Check these dates constantly. This year, I’m bullet journaling, so I’m going to be forced to write in important dates of the week EVERY week. I’ll make it a habit to check out what I’m doing every single day at the start of every week

4. Decide on a note-taking system

If your grades were subpar in high school, one reason for this may be the way you take notes. And if you don’t do anything about it in college, there is a high possibility that you will fail once more.

Related: 7 Mistakes Students Make in Class

You can go on my Pinterest board for college tips or Youtube to find note-taking strategies, but be mindful that what works for someone won’t always work for you.

I’ve seen many YouTubers color code things like definitions and examples with different pens and highlighters, and frankly, I don’t have time for that.

If the notes are available online, I take notes in class but focus more on what the professor is saying that’s not in the notes. Afterwards, I’ll study the notes online and combine them with the notes from class. I’m a little extra, so I like to keep a separate composition book for rewritten notes to make them fun and enjoyable.

5. Link your personal email with your school email

Most of the financial aid info I got was sent to my school email address, even though I remember turning in my personal email on that Mercer application countless times before!

It’s actually a pretty simple process, and I outlined how to do so here, in the description box.

Of course, there are a trillion other things you can do to make your first week of college less hectic, but this post would be entirely TOO long and you’d spend more time reading than actually doing.

Quick fix: I created a list of productive things to do as a new student in college. Even if you’re not new, it’s a great comprehensible PDF, and who doesn’t love crossing the life out of things on a to-do list?

This list contains tips from this blog post, from my youtube video, and from all around the internet! Just click here and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.

College doesn't have to be overwhelming! Here are a few productivity hacks to help you get stuff established your first week of college. Want an even longer list? Click here to get it!

College is difficult, but it isn’t impossible. And I’m hoping that you’ll join me in this journey so I can continue to show you exactly how to do it!

I hope this helped you as much as it helped me!

Have you started school yet? What would you add to the list?

College doesn't have to be overwhelming! Here are a few productivity hacks to help you get stuff established your first week of college. Want an even longer list? Click here to get it!
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10 Comments

    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Thanks, and glad you found them useful!

      Reply
  1. Rachel @ STCL

    Great tips! Note taking is super important!

    Reply
    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Definitely! I don’t know how people don’t do it and still learn. Thanks, Rachel!

      Reply
  2. Cait Weingartner

    Great tips! Especially the note taking system. Staying organized from the start is so important.

    – Cait | http://www.prettyandfun.com

    Reply
    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Yup! Organization is a major key. Thanks for stopping by, Cait 🙂

      Reply
  3. Taylor Smith

    I just graduated college and a tip I would say is to learn how to say no and prioritize. School should always come before parties and friends.

    Reply
    • Blossom Onunekwu

      Congrats, Taylor! Saying no is a BIG one, I agree. It’s very important not to pile on so many responsibilities, as I’m sure you’ve learned. Thanks for your expertise 🙂

      Reply
  4. Brianna Wronko

    So true about unpacking…if you don’t do it then it’s never getting done

    Reply
  5. Gina Onyiuke

    Great tips Blossom!

    Reply

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