Entering a college or university is usually a big step for students. For many, it marks a time in their lives when they start the transition from being seen as an immature, reckless, child, into a responsible, self-aware, young adult.
This process, although riddled with many questions, doubts, and insecurities, is quite a positive experience. College could give you a well of new experiences, introduced you to many different people, and equipped you with the tools needed for the real world.
Here are some of tips on how to not only survive college but to make the most of your time there.
- Relax and Get Into the Proper Mindset
College is a new chapter in your life, and as with every new beginning, the first thing you need to do is to get into the right perspective. See yourself not as a child anymore, but as a young, responsible, adult, because that is how people will start treating you.
In this new world, you will be in charge of choosing your classes, selecting your professors, constructing your whole schedule, and taking care of yourself. As they always say, with great power comes even greater responsibility.
- Join a Club or Student Organization
Almost every college is equipped with a strong extra-curricular program. I encourage you to take advantage of this. These org are meant to help hone your social skills and talents, as well as teach you important values such as leadership, time management, and professionalism. Since running an organization is seen as a simulation of a real-life working environment, the skills you learn here will undoubtedly help you prepare for when you start working.
Most importantly, joining a student organization allows you to meet and work with different kinds of people; most of these are those you build connections and long lasting friendships with. At the very least, at a time when many adjustments are happening, being surrounded by people going through the same thing makes the challenges a whole lot bearable.
- Try Something You Haven’t Done Before
College is a perfect time to try new things: Watch a sporting event, attend that party, go out on a date, take that leap of faith, expand your horizons, and stretch your comfort zone. I’ll let you in on a little secret: ten or twenty years from now, what you’ll remember most aren’t the lectures you had in or the books you read, it’s the crazy and exciting things you did.
The time spent in college is all about learning, and as I always say, experience is the best kind of teacher. Do not let fear or insecurity hold you back from something you really want to do. It will make your college life even more worth it.
- Take Your Classes Seriously
I know I have been preaching about going out and having fun in college, but the fact of the matter is, you also need to take your academics seriously. More than the grades, I encourage you to learn as much as you can from your classes as possible.
Choose a subject that excites you or a degree that you are passionate about. Enlist under professors, although tough, who can inspire you to be more and help you grow as a student. As I have said, college is about learning, and a great deal of this happens in the classroom too.
- Occasionally, Take Time to Reflect
With all the changes and challenges college life presents, for most people, it can be a bit overwhelming. I know this can sound corny, but that is the importance of powering down and reflecting on everything that is happening.
Reflection is a powerful tool that many successful people practice. It allows them to re-focus on their goals, recharge, and deal with challenges more clearly. Most importantly, it helps notice the gradual changes in them and gives a clear direction for future endeavors.
Take five minutes every day to go over the day’s events. Ask yourself how you are feeling, what was the highlight or low light in your day, or what struck you the most. These simple questions will allow everything to fall into perspective again and help prepare you for tomorrow’s challenges. In a world where we are bombarded with numerous obligations, reflection is something we should not lose time for.