College is the most stressful, confusing, and entertaining time all in one. Whether you’re there for 4, 5, 6, or 7 years, each semester reveals things that you should have done and things you shouldn’t have. In my 2 years of college there was a lot of trial and error and I’m going to share with you all a few of the do’s and don’ts I’ve learned so far.
1. Don’t go to class then go straight to your house/dorm
Whether you’re commuting to college or living on campus the worst thing you can do is just go to class and then go home. I did this my first semester of college and it was honestly very boring. Go out and explore your campus, big or small, and get acclimated to your surroundings. Pay attention to those emails and posters around campus for social events such as club rush and Greek week. Try to get as involved on campus as you can, it’s the easiest way to make friends.
2. Don’t procrastinate and skip class
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this a million times going into college, but I think that this is something that needs to be stressed. If you start to procrastinate and skip it can become a really bad habit— trust me, I know. You always want to stay on top of your assignments. Try setting up a time schedule and invest in an agenda (your agenda will become your new best friend). Along with staying on top of assignments make sure you attend class even the classes that are extremely easy and you feel like you shouldn’t be in. The professor can always make changes or give really important information that you can’t find in your textbooks.
3. Don’t take on more than you can handle
Yes, we all want to finish college on time, but sometimes that just isn’t the reality for some people. I learned the hard way when I decided to take on 16 credits, 2 clubs, the campus newspaper, and a part-time job one semester and ended up in the ER because of all of the anxiety and stress. That’s when I learned my limit. Not everyone’s limit is the same as others but you shouldn’t sacrifice your health trying to exceed yours. College isn’t a race, you have to set the right pace for yourself so you can finish strong. Doesn’t matter if you finish in 4 years or 6, as long as you finish.
4. Don’t spend your entire refund check when you receive it
Don’t do it! I know how bad you want those nice pair of shoes or a brand new laptop, but don’t do it. College can get very expensive. There have been a few semesters where I had to pay for classes out of pocket or textbooks. You never know when financial aid won’t cover something so it’s always a good idea to save a portion of your refund check for times like those.
5. Don’t stress yourself out if you don’t know what you’re doing with your life
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve came across that didn’t know what they are doing in college. At some point in my freshman year I didn’t even know what I was doing in college. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most freshman and sophomores are roaming around campus trying to figure what they’re going to do especially if they aren’t in a major that has a set path like medical or law. It can be stressful, but that’s what your advisors are for and there are plenty of people willing to help you on campus.
1. Do step out of your comfort zone
If you’re shy then putting yourself out there probably won’t be so easy; it wasn’t for me at first. You don’t have to do anything too crazy, but try doing that one thing you always wanted to do. For me it was blogging. At first I didn’t like the idea of sharing my blog with anyone, but then I thought what good is it if no one is reading? Since I’ve started promoting my craft many great opportunities were granted to me and I met a lot of amazing people. So don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone, there are many doors waiting to be opened for you.
2. Do utilize campus resources
Everything on your campus is there for you! Tutoring centers, labs, the library, the gym, you’re paying for it all so why not use it? Get to know more about what your campus offers, you’d be surprised how many things students don’t know about.
3. Do budget your money
Being late on a bill is something you don’t want to happen. Not having money for food is also something you don’t want to happen. Make sure to budget whether you’re getting money from a paycheck or money from your parents. Try splitting your money up into portions. Make one portion for bills, a second portion for necessities, a third portion for savings, and whatever is left over is for you. You never know when an emergency is going to come up.
4. Do speak to your professors and advisors
Your professors are there to help, even the difficult ones. One thing I’ve learned about professors is that as long as they see you’re trying, they are willing to work with you. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions or go to them during their office hours. Building a relationship with them is also a good thing because you never know when you’ll need a recommendation letter. Also if a professor gets to know more about you and your goals the next time they have a job or internship opportunity you’ll be in mind. Same goes for advisors. These are the people that have the experience and know people who know people who know other people that can help you within your field of study.
5. Do stay positive
It will get stressful, but remember why you started and where you want to end up. Stay positive throughout your journey. There’s going to be downfalls, temptations, and much more but you have to keep pushing through. Don’t feel discourage when things aren’t going the way you planned because every rough path is just a detour to an even greater one.
Until next time!