I think you could give me a guided manual on how to do college and I still would finish it feeling at a blank and at a loss. Literally, who knows how to do college?
I've been in college now for a full two years and trying to maneuver my way through my third. You'd think by this point I know what I'm doing right? Right (I wish).
Nonetheless, I still thought it'd be appropriate for me to try and give a bit of advice on how-to-do-college! Obviously, all tips may or may not be useful to anyone or no one, but here it is anyways!
1. Room with someone you don't know.
We're going to go way, way back to the beginning. Typically, your first year of college you're either required or given the option to live in a dorm on campus. If that is the case, room with someone you don't know! It gives you so much opportunity to get to know new people and make friends! Also, keep your door open during the first week of move in and school, you meet a lot of people that way too!
2. Take classes that seem interesting to you.
College is all about exploring yourself and exploring your interests. Especially during your first year, you have more time to do what you want to do. Take random classes that may or may not be interesting! I never would've found my major if I didn't decide randomly to take a public speaking class. The world is your oyster!
3. Let the gym be your friend.
I know what you're thinking but hear me out! I never knew I could love a gym so much or love working out so much until I tried it. Often times a lot of colleges have workout classes that make working out seem like so much more fun too! Try new things, they often surprise you!
4. Learn the study technique that works for you.
This one takes a bit of learning, but figure out a study want that works for you. I know some people that have to study in absolute silence, others can study in front of the T.V., some can study while only listening to piano ballads. You have to learn to figure out how you study best and in what setting and stick to that.
5. Get help early!
If you know you're going to struggle in a class because of what it is or its content, reach out to the professor or teacher early. Most teachers should always be willing to help, plus, if they know you're coming in for extra help, they recognize your dedication and commitment.
6. Less is really more.
When it comes to materialistic things, food items, clothes, honestly everything, less is more. You'll realize very quickly how much none of that matters! You're in college for the experience, not for everything else in it. Not to say none of that matters, but just remind yourself when you're packing or buying things, less is more!
7. College is more than just an educational experience.
A big thing about college is learning about yourself and learning about your desires. Obviously, our main priority is to gain an education and learn new ideas, but it focuses so much more of who you are and what you're meant to do. Embrace that! Allow those feelings of being scared and unsure and run with it.
8. Reach out to your friends when you miss them.
There's nothing I appreciate more than when I get a surprise text from "old" friends I graduated with. And it reminds me at that moment how important it is to reach out to people! I'm reminded at such ugly moments how important it is to show people you care about them, but sometimes that's what it takes. If you miss someone, tell them. It doesn't go unnoticed.
9. Take advantage of resources.
There are so many opportunities and experiences that are literally just handed to you on a platter in school. Take them! College is about experiences and campuses do a lot to advertise certain events and resources. Use that for your favor and desire.
10. Do things that scare you.
Nothing ever really gets done unless you step out of your comfort zone. Doing things that scare you can be one of the biggest roadblocks in your college career that can stop you from doing fun or exciting things. If you don't like something, at least you can say you tried it. But if you never even try it, you'll never know what you could've gotten out of it.
11. Let things go.
As is everything you go through in life, nothing is worth stressing over too much. When something or someone doesn't go your way, learn to let go of it. College goes by fast, and you don't want to be wasting your time on a situation that ultimately won't matter to you. Let it all go.
12. Don't let other people's experiences deter your own.
Everyone has a different experience with everything. I think this can be one of the hardest things to learn or get over, but just because someone else is having a party every day or making friends left and right, does not mean you're doing anything wrong. You learn as you go and constantly learn every day. Don't let someone else's "fun" experience make you think you're doing something wrong.
13. Talk to people in your classes.
No one ever likes being friendless in class, but literally, no one is ever really friends with anyone on the first day of school. I know it's easier said than done, but just sitting next to someone and smiling at them kindly can go a long way. It makes for a long quarter or semester when you're stuck sitting next to someone and neither of you talks. Believe me, you'll thank yourself later that you took the two seconds to ask them something so pointless but leaves you classmate friends now.
As is everything, college is all of what you make of it. It can be scary and exciting and nerve-wracking and the best experience ever. Or it can be amazing and thrilling and the worst experience ever. You get to decide!
I came into college thinking I knew so much more than I do now and I was absolutely blindsided by what I was given. But I wouldn't change any of that for what I have now!
Take the time to learn yourself and what you do and don't like. I hope these things can help at least one person before they go to college (or once your three years into college).