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Top 5 back to school tips for NYU students

By Diana Zarown

Planner Planner Planner

I know, I know. You Gen Y-ers probably just read the word above (well, three for emphasis of course) and are scratching your heads thinking what/why/huh. Our generation (yes, our — I’m only 23!) is constantly plugged in, with our iPhones, iPads, iPods (just kidding, that’s last generation’s toy), computers and practically everything we touch has a digital component. Physical calendars and day planners have taken the new forms of GCal invites and ding-ding fifteen-minute reminders on our phones. 

While I admit to being one of the GCal-obsessed, I am also a huge supporter of the physical planner, preferably one with both monthly and weekly calendar layouts. There’s nothing like seeing your schedule neatly planned out, in advance, right in front of you. The start to my Sternie school years always included a new Mead planner and a whole lot of commitments. Get on this, it’ll save your life and bring a smile to your face when you’re mid-terms deep in the semester, balancing USWIB, Stern Street Team, Hall Council, 4 classes, and lots of mentoring. Or maybe that was just me…

Pick One Night a Week to Stay In

If you didn’t already think I was lame for the planner suggestion above, then I bet you do now. And, that’s OK. I’ve already passed all my classes and graduated, so you should listen up! Though it is ridiculously tempting to be out and about at all times (#FOMO, ya hear?), intentionally choosing to recharge and stay low-key for one night a week has incredible benefits. Whether it’s a weekday or weekend night, staying in to catch up on homework, sleep, or Netflix gets you ready to tackle all that the remainder of your week brings. Oftentimes, we overbook our schedules and manage to fit in everything but ‘me’ time. ‘Me’ time is sacred and making stress-elimination a key component of your schedule should be a priority habit. Don’t want to bum around alone? Grab a friend or two along for a night of relaxation!

Make A Buddy in Class

If you haven’t been seriously reading, now’s the time to start, kid. This tip is KEY. The unique thing about college (as opposed to high school) is that you’re taking classes separate from your friends. This necessitates making a friend in each of your classes. Whether for the purpose of seeing a familiar face upon walking into the room or gaining a new study buddy (or, in reality, commiserating about the problem set length and how you can’t believe number 14 was so hard!!), having a friend in each class will make the academic portion of your college career way more rewarding.

 Catch the flu and miss a week of lectures? Class Friend has your back! Drank too much coffee and have to run out to pee three times a lecture? Class Friend lets you know what you missed! Need someone to test you on every element of the periodic table in order? Class Friend, again! You get the picture. Make a friend, ace a class, drink (if you’re 21+) about it all after grades are in.

Find a Study Spot

If you’re one of those student-machines who can study amongst 3000 other student-machines in Bobst — more power to you! That wasn’t me or half my friends. Too claustrophobic, too dizzying of a floor pattern. I opted for the MBA classrooms in Stern, the Law School library, and my apartment. Whatever your study style entails, find a spot or two that works best for you, and make studying there as automatic as a reflex. Once you do this, your body will go into study-grind mode upon being in said spot, and you’ll also create separation of church and state, if you will, between said locales and the rest of your campus life. Sounds like a pretty solid win-win situation, if you ask me. (Note: find your spots early on in the semester, so the rest of campus knows that you’ve reserved the space and that MBA classroom 4–74 is not for the taking, thankyouverymuch.)

Be Open to New Opportunities — Because They’re Going to Come

NYU is one of the most incredible schools in the world. Cited as ‘The Dream School’ by celebrities and non-celebs alike, attending university in New York City will open up opportunities and give you amazing new experiences, on the daily. Keep your eyes and ears peeled, ask questions, say yes to floor outings/club meetings/shows/restaurant nights/recruiting sessions — these experiences, and the friends that you share them with, will create memories that will last a lifetime. Be a go-getter, keep up your excitement, and develop interests that this amazing city will allow you to explore.

Welcome to another great year!