How to Make the Most out of the Fall Semester at College

It’s that time again…back to school season. It’s particularly strange-feeling for me this time, since I graduated college in May. Therefore, this is the first time in, errrr 16 YEARS (!!!), that I’m not getting ready to go back to school.

And in all honesty?

I’m kind of bummed. Some of you may know that I graduated college a whole year early (more on that process here), so it does feel like I’m getting a bit jipped on the whole experience. I also miss my friends now more than ever, especially knowing that total strangers will soon be moving into our little apartment we were calling home just a few months ago.

As ready as I was to head for the hills last semester, not going back to college this fall feels like the true end of an era. As they say, all good things must come to an end. Annnnnnd better things typically take their place eventually…

…but it still sucks.

All this being said though, and despite the fact that I’m now a college graduate, I do feel like I have more credible advice than ever for those of ya’ll who are still in school. That’s why I wanted to share with you guys some of my best tips on making the most of the semester. My college experience was three years as opposed to four, and I do sort of wish I was going back, but I nonetheless had a pretty killer time. I did LOTS in those three years, and yet there are still a few things I’d do differently. Here’s what you should know, from someone who’s been there and is looking at it all now in retrospect:

Try Something New

Take it from someone who just graduated, it is MUCH harder to try new things once you’re out of college. Sure, it’s still entirely possible, but it’s not easy. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, do it now. Try out for that club sports team you’ve always wanted to be a part of, add a voice class to your schedule, whatever sets your soul on fire. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but it matters that you do it. Your life will be a lot busier when you graduate (Hello, 9-5), and it won’t be all that difficult to find an excuse for not trying something you’ve always wanted to. Money can also be a pain after graduation, so definitely take advantage of your semester and enroll in those extra few credits if you find something that interests you.

Cherish Your Friends

It sounds so cheesy, but seriously. Cherish your friends. Don’t flake out on plans just because you’d rather watch another episode of Game of Thrones or hangout with your most recent hookup. It’s not fun to think about, but your time at college will come to an end, and you and your girl gang are likely to end up living in all different cities around the world. Now is the time to make lasting memories with the people who really matter.

Another note too: Don’t worry so much about the quantity of friends you have, but rather the quality. It’s easy to get caught up in maintaining connections with dozens of people across campus, but I’d always suggest to focus on the people who are actually there for you when you need ’em and keep it at that.

Establish Healthy Habits

Establishing healthy habits is SO important, especially while in college! This is when you’re going to have the most free time (I know, it doesn’t feel like it when you have 133948918 projects due on the same day, but believe me it’s true), so nail down a fitness and healthy eating routine now. Thank me later 😁

Get Organized (NOW)

Don’t blow off syllabus week (there’s a post on how to make the most of it here). We all know it’s essentially a waste of a few classes, but use this time to get organized and nail down a system now. You’ll be happy later when you’re the only one in your friend group who’s got all of yo’ shit together come midterms.

Enjoy It

Keep it simple, stupid. Enjoy the fall semester! Keep your grades up, but have fun with your friends. Get in your daily workout, but don’t pass on a wine night with your girls. You get it…have fun!

Do you have any advice for the upcoming semester? What do you wish you did more of in college?


  • Lauren Elizabeth

    Omg I feel you on this post! I graduated in May too and am a bit jealous of everyone going back to school. Love these helpful tips 🙂


    Lauren |

  • OMG yes! I am crying reading this post because I want to go back to college so badly! Cherish those moments ladies!

  • Mr. Jumpstart

    Solid advice. Thanks. I’ll definitely be sharing with my son who is headed for his first semester. Congrats on graduating in 3 years.

    • Holly Habeck

      Thank you!

  • merel

    What a lovely look! I love stripes on you! <3

    X Merel

    • Holly Habeck

      Thank you Merel! xx

  • Ashley Stephenson

    The friends part is probably the most important! There were so many times I just wanted to lay in my bed and be lazy instead of going out but I am so glad I didn’t and enjoyed time with my friends!

  • Staying organized helped me in college! Such great tips, best of all to enjoy the journey!

  • Pam Dollesin

    I miss college days! These are useful tips! Enjoy!

    Pammy –

  • I’m in grad school but it’s year round so I don’t ever really experience the “back to school” season. I totally miss undergrad from time to time though.

  • Ruthie Ridley

    Oh man, I wish I was a bit more wise in college!! Loved these tips and your photos are amazing!!!

  • Mitchelle

    I love college! While some of my some friends would say high school is the most exciting, I’d say not. College is definitely the most exciting with all the freedom, and opportunity to express ones individuality.

  • Angelle Marix

    Gorgeous!! Enjoy your next semester. Sounds like you are a very wise college student!!!