Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Your first year of college is for meeting new friends, learning new concepts, and getting to know who you want to be. It'll likely be exciting and chaotic, but these 5 insights will help you make it be even more awesome.
Already a college pro? Comment below or tweet me to share what you wish you knew when you started college.
1. Everyone Is Nervous
You’re not the only one who’s having pre-college jitters. Your entire new class is excited, but also have some nerves in them too. Use this as a way to connect with your fellow classmates. Be that person who leads the way and introduces yourself to others. They will be so glad you said something first that they'll want to stick with you, the "confident" one. Now you have someone to go to orientation with, score! Look beyond your nerves, on the other side of fear is immediate friendship.
Look beyond your nerves, on the other side of fear is immediate friendship.
2. Get a Part-Time Job
While college is a time to have fun and get an education, it’s also a great time to build up your resume and to start saving. If you're getting ready to join the 43 million Americans who have student loans, it's never too early to start being conciencious of your finances.
It’s no longer cool to be financially reckless in college and to worry about your loans later. Becoming smart about money is in. It may seem like you have no time for anything other than studying, but you do. You’ll be grateful that you got a head start, and the experiences you have will open up even more opportunities in the future.
It’s no longer cool to be financially reckless in college and worry about your loans later. Becoming smart about money is in.
3. Go to Office Hours
Your professors aren’t as intimidating as they seem. . . they want to help you! They care much more about your wellbeing as a human than your grade in their class. Professors want to help you explore and learn at your own pace. Get to know them and take advantage of office hours. This is especially helpful if you go to a large school, it's a great way to differentiate yourself from the others. This will not only set you up for a lifelong mentor, but it will help you when you forget the odd homework asignment.
Professors want to help you explore and learn at your own pace. Get to know them and take advantage of office hours.
4. Be Nice to Everyone
In college, there’s no such thing as cliques. People no longer care about who you were in high school, whether you were in the popular group or the valedictorian. Everyone becomes friends with everyone. So don’t take your high school persona with you into college. Your experience will be much more fun if you make friends with all sorts of people, this way you’ll get invited to different types of events and get a more well rounded college experience.
In college, there’s no such things as cliques. People no longer care about who you were in high school.
5. Find Your Balance
One of the hardest things for me in college was finding a balance between me time, studying, and being social. It’s likely for your priorities to differ over the first year at school, but the best thing you can do is to be mindful about how you spend your time.
The best strategy for time management is to determine your why, a concept coined by Simon Sinek, before you start school. Write down why you’re spending the next 4 years of your life at school. What's it all for?
Once you know where your priorities lie, then you can determine how to spend your time. If you’re primarily there to get outstanding grades and research opportunities, then spend more time in the classroom. But remember, you’re only in college once, and personal connections will benefit you more than you might think in the future. Find other bookworms to get food with in between study sessions.
If you're there to have fun, so be it, but remember, you need to pass your classes to make your costly investment worth it! Being too overly interested in one area of life will lead to unsatisfaction. You can do anything, but not everything. Find your balance.
Being too overly interested in one area of life will lead to unsatisfaction. You can do anything, but not everything. Find your balance.
To all the Gen-Zers headed into college: good luck! You’re about to embark on a new journey that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. What is one of your biggest questions about college?
Comment below or tweet me so that I and other readers can share our advice! We’re here to help you succeed.