Starting college is a thrilling experience, but one that is also fraught with challenges. One can learn a great deal academically in addition to valuable life lessons. It can be difficult being on your own while continuing your education, but that’s what college is.
Make a checklist of things to pack for college. It makes more sense to arrive well-equipped rather than having to ask Mom and Dad for items each week. You might not be able to get things from your parents if you are going to school far away from home.
If you are finding it difficult to be academically successful, find out if your college offers a course to help you with your study skills. College courses are different from high school and require a transition. Improving your study skills can enable you to succeed in your classes and reach all of your goals.
You should find out what grants and scholarships you can get. Many people don’t know that various scholarships have unique characteristics like being only for left-handed people. Also look into the different federal aid programs there are.
Along with your required course load, make sure you add some extracurricular activities. A variety of activities shows that you have varied interests. This looks good on graduate school applications and your resume. Don’t overwhelm your schedule, though.
It’s important to get familiar with the teachers you have when you start your classes. You need to know how you can reach them if you need to and where to find their office. This will also help you develop a good relationship with them. Then if you must ask for a favor of them later, you will have an established relationship.
Make sure to pay off your credit card balance each month if you have one. Otherwise, unnecessary interest and penalties may accrue. Credit cards should only be used in certain situations. Keep in mind that the reason you are going to college is to get an education. Don’t let yourself become distracted by financial woes.
Instead of taking the easiest courses, choose classes that you will truly enjoy, even if they challenge you. Giving yourself a challenge is rewarding. If you learn as much as you can about your classes, you might be able to meet some people that can guide you along your way.
Take notes while in class. Note writing can help you solidify information you hear. It will also make studying easier because you will understand it. Take notes even when you think you are familiar with the topic.
If you like to drink coffee, do not purchase a cup of it each morning. This expense adds up greatly over time. Brew your own coffee in your dorm or apartment. While this isn’t as convenient as grabbing a cup from the drive-thru, you’ll save enough money to make it worth the small inconvenience. You can even buy a fancy machine and save.
Allow yourself to take breaks. Although studying is important, it’s equally important to give yourself breaks. Ten minute breaks are optimal to get your body and mind to regroup. Create a schedule that you can follow and commit to it.
Never turn in the first draft of a paper you’ve written. Make sure you have time to edit it. Write another version of it, rather than just proofreading it. You can proofread your second draft and make it crisp. By doing this, you can be more confident that your paper contains all the important components and is written well.
If you are torn between two or three possible majors early on, take the critical starting classes in each department. You’ll learn about each field thoroughly this way. Plus, once you do select your major, you may have earned enough credits in some of the other fields to obtain a minor. This provides you with a degree that is more impressive.
Consider going to a community college before going to a university. By taking your basic core studies at a community college, you can save a considerable amount of money. There’s no reason you can’t transfer your credits to the college of your choice once you’ve completed some core classes. When you have a small budget, this may be your only option.
Before giving up on a school, stay in for a year. It is normal to experience homesickness during that first year, which leads some students to feel that college was a mistake. Others experience problems when their perceptions of college life don’t match up with reality. After a year, if you still don’t feel that your school is right for you, then consider other options.
Try to associate with others who have similar philosophies about college. It is easier to succeed when those around you are also committed to growth. You can still have fun all together! You could find people that treat college in this manner.
Are you an athlete who wants to still play while in college? Consider making a call to the college and speaking to the coach of the particular sport you play. Informing the coaches is key because they often don’t know about all the incoming athletes. This might even help you get a scholarship.
Find two students in each class to connect with. While it can be awkward to reach out to others, doing so can result in great rewards. This will allow you to not only make new friends, but will also give you someone to compare notes with as class progresses. In addition, you can form a study group with these people so that you all can properly prepare for the exams.
Do not rely on notes from other students. You may think that the person you are getting them from is a solid student, but there is no telling whether that person was an exceptional note taker. You may receive partial information, or the note taker may have used personal coding that only he/she will understand.
This article should give you a better idea of what to expect from college life and set you on the right path. It takes balance and hard work. Use the tips in this piece, and you are sure to have an optimal college experience.