The Best School And University Survival Advice For Teens, According To Reddit

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Whether they’re navigating the high school hallways for the first time or just trying to get through the uni year, getting an education can be stressful for teens taking on ever-harder coursework and new responsibilities. Even they must realise they could benefit from the advice from those of us who have been there, done that, and survived.

Enter Reddit, with its Back-to-School/Uni Megathread Advice Post that has several hundred comments and is a goldmine of school and uni year survival tips.

A lot of the advice is common sense (or should be): Go to class. Study. Use a planner. Get to know your teachers. Study. Get enough sleep. Drink water. And study. But there’s a lot to be said for seeing the common themes that emerge, and U/wierdflexbutok68 dove a little deeper on the study advice, offering up a few fresh ideas:

When studying, study in an area that is comfortable but not so comfortable you want to fall asleep (like on a couch instead of a bed). Make sure it’s very well lit, and place your phone somewhere far away. Also, I like to keep a glass of tea with me so after I finish a substantial question, I can take a sip.

Get involved

Over and over again, commenters urged teenagers to get out and make new friends by joining a club or a team at their uni, or even taking a fun class that is outside of their major (if allowed) to meet a fresh set of classmates.

In other words, don’t be like u/rmarti78:

I did the bare minimum in [uni]. Instead of going to events and seeking people to be friends with, I chose to stay in my room and watch porn or get into drama on message boards. When I could have been making use of a great free gym in my [building], I chose to stay in my room and watch porn or get into drama on message boards. Don’t do that.

If you’re not sleeping, you should be spending as little time as possible in your... room. [School] is chock full of activities, most of which are for free. You get 4 years out [of] the ~80ish you probably have to take advantage of this stuff, so PLEASE take advantage of it.

Remember: Less porn, more friends.

Think ahead

But hey, it’s not all about making friends. You’re there to learn so that eventually, you can land a job you actually like. And when you get to that point, you’ll want some solid references. U/Rsh15 has an idea for how to prepare:

Save your teachers names, emails and job title in a single document. I’m graduated and currently applying for jobs and I want to use some as references, but it can be surprisingly hard to find them sometimes. Especially in the digital age where we’re less likely to actually download a syllabus to your computer. And you never know when they may leave their job at the school or the school may change the systems they used for class info, making all that information even less accessible.

Don’t be annoying in group chats

Users had a lot to say about group chats with classmates (some think it’s vital; others warned against joining them at all), but this is the most important point to be made, courtesy of u/412gage: “Less is more in the group chats. DON’T be that kid that constantly blows up the chat. If you wanna talk to everyone so bad, meet them in your dorm and make friends and plan things.”

Get a fish

I did not expect to recommend getting a fish, but I’m open-minded and u/Puffysky makes a legitimate argument for why it’s a good idea:

“When struggling with anxiety and loneliness living on your own in [uni], get a betta fish! Most [rooms] and apartments allow them, and they are easy to take care of. They keep you company when you’re stuck in your room and taking care of pets can be a huge stress relief.”

Final words of wisdom

I’m going to leave you with some advice from u/Juicyjackson that, honestly, we could all benefit from. Read the words slowly and really let them sink in.

“Please don’t stop in the middle of the hallway if you don’t know where you are. Pull off to the side.”


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