Within the first few days of starting college, that overwhelming feeling looming in the horizon quickly rears its ugly face and consumes most new college students. Often times, students are groomed from high school to manage and face these experiences head on with a set of pre-prepared responses to these kinds of things. Now, that may be the case for some, but it is hardly the case of all. Many new college students are unprepared for the new-found freedoms that come with college and are often driven astray by it. But of course, we all make mistakes and they should just be considered lessons learned for the future. Nonetheless, there are a few tips that may very well aid new students in their college endeavors.
1. Get and maintain a running calendar or planner!
One quality most college students lack is proper time-management skills. Unfortunately, this is not something all people are born with, rather it’s something you learn over time and develop as you grow. In this new age of technology, our phones come with these little handy-dandy features built in! Always plan for things in advance and factor in things such as class, study time, leisure time (important, will explain later), time to eat, etc.
2. Leisure time! You need that!
Despite what people may say, leisure time as a college student is almost as important as the time spent studying. When students dedicate all of their time toward studying, studying, studying, they are easily overwhelmed and end up suffering as a result. As human beings, we’re not wired to work like robots, so don’t do it. If you’re going to dedicate time to study, be sure to avoid two or three hour marathon sets of studying.
3. When you’re studying and reading your text…!
One habit people tend to have when reading long and arduous passages of text is that we tend to literally just read it. By this, I mean that we read the words, but we fail to comprehend what it is we have read in its entirety. One suggestion is to first read through each heading of a chapter or section before reading in order to figure out what the main idea of each section is and what it is that the author wants you as the reader to take from it. If need be, always re-read for clarity and take notes. If you still don’t understand, take your notes to your professor and ask plenty of questions!
4. Learn to say “NO”!
This is just common knowledge. College has the reputation of wild parties, keggers, togas, drinking and sex. The temptations for these things may be strong, particularly with the new-found freedom. But you know right from wrong, and what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Just. Say. No.
5. With that being said… TAKE RISKS!
Do things that are outside of your comfort zone. Never been to a program that explored a certain religion? Never tried a kind of food that’s available in the cafeteria? Never introduced yourself to someone from a certain country? Step outside of your comfort zone and take some risks. You went to college to learn new stuff, right?