As fall approaches, my mind is settled on the many ups and downs of college. The ups being the adventure of learning new subjects, late night study sessions, and Starbuck lattes. The downs being tuition costs, comprehensive tests and group projects with only a few of the group members committed to the success of the project. Needless to say, some things never change after your high school career. Regardless of its downs, college is still an experience worth having.
College is where you go to be educated. Elementary, middle, and high school were all branches. They were levels you had to use to get to the root of education, college. College is not a collection of random phrases and functions to memorize. It is a level of education that demands critical thinking. College makes it apparent that your level of success is based on you! What you put into it is what you will get out of it. If you go through college skipping classes, not communicating with your instructors, and never doing the work, then you will never complete college. You will never earn your degree. You will never learn lifelong lessons from its curriculum nor the art of networking. I can tell you those last two lessons mentioned are what I have found to be most important.
Through clubs and organizations, I learned to bridge career gaps by associating myself with the “higher ups” in my field of study. Joining societies and becoming a lifetime member has granted me access to selective scholarship banks and internship opportunities. Although I have not utilized these opportunities (due to my independent studies), I may always seek refuge through them if my initial plan fails. That is why I say it is important to think about these things during your time on campus this semester. Think about how beneficial an organization, club or society will be for you many years later. Even if you are not a member, attend the club orientations and society meetings you are thinking about joining. Go to ask questions! Questions like, what are the long term incentives for being a member? Do not join them for popularity and letters! Join clubs and organizations for career and networking advancements. I want you to get the most out of your attendance in college. Here are a few tips for making the best out of your college experience.
GET TO KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS
I know this sound rhetorical but students don’t take advantage of the breaks. Any breaks you have in between classes should be constructive. Don’t always mingle with friends! Instead, visit your professors in their offices to sort through coursework if you have any unanswered questions after lectures. When it is time to write your paper, you are going to wish you had discussed the material outside of class with your professor to get a clear understanding of what they expected to see in your paper. Most times, you remember casually conversing about the rubric before remembering what you want to write about. This helps you keep in mind the literary expectations when you begin writing, making sure to get what’s needed first. These visits not only guarantees a better paper, it also affords you time to get to know your professors. You will find that your professors are not prunes and share similar interests with you! An office space can tell you a lot about a person. You may notice shelved character collectables, degree displays, fish tanks, themed quotes, or cool lamplights. All of these things strike natural conversations which makes coursework more conversational than instructional.
Always, always, always speak to your professors upon entering a room or in passing. I am not saying butter up to your professors or become a teacher’s pet. That’s lame! I am saying offer a genuine, “Hello,” because that is the right thing to do. Whenever you enter a room, you are to speak first. It’s code of conduct! Plus, it never hurts for your professor to know your face and name! If no one else speaks, that’s fine. That makes you more memorable.
FORM A PERSONAL SCHEDULE
Do not let your class schedule dictate your personal life. You know where you have to be by what time so don’t sweat the basics. Be sure to pace yourself so that you have time to stroll around campus and learn where everything is. Familiarize yourself with the services offered on campus. For recreational purposes, play intramural sports. Get in charge of some campus events! Have fun! All of this may be accomplished if you form a personal schedule! Look at the days that you have the most time to do things, including the weekends, and schedule events and personal affairs then. Do not limit yourself to school or else it will get old! Lastly, once you decide on a date and time, STICK TO IT! Nine times out of ten you scheduled for it on a day that was most convenient for you so it’s best to get it over with because you probably will not have any other time to do it. Set deadlines for yourself and write everything down!
During the week, find leisure time and do something recreational. Enjoy yourself so that you won’t be tense or stressed all semester. Perform breathing exercises. Try meditation or yoga. Go for a walk to a local ice cream shop. Blast the latest tunes. Go to a party or outdoor activity. Do something that pleases you but lacks meaning! It is alright to be senseless sometimes. After all, you go all week being serious and focused! Create a chilled environment to relax or sleep!
All in all, I wish you all a productive semester. Remember, the only thing holding you back is you so take advantage of this experience! Apply yourself this year and BE HAPPY!
Creator of everything you see on here.