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Back To School Survival Guide

*Editor’s Note: This article comes from our beloved intern, Intern Sam, who returns to college in two weeks. Check out the rest of our college and intern content here.

It is now the beginning of September, so most college students are either at school already or starting very soon. My school is dumb and stupid and doesn’t start for another two weeks, so I’m a bit behind the 8 ball with this article. Regardless, I’ve compiled a list of advice and things that I wish I knew going into college.

Oh, by the way, if you’re a sophomore in college, you’re really just a freshman. Every upperclassmen sees you this way. You don’t even know where the dining hall is yet and you’ve never been to a single in person class. Let me talk down to you for 500 words please and thank you. 

Back to College Survival Guide

Go to Class

I’m all for having fun and doing the bare minimum for the required freshman classes. You’ll never need the information they teach you in your freshman year English class (mine was about Gilgamesh, a book about as old as my professor was). That being said, GO TO CLASS.

Going to class is by far the easiest way to slack off. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. If you go to class, pay attention, and take mediocre notes, you need to study for a fraction of the time you’d need to if you had slept through your alarm. Trying to teach yourself a course is a whole lot harder than having a professor teach you it. 


Pedialyte is simply a cheat code to hangovers. Don’t be cheap and buy the knockoff brand stuff either. First week of school, head to the grocery store and buy six of these. They’re expensive, but in case you didn’t know so is college. You’re young, but you’re not that young and hangovers can make going to class either impossible or miserable.

Don’t have too much pride, just drink it. If your drunk self is nice to your sober self, you’ll drink half of it blackout drunk before going to bed, fill it back up with water and drink watered down Pedialyte in the morning. 

Don’t Buy Textbooks

I don’t get any of my textbooks for the first day of class anymore. I give it a week, maybe two, and see if the professor is actually going to use it. I’ve been bamboozled and hoodwinked into spending way too much money on books that I opened literally once all semester. If your professor assigns their own book for your class, definitely don’t buy that.

First off, what a self righteous thing to do, second off, it’s certainly not a popular book. They’ve been pumping their sales numbers by assigning it every year. Should you actually need the textbook, don’t you dare buy it from the school store. The internet exists numbnuts. has nearly every textbook I’ve ever needed for free, and if it doesn’t then check out Google books, Reddit, etc. If you really cannot find the book you need, I’d suggest renting it from the school or heading to SlugBooks, which compares the prices across a ton of different sites. 

Don’t Take Bullshit

At this point you’re going to need to fend for yourself. Mommy and daddy aren’t going to email the principal for you. Don’t be afraid to call professors or administrators out on their bullshit. I had a professor once give me an 85 on a paper (which is a fine grade) but didn’t give a single piece of feedback. So I asked her, and she emailed me back and said she put the grade in wrong as it was meant to be a 95. Professors are people too and make mistakes, if you think a grade is wrong then simply email them. It could save your GPA. 

Secondly, your college is trying to squeeze every last penny out of your pockets while you’re there. I caught my school pulling $500 out of my account for housing when I wasn’t living on campus. So I wrote a strongly worded email and got my money back. Sure I was acting like a bit of a Karen, but I saved myself a bunch of money. 

Dumb People Can be Smart

I’m not sure why, but I’ve encountered way more of this type of person in college. The person who plays dumb in social situations but in reality is carrying a 3.9 GPA, is in an honors program, and has jobs lined up already. Conversely, I’ve met a lot of people who purport the general malaise of intellect by being overly verbose and tactile, but are actually quite futile in their academic pursuits. That last sentence actually makes no sense, but using big words makes it easy to fake being smart. My point is that a buzzed conversation at a bar or party is a bad sample of what someone brings to the table, so be nice to everyone. You never know how they may be able to help you out in the future. 

Alrighty, time to get off my soapbox. These are just a few of the things I think are important to know, but if you need more of my fantastic advice DM’s are always open over @studypartydie on Instagram. Have fun on your booze filled vacation!  

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