10+ Best College Tips & Advice to Improve Your University Experience

Whether you're new to university or a seasoned college student, these top college tips will help ensure you have your best semester yet!

Starting college, whether it’s your first semester as a freshman or a returning semester, can be exciting yet stressful. Each semester, there will be new supplies and textbooks for you to purchase. There might also be new documentation that you need to provide proof of before you can register for your classes. 

Figuring out financial aid, planning a class schedule, and learning your way around the campus are things you’ll end up doing each time a new semester starts. With so much to do and plan for, having a few college tips in mind will help you prepare for each semester or school year to come. Are you interested in learning more about tips for college students?

In the college guide below, you’ll find a list of several tips for college that you should know about before the next semester starts. Continue reading below to learn how to do well in college due to preparation!


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Here are our top college tips to make your university life a breeze:

1. Print Your Syllabus Beforehand 

One of the first tips for a college student to keep in mind is printing out syllabi. Each semester, your college professors should make a syllabus available for you. The syllabus will explain the course to you, the required supplies and textbooks for the course, and possibly all of the assignments due throughout the semester. 

Having a printout of each syllabus is ideal because it’ll help you stay organized in each class. Place each syllabus in a folder, binder, or notebook pocket that you’ll be using for its class. Then, start gathering your supplies. 

2. Wait Before Buying Required Textbooks

Another great tip for how to survive college is to hold off on purchasing textbooks. If you’re using your financial aid to pay for textbooks, then you may have to wait until after the add/drop date to receive your aid. Professors know this and should be flexible with you, allowing you to go without the text until the money comes through. 

Another good reason to wait to purchase your textbooks is that some professors won’t actually use the texts or might require a different version listed on the syllabus. Wait until the first day of class to ensure the text is needed before you purchase it. Some professors use the same syllabus for several years and forget to make updates.

Related Read: Gap Years: What Is a Gap Year? Should I Take a Gap Year During Uni?

3. Visit the Campus Before the Semester Starts

If you’re a new student on the campus, then it’s ideal to visit the campus before the semester starts to learn where each building and class is. This is true for returning students as well. If you know you have a class in a building you’ve never been to before, then you’ll want to visit the campus to learn where your classes are as well. 

Many college campuses are large and you might need to drive your vehicle to get from one building to another. This is something to keep in mind when planning your schedule. For example, if you have one class in the Science building and another class in the Business building, but the two are on opposite sides of the campus, then you might not want to schedule one class directly after the other.

You’re going to want time to get from one class to another. The gap between classes is normally 15 minutes, so be sure to choose classes accordingly. 

4. Stay in Touch With Financial Aid

If you have a scholarship or another form of financial aid (grants and loans), then you’ll want to visit financial aid before the semester starts and stay in touch with them. There will most likely be a deadline for when you need to have all of your information sent to the financial aid office. Sometimes, there can be challenges you’ll need to overcome to ensure everything is ready to go. 

To reduce stress surrounding financial aid, it’s best to get the process started as soon as possible. If there’s something extra they need from you, then you’ll have time to find it and give it to them before the deadline date. Don’t wait until the last minute to get this situated. 

Related Read: Greek Life 101: A Full Introduction Into College Fraternities & Sororities

5. Consider Online Classes as Well

If you haven’t already considered taking online classes, then now is the time to do so. Online classes can help save you money by reducing the amount of commuting you have to do. Online textbooks are generally cheaper as well. 

Taking classes in person is always recommended to ensure you get the full college experience. Some students learn better with in-person classes as well. However, you don’t have to have a full schedule of online classes. 

You can mix in-person classes with online classes for a flexible schedule that works well for you. 

6. Schedule Afternoon Classes 

If this is your first semester as a freshman, then something to keep in mind is class scheduling. Even if you believe you’ll want to wake up at 7 am to get to class by 8 am and finish the day early, there are a few factors to consider. For example, if you plan to attend different college events in the evening or go out at night during the weeknights, then you might not want to stress yourself out over early-morning classes.

It’s better to schedule afternoon classes than to schedule morning ones and miss classes or arrive late on a regular basis. 

Related Read: Brag Sheet: What Are College Brag Sheets and How to Make One

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Major

There are many great tips for college, but one tip that people might not tell you about is to not be afraid to change your major. It’s not unheard of for college students to change their majors while in school. In fact, this is quite common

College, for many students, is the place where passions and skills are discovered and formed. You might not know what you want to do after graduating until you actually take a variety of college courses. For example, an anthropology course might be required as a prerequisite. 

When you first sign up for the course, you may not know anything about the subject or believe you want to learn more about it. However, after attending a few classes, you may learn that you have an interest in the subject and then change your major to accommodate your newly found passion. There are many different college courses and subjects to discover, and this is just one example.

8. Form a Relationship With Your Advisor

Speaking of college majors and finding your path, be sure to form a relationship with your advisor. You’ll be glad you did in the long run. Many colleges have different advisors for different majors. 

If you’re majoring in English, then you’ll have an English advisor and so on. Start building your relationship with the advisor now. They can help guide you throughout your major and even help you find a different major that might be a better fit for you.

Once your senior year arrives, your college advisor can even help you choose between different career paths that are related to your interests and major. It’s always best to speak with them about this because there might be more job opportunities available for you than you know of. 

Related Read: 15 Best Certifications for Jobs to Set You Apart From Other Candidates

9. Never Hesitate to Ask for Help

Throughout your college career, you’re going to find yourself in moments where you need help. This is normal, so don’t panic. When you’re feeling unsure about something, never hesitate to ask for help. 

You have professors, advisors, and peers there to help you. It’s essential to know what resources are available to you. Your professors and advisors can always inform you about available resources. 

Your fellow college students might also have some good insight into different resources available to you whether it be writing help at the writing lab, different study groups, or something else. 

10. Keep a Yearly Planner

College courses can get overwhelming. There will be a lot of assignments and due dates to keep up with. To help reduce anxiety, try to stay as organized as possible. 

One way of doing so is keeping a yearly planner. Try to find a planner that gives you enough writing room under each day for you to write in assignments and their due dates and times. Break up your assignments by writing each one down under the day when you want to have it completed.

Then, make sure to add it under the actual day it’s due as well. You can also use your planner for other college activities and even appointments. 

Related Read: 15 Best MBA Programs Around the World (MIT, Oxford, Tokyo & More!)

The Best College Tips Can Get You Through Each Semester

There’s no doubt about it: being a college student is a job in itself. It takes a lot of dedication, motivation, and hard work to juggle college courses with everything else in life. Knowing some of the best college tips can help you prepare and make it through each semester with ease. 

Another important aspect of being a college student is taking excellent notes. We can help you with that as well! For helpful college note-taking tips, click here.

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Goodwall Team
Written By Goodwall Team
This article was written by the Goodwall team or by a contributor for publication on Goodwall. Goodwall is dedicated to helping students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals reach their full potential. We'll share thought-provoking and supportive articles on career advice, self-improvement, navigating the college landscape, climate action, social impact, and more. On the business side, we'll talk about SMB subjects related to community, diversity, talent acquisition, case studies, and enterprise.

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