In high school, it seems like the only purpose of doing good in school is to get into a great college. Adults tell you once you get into a good school your life is set. Towards senior year, college is anything everyone talks about. And now it's time to leave the nest and conquer the world. You are probably excited and have no idea what to expect. First of all, college is an amazing experience. You may find yourself to be a new person just after one semester. But wait, there are a couple things to keep in mind before the big 'Move-In Day'.
1. College is harder than high school.
I know this one seems obvious but you may not completely understand until you start classes. It takes a bit to adjust from high school to college no matter how many AP classes you have taken. The tests are harder because smart is the new average, your grade is based on three to four exams and you need a 93 or above for an A. There is a lot counting on you doing good on each exam, so you might need to kick it up a few notches and make the library your favorite place on campus.
2. Extra credit is still an option, so always take advantage of it.
In high school, we never got extra credit so I was a little surprised to find bonus questions on exams and extra credit assignments here and there. There are two reasons why extra credit is essential in college. If you make a couple mistakes, there are no homework grades to buffer your exams. And, the extra credit won't be that much. Unless it is Health 100, you might get one point of extra credit for an assignment. That being said do as much extra credit as possible and don't take it for granted because these opportunities are rare.
3. You do not need to be on top of everything your freshman year.
By the end of senior year, everyone is at least somewhat on top of their game. Whether you finally earned that spot on the Varsity team, became the president of three different clubs, or finally found that perfect clique of friends, college is like a 'restart phase'. Everything is new including you when you come as a freshman. You are no longer the big shot and you may not know anyone on campus. Starting this new chapter is challenging and you can't expect to be on top of your game from the get-go. But no worries you are a freshman, it will take time but there is no need to rush into anything.
4. Talking to friends is the new Netflix.
This semester I initially found myself behind schedule despite my lack of social media, Netflix, YouTube and online shopping. The culprit; real human socialization. Yes, living with your peers 24/7 is distracting. Granted time spent with friends is always a great way to brighten your day hands down, but sometimes you need to find a place on campus that can keep you focused and isolated. After a solid three hours of studying, take a break and friends will not be far away.
5. It's not that hard to get the professor to notice you.
All you need to do is participate in class. You will be surprised how many students do not do that, even at a prestigious university. I will admit class participation is a lot more in college than in high school but especially towards midterms and finals, a lot of students take a back seat in a class.
6. Your college is not going to open doors for you.
In high school people made it seem like college was going to hook you up with amazing opportunities. Like there was going to be this one glorious office you could walk into and leave with four internships in hand. Well, this is just not the case. Yes, college helps you get those opportunities but no one on campus is going to find them for you. If you want to do something you to have to make those opportunities for yourself. But, to do this is simple, just reach out as much as possible! If you apply for 100 internships and only 1 accepts you, congratulations, that is all you need.
7. Your grades do not define you.
College is all about finding a passion but that doesn't mean if you fail a chemistry test you should give up on your dream of being a chemist. Passions aren't easy, they are challenging and interesting. If you get a bad grade do not be discouraged, just make sure you are learning from your mistakes and growing from them. In the grand scheme of things, the number of A's you get in college will not define your future.
8. Life is a journey, not a destination.
If I learned anything this semester it is that college isn't this place that only helps get you to a perfect future. Many people constantly worry about what they can do to make sure they achieve their dream career. Precautions are always good but you should also enjoy and learn from college genuinely. Take a deep breath and make use of this rare opportunity you have to receive a higher education.