How to survive college

December 11, 2014

5 tips from experienced students who are not just surviving but having the times of their lives

College is tough, and it should be. Your degree won’t mean much if it isn’t hard earned. Sometimes, though, the sheer workload, crazy hours, new found adult responsibility, and totally distracting personal relationships can get overwhelming. We asked some veteran NNU students how they handle the stress while enjoying the process.

1. Learn when to set the books aside

Sometimes surviving the workload requires remembering that college isn’t just about getting a degree completed. All work and no play will be the death of any college student especially when you have so many options for social and spiritual growth at NNU.

Psychology major and straight A student Samantha Lundberg ('15) says, “Taking breaks when you need them will help you to stay on track when you do sit back down to work, and the shenanigans that happen during those breaks have led to some of my favorite college memories.”

2. Sleep (at least every once in awhile)

“Sleep when you’re dead” may be a common college student mantra, but you might actually die if you don’t make time for some ZZZs. NNU offers a number of convenient, out-of-the-way spots to catch a quick cat nap. And, no, class and chapel are not included.

Michelle Cary ('15), a nursing major from Las Vegas, says, “Sleep!!! Sleep is very important for both your physical and mental well-being. It is more beneficial for me to get a good night's sleep before a test than to pull an all-nighter studying!”

3. Buckle down and get ’er done

​Eventually you have to stop procrastinating and get something done. Nothing helps quell the stress of too much homework like actually finishing some of that homework. College life has a lot of distractions, so it is important to learn some self-discipline if you are going to make it academically.

Logan Gilmore ('15), a social work major from Oregon, shared, “I would say that a huge thing that helped me survive college was to really take time to sit down and get things done. As silly as that sounds, I know that when I am stressed, I have to stop all the extras and take time to sit and bust out what I need to get done.”

4. Coffee

Nuff said!

Most NNU students agree that coffee is an essential part of both surviving and enjoying their college experience. They prefer to caffeinate in the recently opened Leah Peterson Learning Commons coffee shop, The Bean.

5. Help someone else survive

It’s true in college as it is in life: focusing on others keeps your stress in perspective. Tutor an underclassman or celebrate a good grade with a friend. Marking others’ victories and helping people through challenging periods not only lifts them up but also gives you a boost.

Brent Conrad ('16), a pre-med major from Washington, suggests, “Find something to do for a friend or even someone you bump into on campus. Even if what you do feels silly, it just might make someone’s day. This can be anything from baking muffins for someone who just aced an exam to inviting people to build couch cushion forts in the Student Center.”