Advice to a Younger Sibling Starting College

An article full of tips and tricks for surviving college from one sibling to another.


Megan Parker

This was the day I took my brother’s senior photographs for high school, before he decided to follow me to college.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

There are several reasons why someone may choose to attend college at one place versus another. These can include affordability, courses offered and even as a way to get away from family for some independence.

This was not the case when my brother, Noah Parker, made his decision to attend The University of Akron.

One of the reasons my brother wanted to attend UA over universities such as Stark State or Kent State is because I am currently in my senior year at UA.

“I don’t want to be rivals with you on any aspect in our lives,” Noah told me after graduating high school. “We are the closest out of all our siblings and I just can’t be a rival with you in college.”

Megan Parker
Noah and I stop for a funny picture before looking through the bookstore in the student union.

So as I begin my final year as an undergraduate at UA and Noah begins his first year, I decided to compile a short list of tips and tricks for surviving college life based on what I have learned these past few years.

Remember to Sleep at Some Point

I could fit several smaller tips related to the importance of sleep, such as budget your time or exercise as often as possible, but the reality of life as a college student doesn’t allow for all that.

According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults ages 18 to 60 years old should get seven hours or more of sleep per night.

While this may seem practically impossible, especially during the first two semesters as a college student, I promise that there will be nights where studies allow for this amount of sleep.

With UA’s
Five-Star Fridays schedule, most students have classes four days a week, leaving Fridays open for internships, organizational meetings and yes, sleep.

Don’t Skip Class Unless Absolutely Necessary

Megan Parker
This pose was my idea and Noah actually did it without falling or breaking a bone.

Unlike how college life and classes are portrayed in the entertainment industry, attending class is almost always a must in order to pass the class.

I know how tempting it can be to stay in bed, binge a show on Netflix and only complete a productive action when hunger sets in, as I have fallen victim to my newfound independence once or twice in the past.

But trust me when I say missing class not only sets a student behind in terms of material learned, but also always reflects in final grades posted at the end of the semester.

While professors will always put their policy in the syllabus, the
general attendance policy at UA for classes meeting twice a week is three absences.

This means a student is able to miss three days of class throughout the semester before professors begin deducting points from their final grade.

Does this seem like a scary policy? Absolutely, in my opinion. Nonetheless, this is one of the ways that colleges not only prepare students for life in the workforce, but also ensure they are getting their money’s worth in education.

Use the Resources Provided to Ensure Success

What several students may never realize is their tuition covers a wide variety of campus resources that are available to be used at any time throughout the semester.

There is nothing wrong with needing help understanding how to solve math homework or having another set of eyes read an essay before submitting it on Brightspace.

Some of the
various resources available to students at UA include two tutoring centers, the Counseling & Testing Center, technology assistance and career advice through Career Services.

Additionally, students can stop by the
Center for Academic Advising and Student Success Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Simmons Hall, room 201, for more help in finding the right resources.

Personally, I didn’t even realize all these services existed prior to writing this article and researching all UA had to offer. Lesson of the day? UA offers so much more to students than they realize.

Enjoy Time with Friends and Family

Megan Parker
I don’t remember what we were doing on the computer, but it remains as one of my favorite pictures with my brother to this day.

As my final bit of advice to all new students, especially my younger brother: make sure to enjoy any time spent with family and friends as they can be a saving grace.

There have been quite a few instances throughout my time at UA where the stress of life seemed to be almost too much. But the moment I saw my friends on campus or went home to my family, all that stress disappeared.

One of my favorite pastimes is to hang out at Starbucks in Bierce Library with my friends as we chat about our week, complain about homework or tests and make fun of politics.

Even though the day may seem full due to studying, work or extracurricular activities, there is always enough time to smile with friends, laugh with family or occasionally, pet the therapy dogs as they visit during midterms and finals.