Column: 7 ways to survive the semester


Katie Mogg

As the fall semester begins, there is hope that this year will give students more room to fully blossom.

Katie Mogg, deputy lifestyle editor

School is back in session, which is both exciting and scary. The pandemic set strict limitations on our lives, and while we’re not completely out of the woods yet, there is hope that this year will give students more room to fully blossom — but how? Here’s a Northeastern back-to-school survival guide, useful for both incoming and returning Huskies!

1. Don’t lug your entire wardrobe to school.

Fashion is a great tool for self-expression. The body becomes a canvas, and clothes are the artistic medium. But every single piece of clothing you own won’t be necessary. With fewer pandemic-related restrictions, it’s exciting that there may be actual reasons to get all dolled up, but who wants to do that much laundry anyway? Save yourself the storage space and only pack essential clothing. Don’t bring that top you haven’t worn since 2016. 

2. Buy as many command strips and hooks as possible.

Regardless of the amount of Command strips and hooks you own, double it. These are essential for college. Dorm rooms can feel pretty cramped and floor space is valuable. Command hooks can help keep the floor clutter free by serving as a coat or backpack rack, and Command strips hold up wall decorations without damaging the surface. While Command strips and hooks often come in handy, they can break from time to time, so making sure you buy more than enough will be key. 

3. Bring a long, thick and durable winter coat.

For those unfamiliar with Boston’s weather or those who have been away from campus long enough to forget, the winters are brutally long and cold. When walking back home from Snell Library late at night, violent shivering and numb fingers won’t make the journey any more pleasant. Ensure that your time in Boston is comfortable by having a warm and reliable winter coat. 

4. Bring a reusable water bottle.

It’s common knowledge that staying hydrated is key to being healthy. A reusable water bottle can help make that easier. Buying non-biodegradable plastic bottles is not only expensive, but also bad for the environment. Luckily for Northeastern students, water fountains are sprinkled across campus, eliminating the need for Dasani and Poland Spring. Give the environment a break and invest in “VSCO girl” culture: consider buying a Hydro Flask

5. Employ self-discipline. 

To the dismay of college students across the nation, it is easy to forget to stay active and healthy. But, fear not! With some good old fashioned self-discipline, students can make time to be active in simple ways whether it be signing up for an intramural sports team, incorporating walks into a daily routine or hitting the gym when time permits. It may seem like a good idea to eat Kigo Kitchen or Popeyes for the fifth time this week, but it is not. Resist the urge. Walk to International Village or Stetson East and indulge in the healthy food options provided by your meal plan instead. Your mind and body will thank you!

6. Don’t spend your life savings on textbooks.

College is already expensive. Breaking the bank on textbooks doesn’t make the matter any better. Websites like Library Genesis offer free, downloadable PDF versions of college textbooks, academic journals and more. While these websites aren’t completely foolproof, it’s definitely worth giving a shot before spending hundreds of dollars on a book you’ll only use for 15 weeks. If you don’t have any luck surveying websites for free versions of books, students can rent used copies from Snell Library instead of paying full price for a new one.  

7. Bring self-confidence.

Whether you’re new or old to Northeastern, self-confidence will be a useful tool this upcoming semester. The pandemic left many students isolated, and for some, this led to diminished confidence in the social scene. College can be a place to reinvent yourself or to embrace the personality you’ve always possessed. Either way, have confidence that you will do well and succeed; it will make both your academic and social life incomparably more pleasant and exciting! 

This upcoming semester presents a whole new slew of opportunities. With these tricks up their sleeve, new and old Huskies alike can seize the day and make this semester their best one yet.