The Incoming First Year

Don’t go to college unprepared

Congratulations! You made it! You are going to college! Woohoo!!! I know that’s a lot of enthusiasm, but hey, this is a big deal. I hope you are as pumped as I was when I was done with high school.

The good part is that how you did in high school does not matter anymore. The bad part is exactly the same. Like it or not, you are starting with a clean slate. In college, nobody knows nor cares about how ‘cool’ you were in high school, how many awards you’ve won or how you almost didn’t get into college. You can continue with your success, your mediocrity OR you can reinvent yourself. Simply put, college is a new start and you’d better be ready for it. Here’s what’s coming.

Social Life

Some of you may have partied in high school, some of you may not have tasted beer yet (you should probably have a sip or two with your pops before you go). No matter what the case is, parties and socializing will be a big part of college.

Everything on this website is designed to help you have as much fun as possible, while still getting your work done. Social life in high-school is two things: distracting and important. Making new friends and memories is what it’s all about. You don’t want to miss out on that. But if you get too distracted, you will not do well in school which will not help you in life.


College professors have high expectations of their students. They assign piles of work. The workload you get varies depending on the classes you take and the major you pick, but more often than not, you will be overwhelmed. But the workload is not the only thing that is different between high-school and college.

In college, nobody cares if you stay on top of your work. In some classes you simply go to lectures where nobody takes attendance, go to discussion sessions where nobody will call on you, and then you will simply take an exam. So you could technically do nothing until exam time.

But that’s exactly what you don’t want to do since you will have the same feeling I had, where you can’t even eat before an exam because you are so stressed out.

Being behind on work sucks and it is only up to you to stay ahead of it. Your professors won’t care if you do well or not, your parents aren’t there to push you (thank god) and you can slide down the slippery slope very fast.


If you are not careful, the combination of freedom from home, the social distractions that pull you in every direction, and the piles or work that don’t have to get done immediately will lead you to waste a lot of time. I know from my own experience and it happens to almost everyone their first year in college. Then they have to play GPA catch up for the next 3 years – not a fun game.

If you waste time, your pile of work will not get any smaller but the time you will have available to do it in will get smaller.

You will be more and more stressed out, cut corners and unless you are a genius, your grades will suffer, your parents will get mad, and if you keep doing it, you will close a lot of doors on your future.

I don’t want to scare you, but to a large extent, it happened to me so I simply want to warn you. Even as a Harvard grad, getting a job was hard for me (I ended up working for a real estate developer in NYC, but I was unemployed for 4 months after college. Trust me, staying at your girlfriend’s dad’s house while trying to find a job is not a lot of fun and you’ll get dumped because of it).

There are close to 2 million college grads every year. 2 MILLION! And they are all trying to find a job at the same time you are. It’s absolute hell! You need a good GPA to come out on top and it starts with your first year!

Getting good grades is essential to getting a good job after college. It says way more about you than that you know how to take exams. It shows that you are responsible and even when you were in college to party, you got your work done.

Many of my friends told me that they wished they did better in school. They wish they could have gotten better jobs coming out of college. They wish they didn’t dumb down their major only because the one they picked at the beginning was too hard. They wish, they wish, they wish.

They can’t get their college years back. But hey! You don’t have to repeat their mistakes.

The Solution

Consider yourself to be one of the lucky ones if you ended up on this site and read this far. You are now way ahead of the curve. You have the chance to go to college and know what’s coming. By reading this website, you will know how to stay ahead and be stress-free, with plenty of time to party.

The How to Study tab of this website will give you a basic outline for what you should do in college. It will teach you how to know and manage your Time, how to deal with your Workload, how to be time Efficient, and how to study Effectively to get those A’s.

If you choose to join the Shovel Study System, the Shovel app will organize your busy schedule right from the start. It will easily find all your Study Time. You’ll know how much of it you have and how long all your tasks will take and most importantly if you have enough time to get them done. It will manage your time and your workload so that you can focus on your tasks at hand and not at organizing them.

The Shovel Study System will be your companion throughout your entire college career. It will not let you fail and it will make sure you have time for fun.

So...are you ready to have a great college experience from day one?