July 09, 2019 – Ally Soriano
If you’re a kid who grew up in the mid-2000s then there’s a good chance that you spent a lot of time watching television. It was the perfect way to spend your afternoon downtime after coming home from school. It’s those precious hours before you buckle down and do some homework. “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” (NDSSG) was one of those quirky TV programs that joined the ranks of beloved teenage shows such as “Drake & Josh,” “Zoey 101,” and “iCarly” (Yes, I’m a Nickelodeon fan in case you couldn’t tell).
Like a lot of shows we watched as a kid, a lot of the deeper meanings it carried flew right over our heads. We didn’t really understand anything, sometimes even the humor itself. But it was funny in the moment and that was all that mattered. It’s a shame that for a classic like NDSSG, which presented itself as a literal guide for us to follow, it isn’t fulfilling its task beyond entertainment. The writers behind the show took the time not only to compile over 600 tips for us but they made it funny to boot. So in an attempt to honor what they created and help any struggling students out there, here are a few of the best tips from our old pal Ned condensed for your reading pleasure.
The first weeks
Every academic year begins somewhere. It can be a lot of pressure if you’re starting a new school or transitioning between levels. During the first days: Just relax, be yourself, and don't panic! How you look is important, so pick out clothes that show who you are but remember that the way you act will affect your first impression more so be on your best behavior. If you want a new hairdo, get it two weeks early. This will give it a chance to grow in (especially if it ends up being bad.) Lastly, don’t overstuff your backpack with things you think you need. It’s good to be stocked up on school supplies but don’t let your classmates otherwise you’ll find your stock dwindling quickly from “friends” in need.
A solid social circle is one of the backbones of an enjoyable college experience. Try to make new friends your age and in the same year, but don’t limit yourself. It doesn’t hurt to be on the good side of a lot of people. When you find yourself lost in an unfamiliar crowd, a familiar face is a welcome sight (even if you aren’t the closest.) Additionally, get to know people from each of your classes; they can be a real lifesaver when you find yourself in need of notes.
Don’t date the first person you meet. No matter how nice your seatmate is, sometimes, that’s all they are. Go out with people because you’ve gotten to know them and not just because they look good or seem convenient. But if you really like someone, get to know them first then ask them out. Sometimes, they're way out of your league but try anyway! It's okay if they say no. If your crush doesn't like you, remember that you could still be friends.
Teachers and professors
School admins should be a student’s best friend. Get to know your teachers and be nice to them. Make sure you participate enough in class. If you have questions but are too shy to ask in front of people, try to catch your teacher after class before they leave the room. Also, if your professor is the the type who discusses quickly or doesn’t provide their teaching materials, try recording the lecture or take pictures of slides if you can (but ask for permission first).
Whatever year level you’re in, it’s never too early to start saving. Always take emergency money in case you forget lunch, need supplies, or get lost and have to commute further. Be smart with your money. It might be tempting to indulge in good food or treat your friends especially if you’ve got a hefty allowance, but it’s best to keep splurging on an occasional basis. Future you will be thankful.
Make a list of homework and note its corresponding due dates so you won't forget. It takes a minute but will save you a lot of time later when you’re wracking your brain trying to remember. Always try and get a head start on your assignments or projects either in class or when you get home. Deep down, you know when you lay in bed or get on the computer to play a few games, it’s a slippery slope. Do what you have to do first so you can enjoy yourself worry-free.
Student life isn’t all about academics. Find an extracurricular club that you like and join up. It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests. Open yourself up to the realm of possibilities that exist outside of your comfort zone. You only go through school once so you should make the most out of it while you’re there. Loosen up and have fun!
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