We’ve received our acceptance letters to our university of choice, smiled from ear to ear as we are handed our diploma�, and have thought of ways to keep in “contact” with our high school friends. However, as we take the giant step into adulthood, we are naïve to life’s newest challenges as a college student.
1. Make your High School experience count
High School doesn’t last forever. Don’t become discouraged by the social atmosphere, the teachers, your first “romance”, and the repetitive eight hour class days. Remember that your grades have to be your top priority. Your best chances of going to the college of your dreams, having an amazing career, and never having to see the people you went to high school with, starts with you doing your best in high school.
2. The college parties portrayed in movies are quite different from college parties in reality
I’ve always wondered how the main character, and friends are able to survive a wild night of partying, hook up with the guy/girl dreams, and make it to a final exam in one piece… In college, you will get to experience some amazing parties but movies like 22 Jump Street, 21 and Over, and even Pitch Perfect, tend to create this idea that colleges have these crazy party atmospheres with extremely attractive people, huge pools, and FREE alcohol flowing from every corner. Although many schools do have a strong party atmosphere, many college students spend their weekdays studying and working hard so they can enjoy these parties. Also after a few epic nights of partying, everything starts to get a little old. Eventually the excitement wears off, but its still okay to have fun with some good friends. �Safety is also a huge factor that these college movies gloss over. Don’t forget to watch your drinks, and never go to a party alone. Otherwise, go have fun!
3. Saving money is important
My mom is always telling me that I spend money like the money is burning a hole in my pocket. In other words, I tend to spend money very quickly and impulsively. Whenever you get a little cash make sure you are prioritizing what you will use the money for. Let’s face it, no one wants to run out of cash, and have to call their parents to borrow money, so whenever you decide to buy something ask yourself if it is a want or a need. One of my close friends told me that to save money, she never spends her one dollar bills or quarters. She stuffs all of her spare one dollar bills and quarters into jars, and lets her money grow.
4. You don't have to know exactly what you want to do
When you step into the vast, fast paced life style of college it seems like everyone knows what they are doing, and where they are going. Sometimes it’s okay to be a little unsure. Lots of students enter college with “undecided” as their major. While undecided you can take the general core classes while you figure out what you want to do. On the other hand, you may go into college thinking you have one major in mind, and then change your major entirely. Don’t feel discouraged if you are set back a little after switching majors. At the end of the day, you want to leave college knowing that you were able to enjoy learning about your field, and you will love you career.
5. Learn to say no
Learning to say no is a very powerful tool. As simple as it is, a lot of people have a hard time saying it. If you don’t want to do something just say no. While being a college student, and especially an incoming freshman, you will feel the urge to get yourself out there, go to every single social event, and try to get to know a bunch of new people (even if you don’t actually want to). Well guess what? You don’t have to. It’s perfectly fine to just say no. You can always hang out another time.
6, Get to know your professors
This is one of the most important tips on this list. Your professor (whether you like them or not) can really help you to pull a good grade out of a class. Make sure you meet with your professor a few times during the semester just to make sure they know who you are. If you need to redo an assignment, having a good connection with your professor may increase your chances of being able to fix your grades Go to your professor’s office hours to ask questions if you are ever confused about something. Just seeing that you are interested in learning and getting help, the professor will see that you care, and he/she may be a little more giving when it comes to putting in your final grade. Before even starting your classes, make sure you use the website ratemyprofessors.com. On this site, you can see all of the uncensored reviews of the professor you might be deciding to take, before you build your class schedule.
7. It's okay to not always be okay
Maybe you didn’t pass a test, or maybe you had a bad break up, either way life happens. Instead of beating yourself up about things that are making you sad, strive to do better. If you failed a test, meet with your professor so that they can help you understand why you didn’t make an A. Along with not always being okay, many of us have every day struggles. If you feel like you have problems with depression, anxiety, or even just being lonely, it’s okay to talk to someone. Many college campuses have counseling centers where you are able to speak with a therapist. Why not its paid for in your tuition! Always know that you are not alone. You always have tomorrow to make up for today.
8. Be patient, opportunities will come
Once I got settled into my major, I felt like new jobs and opportunities couldn’t come fast enough. Relax if it is meant to be, your opportunities will come. Focus on learning about your field and networking. There will be a day that you will be needed. Hopefully, you will be living your career dream.
We are always so ready to grow up. As we take the giant step into adulthood just don’t forget to enjoy college while it last. Once it’s over you won’t be able to relive college exactly the same way ever again. Try to learn as much as you can so you can show off how much smarter you have gotten since High School. Lastly good luck and don’t give up.