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College is more than maybe living in a dorm with some new roommates, surving off of top ramen for weeks on end, partying every Friday night, or staying up all night cramming for exams. It’s about challenging yourself to the ultimate, finding out what you like/dislike.
This is the time that you can go on random beach trips with your roommates, dedicate a whole week to binge watching through Breaking Bad when you don’t have other more important things to do (*ahem* study for your Stats exam), try foods you wouldn’t normally, and take full rein of you growing into you.
To make the whole process a little bit easier, I’ve broken it up into categories: First…
WHAT CARRIES OVER FROM BEFORE?:
1) Not much. You start over, so can’t skate my on success from high school. Use your skills and prior knowledge to work your way into clubs/societies you want to join. Or, better yet, start a new club if the one you want doesn’t exist at that location yet!
2) Keeping old friends: If you want to remain friends with people from high school/college before, put some work into maintaining those relationships!
WHERE’S THE FUN AT?
1) New experiences: If you have to watch “Yes Man” to feel inspired, do it! (I love that movie). Try new things: volunteer to build a trail, take the beach trip with your friends, attend National Whatever-seems-weird-that-it-should-have-its-own-day Day, join Toastmasters International, go kayaking with a new club, read a book that’s for your own satisfaction.
2) Start to build a resume now: Get a part-time job, or really start developing your talents/experiences in the areas that are going to provide you with what you can put on a resume.
3) Local organizations: If the school doesn’t have what you want, there are a gajillion local organizations for tons of stuff you can join up on.
4) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: The world makes mistakes, and we don’t grow if we don’t make them.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO BE AWARE OF FROM NOW ON:
1) Make good impressions on your professors: You will want to make good impressions on your classmates since you’ll need them for group projects, homework questions, etc. Well, that also goes for teachers/professors. They are university professors for a reason and they probably have a lot of connections with an industry you want to go into and probably also serve on boards for societies/scholarships/etc you might want. Be friendly to your professors and show interest. They’re going to be the ones writing your letters of recommendation.
2) The school is not going to do everything for you:
- Financial Aid
- Class Selection
- School Interface
It’s your job to take care of any Financial Aid issues early on. The school will probably not be reminding you to turn in Documents A, B, and C. Submit your FAFSA early and check on documents the Financial Aid Office needs ASAP. It will save you a lot of headache in the long run.
I’ve heard too many horror stories of students getting placed in the wrong courses/getting off track due to bad advice. Do your own research on what classes you need.
Whatever the school uses to stay in contact with you (student email, Blackboard, MySchool.edu), it’s your job to check what they’re posting. You’ve got to do your part in receiving the information.
3) Be aware of what you post online: Party hard on Friday night? Sounds fun! What doesn’t sound fun is getting turned down for your dream job after your potential future employer sees your keg stand as your profile picture.
4) Stay up-to-date on important matters: This is the time where tons of things are happening. You will be a more aware adult if you start paying attention to more than what star is now preggers.
5) Take care of your health: Go to the gym, eat healty, get sleep. Do you want to sleep through your last final thate determines your grade after eating 3 pizzas the nigh before? Yeah, didn’t think so.
6) Save whatever money you can: There will come the time where a) your car needs new tires, b) you need your wisdom teeth pulled, or c) your cat needs surgery. Start as much as a savings as you can.
7) Take your classes seriously: You’re paying tons of money for them! Might as well!
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