College is a whirlwind of crazy experiences both in and out of the lecture halls. That feeling that nobody knows what they are doing actually just grows with you from freshman year on. (Maybe this is just life???) Regardless, here are 22 tips from the 22-year-old college student who knows what it is like to question their decisions and contemplate the future all the time. Hopefully, these ideas help to alleviate some anxiety.
1. Split Chegg with a friend
While I don't condone relying on Chegg for homework purposes, it is a nice backup to have when the lecture notes don't align with a single problem on your online homework assignment for the week. Splitting with a friend is a great thing to do because #college.
2. Take a variety of classes
This way, you are exposed to a wide-variety of ideas.
3. Shadow as soon as possible
Whatever career(s) you are thinking of pursuing, it is useful to begin shadowing professionals in the field right away so you can determine if you can see yourself in their position in a few years.
4. Get involved in research early
This is a given, espeically if you are applying to graduate school. Even if grad school is not in your future, getting research experience helps to build a great working relationship with professors and other students as you contribute in the lab.
5. Stack your classes
Getting into your core classes early is the only way to test if you truly love what you're studying. Plus, by always taking full semesters, you are able to expose yourself to more.
6. Remain open-minded to changes
Some of my most worthwhile experiences and lessons learned resulted from changes that, if I had resisted, would never have happened. (And let me tell you, resistance definitely felt like what I wanted to do.)
7. Prioritize your values and roll with that
As long as you are making choices that align with your personal values, you will have have an easier time feeling fulfilled.
8. Quality versus quantity in terms of what's on your resume
Showing that you are well-rounded is still important, but it's more valuable to have a few quality experiences than several sub-par experiences to report on.
9. Make time for your mental health
SUPER EXTREMELY NECESSARY!
10. Start healthy habits RIGHT NOW
What we put into our bodies will help our bodies function to the best of their abilities.
11. Meet with your academic advisor whenever you feel its best to
This resource doesn't have to stop being available to you just because freshman year of "mandatory advising" has ended.
12. Make a binder to keep all of your important school files in one place
Keep the binder someplace safe.
13. Have a checklist to document that you are completing each degree requirement
While it's good to rely on academic advising appoints and electronic degree audit runs, it's always a good idea to keep your own personal check-list to ensure that everything is on track.
14. Check about taking classes as S/U to help out your GPA
Life. Saving. Tip.
15. Have a good relationship with at least one professor
Professors may seem scary or boring or too busy to even bother. However, start talking to them. They are amazing humans who can assist in your development as a student and citizen of the world.
16. Ask questions
And lots of them!
17. Move foreward with your decisions confidently
Only you know yourself the best.
18. Choose your major for YOU
Don't listen to what anybody else has to say.
19. Use every "failure" as a learning opportunity
We truly learn the most when something does not go as planned.
20. Be comfortable in your living situation
If not, then change it. #noshame
21. Use a planner for EVERYTHING
Keeping a list of due dates for everything, from homework assignments to bills, so that you never miss something. (Plus, the satisfaction of highlighting or marking the item as "complete" is extremely satisfying!)
22. Take a deep breath
This probably should have been the very first thing on the list. At the end of the day, just know that you are trying your best and constantly learning from experience. Breathe deeply, ground yourself, and enjoy the ride.