Beginning a new chapter of life can be scary and for most people, college is an inevitable new chapter. With college comes stress, anxiety and an unfamiliar, unsettled newness. With college comes new friends, new activities and new unforeseen passions; all of which that will forever make an impact on your life. All of your high school teachers were right when they said that college is a whole new atmosphere of challenge, difficulty, and stress. So here are ten things I've learned in my first month at college, because even though it's new, it hasn't been half-bad.
1. Your past is irrelevant
I'm sure you've heard people say that they just want to go to college to "start over". As cliché as that statement is it happens all the time. College is a place where you can quite literally restart. Your teacher won't know if you never studied in high school and that you barely graduated. You are going to make new friends and become involved with new things. With that being said, be authentic to yourself. Don't change yourself to try to fit it with a certain group of people, it isn't worth it. Just be the best you that you can be.
2.Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself
If you are anything like me making friends is extremely nerve-wracking. Don't be scared to introduce yourself to new people. Sit next to someone you don't know at lunch, ask someone in your class to coffee, run headfirst into new adventures and laughter and memories. I promise two things, (1) it's less awkward than you think and (2) it'll be worth it.
3. Ask for help when you need it
Whether you don't understand a topic in class or you don't know how to get to the local convince store there will always be someone, somewhere who has an answer.
4. Time is precious
When you are a college student time is just about as precious as money, because inevitably time (for most college students) is money. Take advantage of your time. If you have fifteen minutes use it to study vocab or to read a lesson in your weekly chapter reading instead of using it to scroll through Twitter.
5.Don’t take shortcuts
Read your chapters. Take Notes. Don't plagiarize. All of these are extremely simple things that can get you into big trouble if you avoid them.
6.Try new things
Join a club! Take a class you wouldn't normally take! Explore new lunch options. All of these things may seem silly but I promise that they will help you make friends and help you become a more rounded individual.
7. You can never be too prepared
My book bag weights what feels like 10,000 pounds but I have never gone to a class or experienced something that made me feel unprepared. I suggest carrying Kleenexes, Band-Aids and a spare notebook. Your professors will appreciate you reading ahead in chapters. They will be glad that you have a basic knowledge of the syllabus. It's not called over-achieving, it's called being prepared.
8. Listening is Crucial to your success
As a student, listening is crucial in lecture. If you are unable to listen to your professor chances are you won't do well on the exam. If you have trouble concentrating try chewing peppermint gum or drinking water.
9. Your GPA and resume start now
As much as you want to be involved with every campus life activity and hangout session with your friends be sure that you are aware that your grades matter. It is extremely important to be involved on campus, but it is also important to realize that your GPA and resume have already started and should be building (not declining).
10. Be frugal
As odd as this can be it is essential at college. Most college students have tight budgets so it's important to save more money and spend less money. Try shopping and prepping meals to save money verses eating at the cafeteria. Try goodwill shopping and bargain hunting verses buying super expensive clothing. It'll save you "big bucks" and teach you how to live well off of a small budget.