Tips for success in college

Raised between Mozambique and the United States, Adina Sulemane is an eternal student currently pursuing a second masters in law at Trinity College Dublin. Though armed with a law degree, she hopes to enter the world of journalism. Her interests include: food, fiction and musical theatre.

by Adina Sulemane

College marks the beginning of independence. During this time, whether a brand new freshman or seasoned senior, college students look to elders for advice on life. Perhaps they should look to a younger group. Be prepared: as well as a catchy song in the Lion King, this is the motto for the Boy Scouts of America. While college is seen as a time for exploration and non-stop partying, it is also supposed to serve as preparation for the “real world,” and for this there is no greater advice than ‘be prepared.’ In addition to course work, the following are situations for which college students should aim to be prepared.
Changes in weather
The year is divided into months of scorching heat and unbearable cold with a couple tolerable months in between. Living in the northern hemisphere means this change in temperature is more noticeable, so studying here means one ought to anticipate the change and be ready for it. Come autumn, rain is a given – unless you are in southern California – so investing in an umbrella is a must. Remember: a $20 umbrella will outlive four of the $5 kind. As comfortable as a hoodie may be, it is not proper winter attire. There are a few things worth investing in, and a proper winter coat is one of them.
Should you choose to ignore the previous section, you’d do well to pay attention here. As classes take place during the temperature drop, illness is bound to happen; and seeing as college is a social environment, it is bound to spread. The flu does not care about your finals, weekend plans or hot date. Respond accordingly by keeping some cold medicine, a hot water bottle, and a jar of honey at the ready. That way when the inevitable occurs, there is no need to leave the house. Keep warm with a movie and hot cup of tea. Ladies, PMS counts as illness, so try to keep some emergency chocolate stored around the house.
Speaking of emergencies – either life threatening or personal – there are a few things every college student should have sorted. On a serious note, students should aim to have an emergency contact within the first few weeks of college. Whether for a broken limb or appendicitis, a hospital waiting room can be a scary place; make sure you don’t have to wait alone. Life has a sneaky way of springing things on people so it pays to be prepared. Plungers, tampons, and cleaning products (in case of surprise visits from parents): these are a few items students should have lying around. Be sure to buy them before you need them. Speaking of things to have lying around, condoms are worth a mention. It is 2014 and contraception should not be a controversial issue. If you believe yourself to be mature enough to have sex, then you should be responsible enough to prepare for it.
Leaving your teens and entering the adult years means facing adult situations. No one is born ready for them, but a little practice and preparation goes a long way. Make the best of your college years and get the hang of them. It should make facing the ‘real world’ a little less frightening.

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