The annual tradition of graduation season is upon us once again. Every year, high school seniors participate in this rite of passage as they cross that final threshold of the stage and claim their diplomas. Many will go on to college and some will hesitate to make a decision about what they want to do with their lives.
They will encounter many new challenges along the way, and college is no exception. They will enter into a less restrictive environment and have to make many choices that they didn’t have to consider previously.
First, I would like to congratulate each and every one of you. You hung in there, and now the next adventure in your life awaits you. With that, I have a few words of advice for you.
Welcome to a new world of self-responsibility. Most of you will be leaving the home nest and moving away. All of those things you used to take for granted now squarely rest upon your shoulders. Daily chores are now up to you. Mom is not there to get you out of bed in the morning. You will now have to schedule your classes and perhaps even juggle that with a part-time job to help pay the bills.
First rule of thumb: your professors will not hassle you about attendance. If you don’t show, you will fail. Many professors will even drop you after three absences from their course. They are not interested in second chances. You are an adult now and are expected to behave as such.
Take Advantage of College Life
Get involved in what interests you. There are so many ways to network with others in college. Become a member of a club or fraternity. Don’t join because you want to party, but rather to build lasting relationships with others. As you go about your adult life many of these people you meet will become contacts and potential career partners, employers, or know people that may consider you for future employment.
Don’t hide in your dorm. Get out and enjoy the campus. College campuses have many amenities to accommodate your interests. Work out at the campus gym to maintain your heath and vitality. Take a book you are reading for class and head out the open greens and get some sun and shade while studying.
Take care of your finances in a responsible manner. Unless you are carrying around your inheritance in your back pocket, money is going to be scarce. Don’t blow it on things you don’t need such as partying; it is not what being in college is about. If you do want to let off some steam, don’t do it on a school night.
Always buy books that are used and in good condition. Remember that you are not restricted to using the college bookstore. There are many options out there to save on textbooks and materials such as Amazon.
Invest in a decent laptop computer or Chromebook. You will be writing more than you ever managed. Getting a desk bound computer may be cheaper, but it will leave you deskbound and without much in terms of being mobile. Make sure you get a reliable printer and remember to keep it in working order. Professors will not care that you ran out of ink as it is your responsibility to look ahead.
The most important asset you will nurture through the rest of your life will be your personal integrity. Your word is your bond. When you lack integrity, others will not trust you or take you for your word. You made a huge commitment for your future when you entered college. Everything you say and do will reflect upon you.
You have had your fun with your social media. Now it is time to grow up and be responsible about it. Do not use social media as a platform to exhibit poor behavior. Remember that potential employers will be looking into your background. What you do online will reflect on your character. Protect your character or it will be a stone around your neck.
Now, get out there and find your niche in life. It is yours to live and experience. Take in all you can and never cease with a desire to learn. The world is yours, take it.