You made it!! You got thru high-school. Congratulations!! As well as a hearty Whew!! For most of us, high school was somewhat of a bloody nightmare. Many kids graduating from high school look at attending college as a great adventure, opening up new and exciting possibilities. Some kids look at college as a free-for-all…partying all the time and sex out the wazoo. Some kids, unfortunately will have to go directly to work and won’t have the ability or opportunity to attend university. However, I am here to tell you that this is more than just the transition from high school to another school. An entirely new world has opened up, and you have many, many different life choices to make. It’s the time to buckle down and really show the world what a hard working, dedicated student you have become. IF you plan your education carefully and take your future very seriously, this is the place where you can change your life. It’s up to you. Following are 8 basic tips and suggestions which will make your college experience much more fun, and hopefully more meaningful.
- Don’t choose a college or university because it’s popular, or because your friends or relatives went there or because you are a fan of their football team. There are other more important factors you need to take into consideration; such as your funding, the kind of career you want or the area of the country where the colleges are located.
- Do research on your intended major. Before declaring your major, do the research to learn if your choice is feasible. Look at current and projected job prospects for those with that major. Furthermore, look at the future expected earnings, and the types of fields’ people with your intended major usually go into. What you find may surprise you.
- Always plan time to study and keep a set schedule for doing so. If you don’t plan for it, it is highly doubtful that you will find time for it, because who enjoys studying? Most of us don’t. That’s why immediately after you have received your class schedule, it is best to schedule your study time. With a class and study schedule mapped out, you can create the kind structure that will help you get through each day and maximize your time. Never procrastinate with your homework or studying. It’s always best to get your work done as soon as you get home, so that you have the rest of the day to dedicate to whatever you want.
- If the campus you are attending is large, it’s important to familiarize yourself with it during the first week. Take a day or an afternoon, rent a bike and ride thru the campus, exploring it and finding the halls you will taking classes in. You really should be very familiar with how to get to your classes…Before you go to them. You should know how to get to the cafeteria, library, the Professor’s offices, college security, study rooms and the student center. Knowing the location of places you have to go saves time.
- After you sign up for a checking account, make sure that you do not leave without getting the free checks that most establishments offer. Do not pay for extras. You may be surprised at how few checks you will use over the course of your four years in college. It is simple enough to get more if you need them, but you don’t want to waste money if at all possible. Or skip checks all together. Get an app for your mobile that your bank offers that allows you to pay for anything / everything you want or need.
- If you are going to be attending college soon and you value your privacy, you may be better off living off-campus. While living in a dorm is much cheaper than having an apartment, you are sacrificing your personal space. If money is an issue for you, search for a studio or one bedroom apartment. Privacy is ALWAYS preferable to sharing a dorm or another living area. Because when you want to study or work, Murphy’s Law will have your room-mates having a party at that very time. And then you will be pissed.
- Instead of taking the easiest courses, choose classes that you will truly enjoy, even if they challenge you. It is very rewarding to challenge yourself. You learn more from harder classes and you make more ambitious friends.Sign up for classes as early as you can. Procrastinating with registration will not guarantee you a spot in the class you want. This may make it so that you have to take it the following semester instead. When you determine which class you want to take, sign up immediately!
- Make certain that you have your FAFSA submitted very early in the year. This is the financial aid that is automatically given by the government. The earlier you apply, the more certain you are to receive your benefits. Sometimes, the finances can run out, especially at smaller educational institutions. Be prepared!
With these suggestions in mind, start figuring out the next steps to take to make your college experience everything you have ever wanted. Take the time to do it right. As I said earlier, many people won’t ever be able to go to a college and get a higher education. And for me, that is a shame. Because every mind should be cherished and not wasted. I know it is a cliche, but that’s how I feel. So if you have the opportunity to go to a university and change your life, then you you damn well better make the most of it. This chance might not come along again.