Now that I am closing in on my first two months of college, there are a few lessons that I have learned that I would like to share.
1. Do. Not. Take. 8. AMs.
Thankfully for me, I was told enough times not to take any early classes, but I have several friends who do suffer from 8 AMs. Just don’t do it to yourself. In high school we had class at 7 am, however in college, I've learned that sleep is everything, and it is your best friend. Let’s be honest, no matter how early you went to sleep at home, it is almost impossible to get to sleep before 10:30 pm in college because you are bound to be out doing something fun and making memories. So just do yourself a favor and don’t take any 8 AMs.
2. Do laundry at least once a week.
Unless you have two weeks worth of outfits without repeating, do yourself and everyone else around you a favor and do your laundry. Pick one day every week and designate it as your “laundry day” so you don’t have to resort to picking through your dirty clothes in search of somewhat clean ones. Believe me, you do not want to be that one smelly kid in lecture that everyone avoids.
3. Be proactive.
I know that this can seem difficult and daunting, however being proactive is an excellent skill to have in life. I used to put off having to confront people about things and it really hurt me in the long run. Whether you have a problem with your roommate or you don’t understand a project, you don’t want to wait until the last minute or until it’s too late. Basically, do not procrastinate in anything you do in college—this goes for assignments as well!
4. Talk to your professors.
Professors can seem intimidating; especially if you are in a large lecture class. However, whenever they mention their office hours, they really do want you to take advantage of it. Professors want their students to succeed in class if you're willing to put forth the effort. Besides, they are usually sitting in their office with nothing to do because not many students actually go talk to them. Don’t be one of those students. It’s also very important to establish a relationship with them because, if they like you, they’re more likely to be easy on you. Professors are often looking for students for internships and having that connection will put you on the top of their list, so take advantage.
5. Meet with your advisor ahead of time.
In addition to professors, it is crucial that you have a good relationship with your advisor. I met with mine the first week of school just to get acquainted. I usually meet with him once a month, just to make sure I’m on track. Remember--your advisor is there to assist you! Don’t be afraid to make an appointment.
6. Get involved.
Getting involved is a big part of college. It can make or break your experience. Most schools have a club fair where you can sign up for anything that looks interesting to you. Take advantage of this and sign up for as many things as you’d like, and the beauty is that you don’t have to stick with all the clubs you choose. Also, extra-curriculars are a great way to meet new people!
7. Get a job.
It’s not necessary, but a little extra money in your pocket couldn't hurt. Ever since I got a job at my school’s food court, I haven't been happier. It is a lot of work, but it helps with time management skills. Plus it’s always nice to save up money and have a little extra to spend. I mean, we’re college students: we could all use a little extra cash.
8. Study abroad.
Once again, it’s not necessary, however it will make you a more well rounded person. I plan on studying abroad in Spain to further enhance my Spanish. Other popular English speaking countries that you can go to include England, Australia, or New Zealand. Nonetheless, travelling is an important part of life because it is important to see the world and expand your horizons.
9. Make sure you fulfill you general education requirements early.
Trust me, you do NOT want to be a senior taking an introductory level class because you never took your fine arts credit. Just take all your classes ahead of time so you can focus on your major later on in your academic career.
10. Love what you do!
If you don’t enjoy your classes, you may not enjoy your career. So be certain that you are happy with the decisions you make, and that they're YOUR DECISIONS because your happiness is key.
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