College is revered as one of the most exhilarating periods of life. To the incoming freshman, new-found independence and lack of a full-day schedule is enough to excite, let alone an opportunity to develop new social networks and, let’s face it, party. Get prepared, you’re in for a world of fun, but know that there’s life at the end of the tunnel. In other words- have your cake, eat it too, and be ready to work off the pounds for the next 10 years. Want to avoid post-graduate stress? Read on!
First and foremost, take the whole-person approach. Truthfully, you are attending college for more than just the units. On graduation day you are awarded a degree for your academic achievements, but as you walk across that stage you’ll carry with you a slew of personal accomplishments as well. Remember, you are there to develop yourself, mind body and soul. Classes are extremely important, as are the choices you make outside of the lecture hall. Ask yourself daily what person you’d like to become. Try on a few outfits (metaphoric or literally), and figure yourself out!
Next piece of advice for college- get independent, NOW. In just a few years you’ll graduate and come to the realization that nobody prepared you for what’s next. It will be up to you to figure it out, so start now! Learn to manage your finances, do your taxes. Get a credit card and for heaven’s sake don’t max it out… student loans will be stressful enough without adding credit card debt into the picture. Get a job and build a savings account to support you the first few months out of school. Learn to cook (seriously) and get on a fitness kick. The freshman 15 is real, so is the sophomore, junior, and senior 25. Okay just kidding, but get addicted to fitness now and save yourself the struggle in the future!
Last piece of vital advice for college? Play hard but work harder. Avoid procrastination and get your assignments done quickly so you can let loose without the inevitable academic doom looming over your head. Grades matter, even if you don’t think you’ll apply for grad school, and the choices you make will affect your life for years to come, so find balance and maintain it.