brittany-hopwood_web.jpgSo, you just graduated a couple months ago and you’re getting ready for your first semester of college? Well, here’s a few words of wisdom from a fellow student:

1. To get the best deals and selection for back to school basics, shop early and in small increments, leaving the biggest items – like that fridge or microwave – for last when you actually reach the campus. That way you travel with less and have more room. The same goes for perishable foods.
2. Network!! Network like crazy! Make friends with your classmates, teachers and even some of the cafeteria service people. That way you have a support system, a guaranteed recommendation letter, and better food. Remember: it’s OK to stay after class to talk to your professor, and visiting in office hours doesn’t hurt either. This shows that you care about this investment and you want the most out of it.

3. Start your own club. Sure, there’s probably a billion on campus already, but how many of them have YOU as the president? Starting your own club opens up many opportunities that can boost your resume and leadership skills. Plus, it’s a fun way to make friends and get yourself known.

4. Do not pull all-nighters. This is probably the worst study tactic. Instead, study in short bursts every day by reviewing the material learned each day.

5. Take care of yourself. Even though, mom’s not there to check in, make sure you take advantage of all the benefits you’ve paid for, such as the recreation center and the veggie-friendly meals. Also, get plenty of rest. It’s OK to nap as long as that’s not all you do.

Brittany Hopwood, 19, of Lauderhill, is a senior at the University of South Florida in Tampa.