Long before my daughter started college, I began the ‘lecturing’ series from my perspective of how to get the most out of each day spent at college. As young, and naive newbies to institutions, life is brilliantly grand and there are no thoughts of bumps in the road. Hindsight is foresight and I tend to offer that foresight up without being asked.
Today, as a graduate a few times over and with one college student, I would love to offer some expert tips to help you get the most out of your college career. College is one of the richest experiences in life.
If you are just entering your college career, you’re set to meet many people and do many things that will impact the rest of your life. It’s not uncommon to feel both excited and overwhelmed at the idea of embarking on this new adventure. In order to make the most of your college career, you need to go in with the right tools.
For those just entering your college career, you’re set to meet many people and do many things that will impact the rest of your life. Use my 5 expert tips to maximize your college career and lavishly live life out loud!
5 Expert Tips To Maximize Your College Career
It’s not uncommon to feel both excited and overwhelmed at the idea of embarking on this new adventure. In order to make the most of your college career, you need to go in with the right tools. Undeniably this is the biggest test of your life, to see if you can succeed without your parents and without living in your home and you have to produce quality grades as well.
Take nothing for granted, and never just assume things. Get on the right track from the beginning and you will sail through your educational experience and all it’s accompanying components.
1 ) Build Healthy Relationships with Your Roommates
The people you meet in your dorm the first year may or may not be friends you make for the rest of your life. It’s important that you establish a healthy relationship with your roommates early on so that you can live out the rest of the year in harmony with each other.
Use social media to reach out and say hi, and start chatting about your new college life you all are about to start. Once school starts, or as you are talking, make sure to establish boundaries and chore schedules. Let them know your needs and allow them to be open with theirs.
Establish an open environment where you both can speak up if a problem arises. This way, you can foster long-term friendships. Don’t forget to discuss options to borrow or not borrow clothing and each other’s stuff, that is always a great discussion to have ahead of the storm!
2) Spontaneity Makes Life Fun
Colleges always offer a number of activities throughout the year. Your dorm might host special events or you may decide to join a club. It’s possible you’ll do random things like have a water balloon fight in the courtyard or climb campus buildings. Embrace this time as a time to explore and meet new people.
Also, remember to be open to things like getting together with friends at the last minute because you do not want to be the odd man out of the ‘fuddy-duddy’ of the group, which leads to fewer invitations in the future!
College is not just about your education in the classroom it is about being schooled in social components as well. If you can succeed in both classroom and outside of the classroom you certainly have a bright future ahead!
3) Study Smarter, Not Harder
All-nighters aren’t cool and all the coffee in the world can’t make up for the energy you lack, it just leads to the crash and burnout syndrome. Don’t make the mistake of procrastinating until the night before a ten-page paper is due or cram all of your studying into a few days before the exam.
The key to success is to study early. Studying in small chunks throughout the day has been proven to help you better retain information. Take care to review notes and materials after class and plan how you will study before the exam and while it sounds stressful, it’s actually much easier than cramming.
Success comes in because, by the time you reach the night before an exam, all you’ll have to do is review the material to feel confident. If you struggle to understand the material, get help early on to improve your success. Truly, keeping yourself on the right track leads to studying smarter, not harder.
4) Mentors Matter
Large universities give you so many wonderful opportunities, but it also gives you the opportunity to suddenly feel invisible in a sea of students. Feeling lost can create a loss of motivation and you don’t want this to happen.
Your college will provide mentors so that you will be able to find counsel and advice for your college experience. Sometimes you can find a mentor through your department, while other times you can find one through a club you join, TA’s, or on-campus jobs. A good mentor is someone you can speak to as both a colleague and an elder.
What is a good mentor? A good mentor is someone you can speak to as both a colleague and an elder. This person is generally older, more experienced and wise (remember my words “hindsight is foresight’) Mentors can help give you direction in both your career and in life. Find someone in your field who has similar attitudes and can help you through your college career.
5) Maintain Healthy Habits
Don’t want to gain the freshman 15? Then you need to eat well, sleep well and remain physically active. Leave the late night parties for the weeks when you have a light study load, and focus on these three aspects to optimize your body for work and play.
Sleep helps you retain information, so try to take a nap between study sessions. Eating well keeps your body functioning properly and supports the immune system to prevent you from getting sick. Physical activity keeps your body awake and alert.
Find a routine that works for you and maintain it as best as you can. Unfortunately, this will mean that sometimes you’ll have to say no. But, saying no sometimes means you can maximize the time you have in all aspects of your life. Attending college is a thrilling time. Make it the experience of a lifetime by following these simple tips. Lavishly live your college experience out loud!