Your first day of college will feel like being thrown into the deep end of the pool. Fortunately, you’re not the first person to go through this. Millions of others have been in your shoes and have learned the same lessons that you’ll need to know. If you want to take some of the stress away from your college career, you might want to follow this advice that’s been gathered from college upperclassmen. From figuring out how to graduate on time to saving money on books, this advice will teach you what your admissions counselor forgot to mention.
Go to Class
One of the great parts about being in college is the freedom. It’s not like high school where people were looking over your shoulder to make sure you were doing the right thing. If you feel sick or like you can’t make a class, no one’s going to call your parents. This is great for some, but it can be far too tempting for others. Try to remember that you are paying to go to school, so you need to go to class as much as physically possible.
Not only will going to class help you to pass, but it will also help you to get to know your peers. As you go through your course of studies, you’ll need to get into study groups and get to know your professors. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll need a letter of recommendation later on and none of your professors will know who you are.
Avoid the Bookstore
The college bookstore is meant to be an enticing place. It has everything you need all in one location, from your textbooks to snacks to t-shirts. Your parents probably took you there to buy souvenirs when you did your first visit, and you probably assume that’s where you’ll want to go to buy your textbooks. If you want to stretch your money, though, you’ll want to avoid the bookstore.
Always buy or rent your books online,. Doing so will be cheaper and you’ll usually get more money for them online at the end of the year. College bookstores prey on the uninformed and tend to inflate prices far over the market average. Unless you really feel like overpaying for everything you buy, the bookstore should be reserved only for when your parents visit.
Get Out of the Dorm
It can be very easy to get into a rut when you’re in college. If you really want to make the most of your years at school, though, you’ve got to get out of your dorm room. Don’t be the person who sits around and waits for life to come to him or her. Get out of your room and start finding ways to participate on campus.
If you’re in a competitive major, this definitely extends to finding work. Don’t waste your time hanging around and binging your favorite shows. Go to your school’s employment center, look for jobs or internships, and make yourself more valuable. You’ll need to build your resume while you can. Staying in your dorm too much is a good way to waste your college years.
Be Realistic About Your Schedule
Only you know what works for you in terms of scheduling. While many colleges put together the first semester for freshmen, you’re going to figure out very quickly what works and what does not work for you. If you’re a night person, don’t schedule yourself for an early morning class. If you can’t concentrate after lunch, move your classes to the morning. Only you can decide what will actually make for a more realistic college schedule.
This goes double for knowing what you can accomplish. Most colleges have a minimum and a maximum number of credits you can take per semester, and only you know how many will work for your plans. If you don’t mind doing extra work and can handle the stress, taking the maximum early on will make your later years much easier. With that said, it’s better to go slowly and pass than to move too quickly and have to take your classes over again.
Try New Things
College gives you an amazing chance to try out things that you never would have done before. Whether it’s meeting new people, joining clubs or just trying out classes that you never would’ve looked at in high school, trying new things will help you to broaden your horizons and figure out who you want to become. Don’t force yourself to stick to what you claimed to be when you first got to campus.
In fact, you really need to try to break out of whatever box you put yourself in as soon as possible. You are going to have an amazing chance to be what you want to be during the next four years. Take this time to try everything that you’ve wanted to try and to put your fears behind you. You’ll never have this type of chance again, so enjoy it while you can.
Enjoy your time in college – it goes by way too fast. You’ll get a chance to learn and do more than you ever have in your life, so make the most of it. Be smart, learn your own lessons, and make sure to have the kind of experiences that you’ll talk about for the rest of your life.