5 Ways to Succeed in College- Whenever college is brought up in conversation, it is usually followed by stories of sleepless nights cramming for an exam, starving with the only means for food being a pack of instant ramen noodles, and the mountains and mountains of student debt that is collected. It’s not surprising that a lot of people get turned off when they hear about college.
5 Ways to Succeed in College:
Of course, college isn’t for everyone, but if you are thinking about attending college, here are my top 5 ways to succeed (or just simply survive) in college…results may vary.
1. Choose Wisely-
I guess my first offer for advice is to make the right choice, and by that I mean to choose the right college. When deciding to attend college, there are a LOT of different factors that determine your choice on whether or not you want to attend it. Imagine it like this: When you buy a car, you don’t just choose a random car…why not? Because buying a car is an investment, and it’s not cheap, and if we’re going to be paying for something that’s fairly expensive…we usually want our money’s worth. So, when you’re deciding on what college you want to go to, make sure you actually LIKE it. This is why campus tours are important. You need a college where you feel like the environment is relatable to your personality. You need a college that has the major in your prospective field of study. You need a college that is going to make the next 4 years of your life happy, meaningful, and worth the cost. Don’t go to a college that has a bad atmosphere, doesn’t appeal to you, doesn’t have your field of study, or that isn’t going to better you as a person…remember, college is an investment. This is going to be different for every person.
When people in 2017 mention college, one of the first controversial debates you’ll hear is the cost. College costs thousands of dollars to attend. You’ve probably heard of the dreaded “student loans.” What is the best way to pay for college? For most people that’s with money that you don’t have to pay back. Make high school count. Apply for as many scholarships as humanly possible, even if you don’t think you’ll win. Continue to apply for them while you’re IN college. I once applied for a scholarship, didn’t think I would win…ended up not winning, but the committee loved my essay so much they wrote me a PERSONAL CHECK! Search for grants. These don’t have to be paid back at all either! And sometimes you’re just going to have to suck it up and take out loans, but be smart about it. Only take out what you need and don’t take out private loans. Finance better, work during the school year, or pay off some interest to lower the debt. While all of this may seem stressful, it’s very important.
3. Study Hard-
One thing that I noticed over the years while I’ve been attending college is people not studying as well or as much as they should be. In college, it’s extremely easy to slack off because you only have like 2-3 classes per day, you don’t have someone forcing you to wake up, and attendance isn’t required, but you need to remember that you are paying for this and if you fail this class because you don’t study enough or skip, you just wasted a couple of thousands of dollars. Even worse, you could lose your scholarships if your GPA drops too low, thus possibly causing you to withdraw or take out loans. Everyone’s goal is to graduate with the degree that will help them get a job…it’s not going to happen if you don’t act like an adult, go to class, and study. Studying may not be as fun as partying, but it is definitely worth it in the end.
4. Be Engaged-
You can’t possibly expect to get a job by just going to class and getting a degree? I know you’ve heard people pound you with the word “experience” or “internships.” Both are extremely important and help you tremendously in getting a job. Also, college isn’t just about academics. Join some of your college’s clubs and organizations on campus. If you like books, join a book club. If you like chess, join the chess club. If you like taking pictures, join yearbook. Also, take some fun classes outside of your major, something that can help your intelligence, or something that irequires an open mind and has lots of discussion. Take a literature or poetry course even if you’re majoring in engineering. Take a statistics class even if you’re a philosophy major. Take a politics class even if you’re a theatre major. It never hurts to try anything new.
5. Be Happy!-
My last tip may seem odd, but it’s completely necessary. People hear a lot of depressing stories about their experiences in college, but I can assure you that I followed these tips and it’s helped my experience in college. You should at least have some friends in college because without friendship, what’s the point? Social interaction in college is what keeps us all sane. You will go insane without finding something fun to do besides study. Studying 24/7 is never recommended in my opinion. I think we as college students need those breaks to help relax our brains because let’s be honest, college requires a lot of thinking and it’s difficult. Whether it’s eating lunch with friends, going to a party, or just sitting out in quad, you need to do something that makes you happy. Please, don’t just take classes. College is more than just getting a degree. It is a life changing experience about self discovery and molding yourself into the person you’ll be for pretty much the rest of your life.
I hope you enjoyed my tips and if you plan on entering college in the Fall of 2017, remember to study hard, have fun, and enjoy the experience!