5 Apps To Help You Survive This Semester

by Hannah Lank

A new semester is upon us and with it comes many changes and many returns. Whether you’re returning to university to hammer out another year, or about to experience your first-ever semester, we can all use a little extra help managing life for the next eight months. Cue your smartphone and my top five favorite apps. Get downloading and find solace in their abilities.

Cropped image of student sitting on the ground and working on laptop

Boost Mobile Ordering

Okay, yes, this is our own app, but we’re not shy about sharing how awesome it is. Time equals money, and most students are short on both. So if you’re going to spend your money, why not also save time? Got an 8 am class and want a coffee beforehand? Order on Boost as you’re leaving your residence, and it’ll be waiting for you when you arrive on campus. 

Mint

Although we hate to admit it, it’s important to stay on top of our finances including when our credit card bills are due, where our money is going and what our overall financial health looks like. Thankfully, Mint, a secure financial app, covers all three bases and more. As students, we have a LOT of expenses: tuition, books, coffee, ramen… And they add up quickly! Mint tracks your credit card spending and organizes it into different categories (i.e. restaurants, entertainment, laundry, etc), even notifying you when you’ve exceeded your budget in one. It tracks your cash flow (income vs. expenses) and investments, suggesting how to improve your overall spending habits.

Blackboard

Most institutions use Blackboard to share assignments, syllabi and announcements from classes with students. (If your institution doesn’t use Blackboard, they likely use a similar platform that also has its own mobile app.) When on your phone, you can check your prof’s office hours on the go, remind yourself of upcoming assignments, or post questions to discussion boards the second they pop into your head. You’ll also get notifications when your prof posts an announcement, upcoming assignment, or new grade.

NYTimes

Hear me out on this one—no, it may not seem to be directly school-related, but it’s too easy to become absorbed in the bubble of student life. Although I’ve specified the New York Times’ app, download the equivalent of any news source. You don’t have to ever open it even—although reading articles about what’s up in the world is definitely not a bad thing. Instead allow it to notify you about major world events, so you won’t be completely in the dark. Eventually you may find yourself scrolling through it versus your Facebook or Twitter feeds. Don’t forget there’s a whole world outside of school, and it matters too.

Flashcards+

When your life is practically studying, it helps to include a variety of different methods to trigger your memory reflexes. Although you could take the time to hand write keywords and definitions out on cue cards, Flashcards+ saves you time and paper. And you’ll never have to worry about leaving them behind on the bus. The app even offers a shuffling option so you don’t memorize the order of the flashcards instead of what’s actually written on them. Convenient? I think so!

How To Build Your Resume This Semester

Yeah, yeah, you’re barely on top of your academics let alone your social life, so why toss professional development into the mix? Aside from the additional lines on your resume, it provides mental breaks from those pesky academic burdens. As always, balance is key. It shouldn’t necessarily turn into a justifiable form of procrastination. And nor should school hinder your ability to commit to a job or volunteer opportunity. When in balance though and given the right circumstances, resume building expands your social circle, introducing you to communities you perhaps wouldn’t encounter otherwise, and offers perspective. Here’s how to effectively search out these opportunities, fleshing out your resume and likely scooping up a few references along the way.

Student work process concept. Young woman working university project with generic design laptop

Work, work, work, work, work, work

They’re the meat and potatoes of any resume: current and previous jobs. However, don’t overthink ‘em. Illustrious internships sound delightful, but aren’t always possible. And there’s no reason to turn your nose up at retail, hospitality, administrative or more labour-intensive positions either on- or off-campus. Whatever the environment, there are skill sets to develop, which you can then list on your resume or share in a job interview. Keep your eyes open for help wanted signs, check out the classified section of your local paper or classified sites and pay a visit to your campus careers centre.

Give a hand

Too often the victim of either overthinking or undervaluing, volunteer experience is as worthwhile as previous employment. Yes, campus clubs, societies and other branches of student life departments occasionally organize one-off or limited volunteer opportunities, but, unlike jobs, I recommend searching exclusively off-campus. (Although you don’t necessarily have to stray outside your neighbourhood.) In this case, you can tailor your search to your interests or areas you wish to learn more about (not what some university administrator chooses for you). Select an organization that respects its volunteers, offers long-term opportunities and shares similar values. Most not-for-profits have volunteer programs. And even if not advertised, e-mail them. No one likes to turn down free help.

Certify this

Aside from the skills you gain through employment and volunteering, consider certifications or skills-based courses outside your academics. (It doesn’t mean more essays. I promise.) First aid and CPR and other health-related certifications are often requirements for volunteer positions and jobs. Depending on your level of tech-savvy, there’s no harm in (finally) learning how to navigate Microsoft Excel or Photoshop. And you don’t need to major in French to boost your fluency. Track down conversation groups, one-on-one tutors or community classes. In the case of any certification or course, Google is your best friend.  

And the award goes to…

Beyond the glamour of a paper certificate or awkward employee of the month mug shot, awards are the perfect buttons to a resume. Whether they’ve heard or it or not, awards show potential employers you’ve demonstrated a level of commitment and excellence worthy of recognition. Now, of course, they should never serve as a form of motivation. Keep your eyes open for applications with requirements that match your experience and skill set and visit your student awards or scholarship department for further assistance.

5 Condiments Staples For Your Student Fridge

by Danielle Del Vicario

Ah, the mini-fridge, the quintessential icon of university life. About to move into your dorm, you have visions of your compact cooling unit fully stocked with breakfast snacks, booze and (let’s face it) more booze. You picture yourself cracking open a cold one without doing more than swivelling your desk chair. Soon though, things start to slip and the inevitable happens: your mini-fridge becomes little more than a glorified container for unused condiments. As this eventuality can’t be resisted, we’ve pieced together a list of what you would find in our fridge, and why it’s there. Because not all condiments are created equal.

student looking in fridge

Dijon Mustard

There are two types or people in the world: mustard people and ketchup people. Or as I like to look at it: people who like mustard and people who just haven’t tried good mustard yet. My number one condiment is Dijon mustard. Perfect for sausages you make on your tiny hot plate, it’s also a great on sandwiches and in quick salad dressings. (Yes, I was the freshman who made their own salad dressings in their dorm.) Grab one in a glass jar so you can help the planet a little by skipping out on plastic.

Mayonnaise

I’m not a mayo eater per se, but I appreciate its versatility. If nothing else, it’s key to a classic egg salad sandwich, easily made with a hot plate, microwave or even just a kettle.

Malt Vinegar

By now you’ve probably noticed the absence of ketchup, Sriracha, barbecue and sweet Thai chili sauce on this list. These condiments (and many others like them) are loaded with sugar. Cutting some of the less obvious sources of refined sugars from your diet is an easy way to improve your focus and mood, stabilize your blood sugar and just make you feel generally better. When you make that late night fast food run, malt vinegar and a generous sprinkle of salt is a great alternative to ketchup on your fries.

Soy Sauce

Self-explanatory if you like sushi and have ever had to deal with the ketchup packet-sized packs of soy sauce that come with your takeout. (Seriously not adequate.)

Natural Peanut Butter

I’m not sure peanut butter is classified as a condiment, but it deserves mention regardless. Whether slathered on toast, used as a dip for banana or apple slices, or just eaten straight from the jar, peanut butter is a student’s best friend. Given the addition of palm oil and sugar in most commercial peanut butters, choose an all-natural variety (which should be kept in the fridge to keep fresh). Shop around and choose your favourite.

3 Basic Recipes Every Student Needs To Know

by Madeleine Brown

“Students cannot live on dried noodles alone.” Or something like that, right?

However, unless you’re enrolled in a culinary arts program, you needn’t move into your kitchen. Stick to basic recipes, building in complexity only as time and motivation allow. Often when stressed, I’ll gravitate towards a dripping fried egg sandwich any day over some finicky sous-vide chicken nonsense. When lacking sleep and overwhelmed with deadlines, don’t make rash decisions and don’t prepare a three-course meal. Even if cooking serves as a form of relaxation, basic recipes still require enough cooking to calm you, but not so much as to set you over the edge. Nestle my favourite basic recipes in your brain next to the secret campus shortcuts and life-saving pre-order apps. You’ll have all three to thank come convocation.

Fried Egg Sandwich

Breakfast - sandwich with fried egg

1 whole wheat roll, if desired, toasted

dollop of peanut or other nut- or seed-based spread

squirt of Sriracha

2 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh coriander, if desired, chopped and to taste

  1. Slice roll in half and spread nut-based spread—say “spread” one more time, why don’t you?—and Sriracha on bottom half.
  2. Preheat a frying pan (if necessary with a splash of vegetable oil) over medium heat.
  3. Crack eggs into pan and allow to cook until whites turn opaque.
  4. Flip eggs and cook thirty seconds more or longer depending on how runny you prefer your yolks.
  5. Gently slide eggs into roll and season with salt, pepper and, if you’re a fan, coriander.

Anyway Dip and Pita Chips

homemade pita chips with dipping sauce

2 cloves of garlic, grated

1 can beans or legumes (i.e. kidney, white, red, chickpeas, lentils, etc.)

1 tbsp tahini or other nut- or seed-based spread

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper, to taste

1 tsp cumin, paprika, both or other spice of choice

olive oil

2 whole wheat pitas, quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Combine first six ingredients in a food processor or high-rimmed bowl. Blitz, using a handheld blender in the latter case, pouring in olive oil until smooth and desired texture is reached.
  3. Toss pitas onto a baking sheet and bake until crispy and browned, approximately six minutes.
  4. Serve pitas alongside dip.

Baked Potato with Greek Yogurt, Chives and Bacon

Baked Potato

1 potato, sweet or russet

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

2 strips bacon, variety or substitute of choice

dollop of Greek yogurt

fresh chives, chopped and to taste

fresh ground pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. (Yes, you can cook potatoes in the microwave. I do not.)
  2. Prick potato with fork and rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven on a baking sheet or on rack and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until fork easily pierces skin.
  3. Meanwhile preheat a frying pan over medium heat. Fry bacon on each side until cooked through and desired level of crispness is reached. Let cool on a plate covered in paper towels and dice into small pieces.
  4. Slit potato halfway down the middle. Fill with Greek yogurt and garnish with bacon, chives and pepper.

 

How To Manage Back To School Stress

Despite the hours you’ve clocked in front of your laptop, television or cellphone this summer—the hours of welcome mind-numbing—September’s imminent approach mitigates their effect. Suddenly you wake from a blissful summer daze, which likely came over you about halfway through binging Netflix’s Glow, and are reminded of course selection, tuition fees and textbook rentals.

Worry not. It’s a normal part of academic life. In fact I often wonder why colleges and universities don’t schedule its approximate arrival in their respective academic calendars. Here’s my advice for harnessing-in back-to-school stress.

Back view portrait of a female student walking

Tackle back-to-school preparation in stages

Unlike assignments, you can’t start and finish back-to-school preparation in a single night. Even if you’re an online shopping whizz, who wants to pay for overnight delivery? Accept you can’t roll out of bed on the first day and walk into the lecture hall completely prepared. School supplies aside, there’s basic administrative deadlines for consideration. The Office of the Registrar is likely the only contact filling your school e-mail address’ inbox this summer. (So, yes, do check it.) Remain aware and, institutional deadlines aside, roughly schedule what, how and when you’ll prepare for the new semester the two weeks before the start of term. Do you new to load up on pens? Will you order your textbooks through Amazon instead of the bookstore this year? What about a tune-up on the bike you ride to and from campus each day?

Review your intended schedule and set goals

Like bad relationships of both the romantic and platonic varieties, it’s usually not until you’re in too deep, you realize the harmful nature of the commitment. Don’t let poor judgment lead to burnout halfway through the approaching term. Sure, sure, you’re organized, you’re hardworking, but, given the choice, do you really want a twelve-hour day every Monday and Wednesday? Depending on how much responsibility you have over your schedule, consider how manageable it is in real life versus on paper. And if the nature of your program offers less flexibility, don’t pile up on unnecessary outside commitments. As someone famous once said, “We fear the unknown.” When you have an understanding of your new term, you’re less likely to stress over it.

Give yourself over to the final days of freedom

After you’ve mulled over the impending term, let yourself return to summer. There’s no point filling the last weeks of August with induced stress. Leave that for the exam period. Stay up late, or go to bed early. Socialize as much as possible or hide in your bedroom and avoid humankind altogether. Such freedom is rarely available when class is back in session. Now while back-to-school stress is expected, it shouldn’t come in extreme doses. And, yes, given the right distractions, you should have the ability to still relax in your final weeks of summer. Manageable back-to-school stress is the price paid for the benefits post-secondary education gifts you: friendships, personal development and academic fulfillment. Should you question the existence of such gifts—or your justification for pursuing a diploma or degree in general—my snappy advice for stress management won’t suffice. Pose these questions to trustworthy family members, friends or a counselor. Nobody deserves to live under constant stress outside of or during the school year.

How To Survive A New Roommate

by Madeleine Brown

It can end friendships, start floods, or worse, deplete liquor stocks: a new roommate. They take sibling squabbles to a new level. And mom is no longer around to play referee. Yet the induction of a roommate is as much a required young adult growing pain as failed papers, burnt casseroles and awkward dates. (Hopefully you never experience all three in a single evening.) Whether your roommate turns into your best friend, worse enemy, or—often best of all—the one that’s never home, you needn’t allow them to decimate your daily routine. Here are my tips to survive not only their arrival, but moreover the duration of their stay.

Moving boxes in new apartment

Communicate

As the experts say, it’s the key to any successful relationship. Establish lines of communication early. Create a Facebook page for your household to post bills, share holiday plans and “book” the living room for your Wednesday night group study sessions. Likewise ensure you have your new roommate’s e-mail address and phone number. You never know when an issue may require the formality of an e-mail or urgency of a phone call. However, don’t omit the best (yet most dreaded) form of communication: in-person conversation. In an ideal world, every set of roommates could dissect household matters in weekly meetings. You needn’t run your house like some government council though, just make the effort to bring up conflicts or needs in person as often as possible. Although it’s easy to throw down dirt via Facebook, remember your roommates know where you live.

Socialize

Hopefully you’ve spent some time with your new roommate in advance of their move-in date. Whether you have or haven’t, socialize with them on a regular basis. Now your definition of “regular” can vary immensely. I’ve lived with roommates with whom our socializing amounted to shared a meal (and maybe a movie) at the end of each term. Conversely I’ve socialized with roommates on an almost daily basis in the form of bedroom floor lamentations. (I highly recommend during period of high stress.) However regular, let the “fun” aspect of your relationship develop naturally. Don’t draw up an over-packed social calendar or gift them endless friendship bracelets. Like most relationships, it’ll deepen on its own terms. So never force it. And who really wants to end up living with their best friend? …that’s an entire blog post in itself.

Reassess

Routines established in September can change come December. Don’t lock yourself into duties or policies. If you’d prefer to take on all the household cleaning rather than divide-up the load, do it. (What?! I like to clean.) If your roommate’s new boyfriend’s elongated stays challenge your initially flexible visitation policy, adjust it. And should such changes present further problems, change them again. Consider your own family. Your role likely shifted in nature over the course of your childhood and adolescence. And it’s likely only to shift more as you progress further into adulthood. The most successful communities acknowledge change as an opportunity for growth and development. And maybe you just don’t want to share milk anymore. So don’t!

4 Weird Fair Foods Of Summer 2017

by Madeleine Brown

Like awkward family reunions, the weirdest food trends gather at fairs across the continent over the summer before they die off never to be eaten again. (Hopefully your family reunions don’t always conclude in death[s]).

There are the fair classics from funnel cakes and cotton candy to ribs and burgers. However, fairs like Toronto’s CNE (the Canadian National Exhibition), North America’s fifth largest, have embraced the event’s natural breeding ground for bizarre eats and now draw crowds for food alone. From August 18 through Labour Day weekend, you can find all your deep-fried favourites alongside appearances by celebrity chefs like Vancouver restaurateur, Vikram Vij and Chopped judge favourite, John Higgins as well as features on craft beer, east coast cuisine and another beloved trend, food trucks. While the newest food offerings are still under wraps, let’s meet a selection of this year’s participants and their specialties.  

The newest cone in town


Who eats ice cream for the ice cream any more? It’s all in the cone. Open your Instagrams, people! According to Eva of Eva’s Original Chimneys, chimneys or kurtoskalacs are a Hungarian specialty eaten like you would any respectable cinnamon roll: a slow unspiralling of that perfect bread-like pastry. Eva fills hers with soft-serve ice cream and toppings described with every food buzzword out there like “homemade”, “organic” and “local”. Given the headlines and features, this lady’s on to something smoking.

Did you say bacon?


Canada’s Bacon Nation understands humankind’s primitive attraction to beloved bacon. What brings anyone to the kitchen quicker than a whiff of spitting pork fat as strips sizzle in the frying pan? Stronger in numbers, Bacon Nation united two food trends to much delight at last year’s CNE with the Bacon Taco. It has all the usual fixings of a taco along with a heap of crispy, dripping bacon. Leave your vegetarian friends at home; this one’s for the most carnivorous members of your circle.  

Don’t cry over it


Who wants an onion ring, when you can have a whole flower? Available in food truck form since last summer, the folks at the Colossal Onion cut their big white, beauties from the top down in the shape of a blossoming water lily. From there it’s doused in batter, deep-fried and served alongside dippable chipotle mayo. This onion won’t lead to any tears—except perhaps of joy.

How Philthy


Philthy Phillys’s brings the magic of the Philly cheesesteak north. Traditionally, the sandwich is served in a hoagie roll, stuffed with thin-sliced beefsteak and drowned in melted cheese. Phil follows tradition (alongside a chicken option) and goes against it with other variations that feature the additions of coleslaw and fries in the sandwich known as Phat Phil and hash browns, sautéed onions and eggs, or #Philthy. Best of all, add Cheese Whiz to any sandwich for no extra charge. Bonus points to you if you manage to share a ‘wich with Phil himself.

Don’t Forget To Pack These 5 College Necessities

When it comes to moving into residence for the first time, ruminate on the following mantra: the first time is always the worse. Having lived it, I can attest to the truth behind that statement. In addition to the emotional nature of the situation (on both yours and likely your family’s parts), the practicality of separating a newly formed single household from an established one is complicated. Suddenly the shared hair dryer and mysteriously self-replacing supply of toilet paper must be considered. Here’s my list of often under-appreciated (and as a result often forgotten) college necessities. And, yes, don’t forget the toilet paper.

pack these 5 college necessities

Laundry supplies

75.4% of young adults attend college and university in order to learn how to do laundry. Okay, I quite possibly made up the percentage, but speaking from my own experience, I like to believe the cliché is true. Coming from a chore-less childhood, I moved away from home, completed my first load and packed my own lunch all for the first times in the span of a week. Along with a choice detergent, dryer sheets, laundry bag, hardcore stain remover and extra coat hangers to air-dry delicates, request basic laundry pointers from a parental unit prior to the big move.

Electronic device wipes

If you didn’t through high school, your life will now officially revolve around your laptop and cellphone. From entertainment to social life and the odd assignment, your devices serve as your home television, office and even personal chef.  So, take my advice and invest in a package of wipes specifically for devices. When your life goes up flames, a clean screen can ease the stress.

Portable drink containers

You’re likely to receive your share of free condoms, pamphlets, barbecues and, yes, water bottles over the course of frosh week. However, now a young adult, you’ll soon learn just because it’s free, don’t mean it’s good. Purchase a quality water bottle and thermos before the move. Most campuses are outfitted with fancy-smancy water fountains and most mornings you won’t wake early enough to finish your coffee at home.

Printer and ink

Don’t pretend you’ve outwitted “the man” by printing your assignments off of the library or student centre printers. It’s never—ever—worth it. Come 4 am, tired, alone and twenty words away from the assigned word count, you do not want to interact with the shared copy machine only to discover it won’t print your half-assed essay. Spend the money and buy a printer. While you’re still on mommy and daddy’s dime, also stock up on ink. Forget learning Santa Claus’ legitimacy, the actual cost of printer ink is the greatest disappointment of adult life.

Alarm clock

I know, you have a cellphone, I know. But let me ask you this: how charged is it right now? It’s probably dead, right? An alarm clock is an ultimately inexpensive investment that’ll save you charging anxiety down the road. It’s the magic of electricity, folks. Set your typical wake-up time—don’t forget to select AM instead of PM—and with the simple flick of a switch, you’ll never worry about making class again. Now whether or not you chose to hit the snooze button one time too many is on you.

What Are Pre & Probiotics And Why Should I Care?

On the days when you wish to send your landlord or residence adviser a very firmly worded e-mail, or—even more daring—publicly confront them remember you too are host to your own residences. Okay, the connection is somewhat forced—but metaphors are helpful, right?

You see right now there are beneficial bacteria who live, work—but probably not play—in your body. Their ultimate purpose is to assist in such bodily functions as nutrient production and digestion. On the other hand, like your lousy upstairs neighbour who listens to Lorde’s latest album at top volume, there are also potentially harmful bacteria who call your body home. In both cases, the beneficial and the harmful bacteria, the good and the bad residences, you are (metaphorically-speaking) their landlord. As much as we tire of that nasty neighbour’s love of Lorde, it’s essential we maintain a balance between both groups for the health of our building, our body. (I promise I’ll quit with the metaphors soon.) However, rather than issue a complaint or file a report on either residence’s behaviour in order to maintain order in our homes, our bodies have pre- and probiotics.

what are pre and probiotics and why should I care

The good bacteria in our digestive system (to use another metaphor) “eat” prebiotics to fuel their development and work. Meanwhile, probiotics are themselves live microorganisms, which enter our bodies through the food we eat, adding to the population of good bacteria already present in our bodies. Prebiotics are found in garlic, onions, asparagus, greens, berries as well as whole grains and oats. Likely if the marketing campaigns behind major yogurt brands have made any impact on you, you’re already aware that probiotics are found in cultured dairy including, yes, yogurt and kefir. However, they’re also contained in fermented foods (and flavor-boosters) like kimchi, sauerkraut and miso.

Science has yet to uncover the full extent of the benefits incurred by regular consumption of pre- and probiotics. However, aside from maintaining our overall health, prebiotics help control our insulin and blood sugar levels after eating and allow us to feel full faster. A balanced microbiome, the environment in your gut where the bacteria live, reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease as well as inflammation and improves nutrient absorption.

While I am always one to encourage smart confrontations à la disagreements between landlords and residences, consider how you manage your own body’s and its bacteria’s health.

Do both a favour by incorporating foods rich in pre- and probiotics into your diet:

  • Insert a popsicle stick into individually-portioned yogurt cups and freeze for homemade frozen yogurt pops.
  • Blend cultured dairy into smoothies alongside prebiotic-rich veggies.
  • Try oatmeal for breakfast on occasion.
  • Prepare lunches and dinners such as stir-frys or soups at home and you’ll likely regularly eat more onions and garlic (the flavor base of both dishes).

By making thoughtful choices about your diet, you’ll save disputes to the life outside your body—not in it.

Advice For Incoming Freshmen

by Madeleine Brown

Not to add to the pressure on incoming first-years, but I have yet to do anything as important in my life as starting university. Truly. However, I am not saying that either college or university are important. They’re not. It’s the circumstances that surround this moment in your life that hold importance. Whether you move onto residence or commute to campus from home, you’re about to embark on the first stage in your life where you have the opportunity to claim full ownership. 

To add to the abundance of advice you’re likely drowning in, here are three pieces of my own. Consider them, but understand I didn’t develop them (or at least become aware of my development of them) until the end of my university career. Who knows what advice you may doll out to someone in your position in three or four year’s time?

advice for incoming freshman

Expect nothing

Expectations are the bane of my existence. They overshadow experiences. It’s not until some time after the fact—usually when I’m organizing receipts during tax season—when I realize the importance of an experience and how it turned out nothing like my expectations. And thankfully so. (Sadly receipts are my form of adult scrapbooking.) Don’t expect a high grade on your first test, but likewise don’t expect a low one. Don’t expect to meet your best friend or soulmate, but don’t expect not to. You likely have a delightful imagination, but when it comes to real life let’s leave its course up to the world’s greatest creative genius, fate.

Establish routine

Unless you had an nontraditional upbringing, chances are your routine has remained unchanged for eighteen odd years. It’s about to explode into one thousand-some pieces. Some weekdays you won’t have classes, some you may only have one starting at 2 pm and others you may have an overwhelming amount. You may adopt an unbearable two-hour commute to and from school or you may have to schedule dinner yourself at your cafeteria. Whether you thrive on a routine or not, at least reflect on the basic parameters of your new one. Perhaps write it out in diagram form, color-coding based on the nature of the obligation, or speak it out with friends or family. And returning to controlling expectations: don’t expect to master your schedule during your first month.

Enjoy independence

Or if you prefer more banal forms of advice: have fun(!!!). And, no, I don’t mean out-drink your roommate or hook-up with your neighbor across the hall. Enjoy the freedom (in whatever degree) you’ve been gifted. College and universities are worlds onto themselves, aiming to make their resources as accessible as possible. So attend office hours—even just to attest to their existence to your peers—lose your breath at a spin class at the campus gym or sign-up for a questionable, poorly organized club. Like the independence you honed in order to make those decisions, you can just as easily choose to never make the same ones again.