So I turned 22 not that long ago (22 oooo oooo~~ haha :P). As I sing that song, it reminds me of when I first started college. As I begin to evolve into my adult life/career, I realized that I should of done things a lot more differently than when I first got into college. As a fourth year student, I now know how things work at my school (parking, classes, teachers etc.). However, it took me all four years to pick up on most of these. With graduation ceremonies taking place, this post will mainly be a ramble about what I went through in college and my tips for future college students.
As I sit in my geology 101 class full of freshmen students (yeah I waited a long time to take this class for whatever reason), I pick up on their conversations with one another and noticed that I obviously was not the only one who felt alone when I first started. They were in search of friends because the school was new to them and most like I, commute to the school from all directions.Now making friends in high school was easy unless you were new to the school. Most have the same friends that they have had throughout their school career and see the same people all the time. College was much different. You end up going to the school knowing maybe a couple of people from the same high school. I got lucky and had about 10 people from my class of ’12 and could never imagine how isolated I would feel if I were to have gone out-of-state 😮 There are those who have absolutely no trouble talking to people and enjoy making new friends, I am not like that all the time and I prefer for someone to come up to me and talk to me first. But that does not allow you to make many friends that way. During my third year in college, I got tired of waiting for someone to talk to me and took the initiative to start the conversation. That way, people started to engage in more conversations with me and I started to like school more. You can never have too many connections in school, so go and talk to people.
Studying… Now I honestly never study all that much and it is a really bad habit to form. I may have excuses for my lack of studying but at the end of the day, that excuse is not going to work when it comes to your grades. Not everyone studies the same, some may need to study more and others are just naturally smart and understand things more quickly. My advice would be to make sure that you find some time to study or else your grades will suffer. Trust, repeating a class is never fun especially if you have to take the same teacher again (took accounting twice w/same professor it was humiliating 😦 ). If I were to go back in time, I would of probably rescheduled my outings with my friends on a Saturday night and devote at least an hour or two reading the chapters the next test would be on. Also, those breaks you have in between classes, use them to go over what you learned in the prior class or read ahead to understand what will go on in your next class. Always utilize the time you have available in case anything were to come up later!
I can go on and on about what you should and should not do when you get into college, but I don’t want to bore you with an essay. Now if I were to give 10 tips to an upcoming college freshman, this would be it:
- TALK! To meet new people, you need to introduce yourself! If you never talk to anyone, no one will want to talk back to you. If you are at events, make sure to connect yourself to future employers, co-workers, etc., you never know who you will meet
- Go to class! I am still working on that bad habit, but it will be better for you in the long-run since you are paying for it in the end and it will be better to absorb the information in class rather than try to learn it on your own
- Study! Grades do matter! I swear do not be like me and just fly away with C’s. C’s get you degrees but honestly A’s look so much better on your transcript and would be beneficial for you against the competitors in your field and will land you your dream job that much easier ❤
- Find a major you like! When you start college you are going to have to pick a major. Now there are many majors to choose from: art, history, math blah blah blah. Use your first year to test out some classes and see if you are interested in majoring in them. Not everyone knows what they will do when they start, and some might pick a major and end up switching later on, don’t worry too much, just find what you like and would make you happy in the future
- Eat! I often have classes at 7am and never seem to have enough time to eat breakfast which results with a hungry stomach and a tired mind. The least you can do when you are in a rush is have a granola bar on you! Also make sure to not overeat with the unlimited buffet in the cafeteria, the freshmen 15 are real if you make it real.
- Sleep! As much as I love to eat, I really love to sleep. Try to adjust to the new schedules you create for school and make sure that you get enough rest. Going to class with only 4 hours of sleep will not do you much good if you have to go to 3-4 back-to-back classes. If you had to sleep few hours that night, make sure to take a short nap the next day so that your body and brain can get their well-deserved rest.
- Join!! Join some sort of club/frat/sorority that you are interested in. Every school offers a variety to choose from. If your a little skeptical about joining, don’t be because the people you meet there are like you and will be warm welcoming. If your more into your academics and would rather not join something too time consuming, join a club within your major. I want to be a future CPA and my school offers an Accounting Society that networks with firms from around the area
- Make good memories! School will only be in your life so much longer. For some it will be another 10 years for others it will be far less. If you did not have all the great memories in high school like I did, make it up in college
- Be happy! 😀 Seriously though, if you are unhappy at your school, your time there will be miserable. I was going to transfer schools but ended up staying because I opened up to my fellow classmates and made friends. I am a lot more happy now than I was four years ago 🙂
- Balance! Without balance your whole world will be off. Try not to overload yourself with too much activities. I did that during one of my semesters and ended up failing a class because I could not do the homework nor study for the exams. It will take a semester/quarter or two to find your balance but once you do, try to maintain it even when life throws you curve balls!
Now I think I am done with my rants for you upcoming freshmen. Don’t be scared okay? You have all done a great job so far and made it through the beginning of your education. Just make to sure to push all the way through with your best efforts and then you will truly be successful. Good luck and congrats!!