Everyone has seen those posts about “24 things you need to know about college, things you don’t wanna miss out on in college, things I learned in college, etc.” this is going to be similar but not nearly as “heart warming” as some of those buzz feed post created to sometimes help but a lot of time confuse.
I thought about starting to write this from a perspective of someone who has not only stayed the same through college, but tried to encourage others on their way during what I consider to be a very difficult time for people at the college age. It may not be a post about depression but this is my blog after all and my thoughts so here we go.
1. Don’t worry about the parties: what is going to help you have a better future? A couple of drunken nights you won’t remember or extra study time for a test worth 25% of your grade?(yes they do exists especially for online courses). Partying can be a lot of fun, dancing like an idiot around hundreds or even a handful of people you may or may not know. For me it was a time to show off to people who had no idea the “skills” I had on the dance floor, although most clubs are just girls grinding on guys and guys just kinda looking around.
2. You can still be social: just because you don’t get schwasted every weekend like your friends doesn’t mean they aren’t your friends. Make time for them during the week, also try to make friends in your classes because two studying(or more) is better than one as long as you aren’t goofing off.
3. YOU WILL LOSE FRIENDS: whether it be because of partying conflict, moving away from them, change in personality or even sadly a loss of interest it will happen. The people who you are meant to stay friends with will always be there, even if you don’t see them enough. Plus college is a great place to meet new people who have similar interest like you.
4. Teacher talk: Meet and socialize on some level with your teacher. Ask them about extra credit, ask them how they are, introduce yourself. It can never hurt to see the point of view of a teacher. Plus showing respect gets you far with many teachers. They give you grades and you in turn study for their test showing that you care enough to go the extra mile to meet with them or get advice is a great way to start any class.
5. Set a schedule for your school work: no matter what this time is for school, I don’t care if you have done every last bit of homework you go over the chapter and take notes. Done that too? Look over your next section, contact people in your class who might can answer any questions. Never use school time for anything but school.
6.DO WORK BEFORE IT IS DUE: for me as a college student there is no better feeling other than getting things done in a timely and complete manner, saving me time for other subjects or even a test or quiz. You have that extra time you give yourself to make sure you get everything done. Don’t waste it.
7. Internet is fun: yes, we all know it is. Movies are enjoyable. Games are addicting. Put down the electronics, and once again set times to look at your computer or to play a game. Looking at your phone all day should be illegal because there is so much other stuff to do. I try to check Facebook once a day along with any other media, if I check more than that I just see things I’ve see a million times before. Playing a game, thirty minutes to an hour max is what I give myself…even if it’s Call of Duty(sigh).
8. Give yourself those study breaks: especially when studying or doing hard homework problems giving your self a break to eat or relax is often good. I think for every 45 min study time you should get 15 min relax time. That of course is just a rough estimate only you can know what’s fully best for you. *Never do more fun time then study time*
9. Keep yourself organized: making sure binders, folders or notebooks are color coordinated for classes may seem like an odd thing to do but it will help you in the long run keeping things together. Being prepared by having enough pencils and pens( because believe me someone will need one at some point during your time in college), paper in case of surprise quizzes, or even a calendar to keep up with due dates. Don’t be the person who always shows up late and unprepared. Be early, be prepared, be ready to learn.
10. Take notes: I don’t care if the teacher is just babbling on about his life, you write down important facts about his time in another state. Keeping your hands moving taking notes is a good way to keep yourself awake and alert. I always take notes because I want to be able to go back and make sure what we learned and what was important to the teacher or what stood out to me, plus what else is there to do. Side note: try to get actual notebooks, you don’t learn the same way typing on a keyboard and 90% of the time you end up on social media sites believe me the people around you and the teacher aren’t as dumb as you think.
11. Music while doing homework: for me listening to classical piano music helps me when I am on a roll and really trying to do my best but needing to get homework done. If I listen to music with lyrics I just find myself singing or dancing instead of paying attention to what I supposed to be doing.
12. Take. A. Nap: naps are a great way to get re-energized, I always have trouble staying awake especially if I had a early class that day. A nap should be either 20 min or an hour and a half. In between is when you get those spells of “oh my gosh I am way more exhausted then I was when I first laid down”. A sleep cycle is an hour and a half, so sleeping 20min is a rest for your mind without getting too deep into a sleep cycle and not wanting to wake up, I always try for an hour and a half. Make time to do whatever kind of nap fits you best.
13. Eat healthy: I know it seems like fast food places or junk food now that your out of the house seems like a greeaaatt idea but when you notice a lack in energy, a never ending hunger, and a lack of funds you will thank me.
I usually try to get those frozen meals with Alfredo and broccoli, hot pockets with spinach, artichokes, cheese, and chicken, get vegetables, get eggs, get milk, cereal(not too much sugar), water bottles, soups. There is so much at the grocery store to get even if you don’t like to cook. These may not be the “healthiest” of foods but it’s better than beer, chips, soda, gushers, and fruity pebbles as your main foods for consumption.
14. Keep in touch: people who you knew from high school, old jobs, or family they miss you and if you have moved away try to contact them at least once a week (maybe more for family) ask them about their life. Make sure that they know you are still there to listen to them no matter how busy you get.
15. Keep your head high: although your grades may not be what you want there are ways to get them better and back on track. Don’t give up on yourself or your goals. Keep trying and when school is about to end for the semester you will start wanting to slack off, but you can’t. Especially if you didn’t make the best grades earlier in the year.
These are my thoughts on college, and a saying my dad gave me when I left for my first day at my college “No matter what people say,college is about your future. It’s important. It isn’t about how many friends you have, it isn’t about how many parties you go to, it’s about determination and not wasting my money.” Funny but still true. People say that college is for trying new things, no it’s about your future and helping yourself along, and college isn’t cheap it shouldn’t be wasted. You find yourself in this process and learn how to “live on your own” in a sense. This is not the time to say “hey I’ve never done this before but now that I don’t have parents around wooohoo time to go crazy”. No, now is not the time to experiment it’s the end of the finish line for school, and after you cross this line it’s time for your future. Your future is how you shape it. Make sure it’s not in the shape of wasted nights you wish you would have studied or girls/guys you wish you never would have kept in your life. Have fun, but don’t go crazy, college can be fun but it should be serious to you not a game. My final thoughts were more serious then intended but still need to be heeded. I hope this helps anyone reading it!