It’s back to school time for everyone- including those college students. I remember those days, feeling like nothing can stop you and you’re on top of the world as you start or finish college.
College students, this post is for you! I want to give you 5 tips for attending college. These won’t be the normal “make sure you don’t party too much” kind of tips. These tips are personal to me and things I honestly learned during my 4 years at college.
College is an amazing phase of life. It’s new, exciting, and usually fairly scary. You have to be in charge of yourself, be responsible, all while trying to decide what you want to do with your life. If you knew/know going into freshman year, I envy you.
For the most part, everyone’s college experience is a little different. Not everyone stays on campus, not everyone take’s 17 hours a semester, not everyone parties. So for the freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior in college, these tips are for you. No matter what kind of college student you are.
1. Don’t feel bad if you aren’t a traditional student // Whether your married with kids and going back to college, living at home, only doing night classes, etc. you still deserve a great college experience. Don’t let the status quo get you upset or down on yourself for not being the cookie cutter student. I lived at home my whole college years and was extremely shy because I felt like people would think I was lame for staying at home (holla, I saved thousands of dollars by doing so). So have fun, learn, and enjoy no matter your situation!
2. Just get that degree // Don’t stress over the timeline! I know that is easier said than done, especially with the majority of people having loans piling up. I get it, I know. I technically “graduated” in August instead of May…I just couldn’t squeeze in enough hours. We had to pay for an extra summer semester, so I understand it is stressful. But the bottom line is getting that degree in your hand. For some, it might take less than four and for some it might take five or six years. Get that degree and be proud.
3. Choose electives with purpose // I know you’ll want to blow off a few hours with something random like painting or ceramics. But for the majority of those electives, choose wisely. Think about what would help you as you go forward and what would give you insight and experience for your future career. I was a journalism major, with no minor, and I took many writing electives: fiction, PR, professional, etc. Don’t just pick classes you think you can sluff off and not care about. Every course could help you with your career.
4. Don’t expect to just glide your way through // I had this vision of college: skipping classes, being on my phone, not being held accountable (I came from a private highschool, I wanted some freedom). BOY, was I completely wrong. Now I’m not sure if this is how every college is..but my professors were almost more strict than my high school. I had to bring doctors notes if I missed class. I WAS DUMBFOUNDED. I never thought classes would be like that, but they were. Maybe yours isn’t like that, lucky you, but I have a feeling more professors are going toward stricter classes and attendance. College is work and you have to put in all your effort.
5. Be prepared to not get the job // Like I have mentioned before, college did everything to prepare me to get a job but did nothing to prepare for what happens if I don’t. With this economy, many college grads are not finding jobs, just like me. Unless you are in a guaranteed field (like medicine), you are not guaranteed a job right after graduation. And if you do have a job right after foundation, realize how lucky you are! I’m not trying to be a cynical person, but I want you to be prepared! Life isn’t as easy as we perceive.