Posts Tagged ‘College Life’
Take a few minutes to reflect on 2013 – do you remember your resolutions from January 1st? What worked well? What didn’t work at all? Do you even remember what your resolutions were?
When beginning a new year, we enter with a lot of enthusiasm, momentum, and overall excitement for what is to come. Especially for the clean slate. But sometimes we lose steam, focus, and motivation to hold ourselves and our goals accountable.
Before you pen your list of New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself this question: What do I really want to improve? Read on for some 2014 resolution suggestions:
- Get Healthy
First off, take it easy on yourself. You’re busy, you’re on a budget, and no one transforms into a model overnight. Begin with setting realistic, long-term goals. Getting healthy has nothing to do with weight loss but everything to do with losing the unnecessarily bad food! (Little secret: just by adjusting your diet you’ll lose the weight anyway as your body’s way of saying, “thank you.”)
Start here: Set workout goals that fit your schedule (aim for three days a week), make the conscious effort to eat one more fruit or vegetable per day, vow to sleep for longer periods of time, and cut back on your caffeine intake.
Think of your resolution as an ongoing process throughout the next 12 months and eventually it will become your lifestyle.
*CHECK OUT COLLEGELIFE.COM FOR THESE EXERCISE TIPS!*
- Devise A Game Plan
Write out a blueprint. Step by step. Know exactly what goals you would like to accomplish and by when. Hold yourself accountable for those goals. Be consistent. Remember that if you wrote it down it must mean something to you. Why not make 2014 a personally productive year?
P.S. Reward yourself! Not everyone can be strict with their goals, so every time you have a victory (big or small) - spoil yourself.
- Make A Budget
Perhaps a part of your game plan is to travel more. Maybe it is to join a new gym or attend a fitness class. Possibly it is to change your eating habits and go gluten free or vegan. Unfortunately money trees don’t exist, so all of these things require money.
So along with your blueprint, include a section for finances. Figure out how much the essentials cost and then map out how much extra you will need to do the activities you’d like to participate in. Check out this website for tips and a template.
Tip: Try to only use your credit card for the necessities – ask yourself, do I want it or do I need it?
- Apply For Scholarships
The average amount of student debt in 2013 was almost $30,000 according to CNN Money. Whether you’ve already embarked on your undergraduate career, are about to graduate high school, or have just entered a graduate program – it’s important to use all your resources to keep your debt to a minimum.
So, carve out some time to apply for scholarships at least a couple times a month for an hour or two. There are multiple scholarship deadlines every month, so no excuses!
Create a student profile with Cappex to search and locate multiple scholarships to aid with your financial situation and specific needs.
- Be Persistent
Every year is filled with highs and lows or ups and downs. We all have our own personal struggles and our situations are uniquely different. And as difficult as it may sound, try not to lose focus on the resolutions you have for 2014.
Adjusting to a new lifestyle, working towards new goals, and changing certain learned behaviors can be extremely trying. You may slip up on the way but as opposed to stressing out and wasting energy, think of ways to get back on track to making 2014 the greatest year.
You have begun another year at college, or perhaps this is the first one! Most people would agree that while learning more about your major and being closer to your field is an incredibly rewarding experience, it’s life outside of academics that really makes these days some of the best of your life! To ensure that this semester meets that tall order, you may want to have these things as part of your survival kit.
In order for you to enjoy everything college has to offer, you’re going to need to invest some of your time in things other than your academics and trips home. There are clubs and activities to take part in and new friends to meet. You just need to have the time to venture out!
A Good Friend
If all of your good friends are at home, you’re going to need one in college! This is the person you will rant to when your professor adds two pages to the requirements for the paper you have already written. This will be the person who, when something ridiculous happens on your way to class, you cannot wait to tell him or her. Having someone to share your experiences with on campus will be crucial to your college life!
A Set of Personal Guidelines
While college is certainly the place to try new things and explore new ideas, most people with open minds still have some personal rules they would rather not break for one reason or another. Familiarize yourself with what some of these rules might be. There will be situations where these personal guidelines are challenged, and you don’t want to find yourself in an uncomfortable position.
A Taste for Interior Decorating
If you ever want to feel like college is your home, you’re going to need to spice up your dorm room a little bit. Cute, artsy wall decals, a poster of your favorite sports team, a giant TV, or a couple of plants will all help you to feel comfortable with where you’re living. You will also want to include photos of family members and friends back home. When the holidays come around, feel free to decorate for those, too!
The Ability to Put Your Needs First
Part of becoming an independent adult in college is being able to decide for yourself when it’s time to focus on academics, when it’s time to party, and when you’re better off curling up in your bed and reading a book, Friday night or not! You might have a friend who doesn’t care one bit about schoolwork and wants to hang out 24/7. You’re going to need the ability to say no when you have a cold or a test the next day. Doing so will make college life yours and nobody else’s.
Counseling Center Information
Sometimes, the drama in college life is too much for any one person to handle. Even if you never use it, it helps to have the counseling center information on hand. Know the number, and where it’s located, just in case.
Walk into any college bookstore and it will probably take you less than five seconds to find something with your school’s name on it. If you wanted to, you could dress yourself up in your school’s apparel, from your college colored socks, to the logo on your baseball cap! The student parking lot is full of bumper stickers supporting your football and hockey teams, and your friends’ dorm rooms are littered with mugs and posters, all with an outline of your school! So what’s the point of all this hype? Here are six reasons why you should embrace college pride this fall!
Whatever you had to do to get yourself here is an accomplishment! Getting into college is no easy task, and it’s not for everyone. You have to spend your high school years getting decent grades, getting yourself involved in activities, and getting a job, just to prove that you’re a hard worker! You have to take the SATs, just to show admissions boards that you know a thing or two! Be proud that you got into college!
This is where you are getting your education. This is where you will be trained to become the young professional you will someday be. This is the institution that is carving your future. Be proud that this college has given you a path to success.
Not only is this where you are learning to be an architect, or a nurse, or a teacher, but this is where you are learning to become an independent adult! College is where you will learn how to plan and manage your time. It’s where you will develop new opinions and philosophies about the world. It’s where you will decide what defines you. Be proud that your school is helping to make you who you are.
Nobody gets out of college without making some new friends and sharing some good laughs. College is incredibly rich with social experiences. They don’t call it the best years of your life for nothing! Be proud that this school will give to you the people and moments that mean everything!
College students today know more than anyone that getting a degree isn’t cheap. It’s an investment that will have to be paid off over many years! Your college or university is something that you believe will better you and for that, it is worth every penny. Be proud that this institution is where you put your money.
College is a time commitment. It takes at least four years to earn a bachelors, and many find themselves taking even longer than that! In addition, some professions require a masters degree, or even a PhD. That’s a lot of time to devote to school! Be proud that this is school is where you have chosen to spend many years of your life.
As the eldest child in my family, I wasn’t lucky enough to get my hands on those glimmering snippets of valuable college information. I knew my father had a college roommate who put on The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited,” and danced after his final class every Friday, and I knew that movies I had seen portrayed college courses taught in something more like an arena than a twenty-five student classroom. My concept of college lied somewhere between these two ideas, and regardless of that fact, I took my first steps on my college campus ready for whatever freshman year would throw at me! Having graduated in 2009, here are three things I wish I had known on my first day.
There Are Better Places to Get Your Textbooks
For the first two years of my college education, I took the option of having the college bookstore collect everything I needed for my courses, placing it all neatly into a huge box, taping it up, and giving me a call when it was ready. Don’t get me wrong: this was highly convenient! I didn’t have to wait in the same line as the other hundred people looking to cash out, and I knew I had what I needed before the bookstore ran out. On the other hand, this was not the cheapest way to go, and taking back books professors decided they didn’t want the first week was a pain! If I had it to do over again, I think I would spend more time buying books off of Craigslist, buying used books online, or renting books!
Nobody Is THAT Perfect
My freshman year, I had big dreams, and I was going after them! For me, this meant getting to know the people around campus I idolized. I wanted to be like my RA, who was not only beautiful, she was brilliant in her double major, and a leader in a dozen organizations! I wanted to be like the president of one of my campus groups, who won tons of academic awards and everyone on campus knew him! I soon learned that my RA struggled with major body image issues and was miserable as far as relationships go. That guy on campus everyone knew? He frequently asked if he could copy my work. That’s when I learned these people weren’t perfect, and I was reaching for something that was never there. Of course, the lesson here is not to go around pointing out others’ flaws, but rather to not let the seemingly perfect perception of your classmates dampen your own confidence in yourself. Perfection isn’t a realistic goal, but improvement always is.
Not Everyone is Trustworthy
While there are certainly people I didn’t like, and who didn’t like me, I had not met too many people with truly poor intentions. My junior year of college, I was approached by a guy around my age who said he was selling magazines so he could study abroad. Seems legit, right? He wanted me to pay him in cash, and there just happened to be an ATM near where we were standing. How convenient, right?! After taking out a hundred dollars (he said he’d give me change), he took off with the money! I learned then that if something seems off, I would be willing to risk possibly disappointing someone to get out of the situation.
What’s so hard about college?
You might think it’s the coursework. After all, college level academics are more difficult than high school academics, and often times, the methods used to teach a college level course are unfamiliar to a freshman. You might think the hard part of college is making friends, as you’ve likely left most of yours, along with your family, behind.
While the academic and social aspects of college can be challenging, the students who haven’t figured out how to balance everything are those that have the toughest time. The demands of college students are high, and they’re coming from every direction: you have two professors expecting papers by the end of the week, your club meets every Wednesday, your RA is holding a mandatory event tonight, you have a group presentation tomorrow, Mom wants you to call her, and your best friend just broke up with her high school sweetheart and she needs you right now. Feeling stressed yet? Most college kids do.
So what are you going to do about it?
Well, you could simply throw your pens in the air and say, “Forget this! College is too hard!” and walk out. There are plenty of students who do. Or, you could learn how to balance all of these activities in a way that brings you success and happiness!
Your first lesson is a basic one: get yourself a planner (and use it)! Write down when your assignments are due and when you plan to do them. Schedule in your weekly meetings, even if it seems obvious that you’re busy at 7 p.m. every Monday. Note test days, birthdays, off-campus parties, visits home, group project meetings, campus events, when construction is going to be blocking your typical entrance to your campus, when you’ll need a new toothbrush, and everything else you need to remember. Color code it if you have to! Pour your life into this thing because your mind will not be able to handle it all.
Your second lesson, one that many people have a difficult time with, is being able to recognize when things are about to get crazy, and doing something about it. When you’re documenting everything in a planner, it will only take you a moment to realize there’s a dark and twisty Tuesday coming up where you have a twelve page paper due, two meetings scheduled for the same time, and coffee with your ex where you’ll discuss whether or not you’re getting back together. Yikes. Understand that this is a storm warning, and you’ll need to make preparations for it.
Your final lesson in performing a successful balancing act is being able to prevent spillage from one demand into another. Focus on the task at hand. If it’s homework time, don’t get on the phone for an hour. If your friend is visiting from another college, don’t spend that time polishing the final words of a paper. Think of your demands like paint: while a few mix nicely, too many mixed together makes an ugly greenish brown.
1. Don’t Think You’ll Figure It Out Right Away
Going to college is a huge transition, and it takes some people longer than others to adjust. With so many opportunities for studies and socializing, you may find that you are having a hard time finding your niche. The great thing about college is that there are SO many opportunities available to get involved in that exist to help you explore yourself and your interests. You may find that the things you enjoyed freshman year don’t appeal to you once you’re a junior, and that’s okay! Try new things, join new clubs, and find what makes you happy again—it’s never too late to change your mind. College is a time when you figure out who you are and what you like, and taking all four years to cement that is a great way to grow and develop into the person you want to be.
2. Everyone is just as scared as you are
There may be those people on your hall or in your classes who seem like they’ve got everything under control, but in reality, they are likely feeling the same range of emotions that you are at this very moment. Like you, they wonder whether they’ll like their classes, whether they’ll make friends, and whether they’ve chosen the right school—it’s only natural at such a crucial point in your life. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by those around you who appear to have a hold on freshman year—you’re doing great, and in time, you will feel just as confident. Instead of being scared and waiting for good things to come to you, put yourself out there! Face your fears head on and make things happen. You may be surprised at what can result from showing a little courage.
3. Get Involved
College provides numerous outlets to get involved on campus, whether through social organizations, honor societies, sports teams, or clubs. These organizations are always looking for new members, and will allow you to get adjusted to college life early on during your college experience. Joining and remaining active will remind you why you chose your school in the first place and forge a connection with the other students in your group. Don’t sit and watch it go by—get involved in the things that you’re interested in freshman year and see where the journey takes you.
Having fun in college doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Skipping expensive movie theatres, restaurants, and nightlife for something a little more low-key will allow you to think outside the box and take advantage of the many resources available in your college environment without breaking the bank.
Spend Time Outside
No matter where your school is located in the country, there are likely to be outdoor activities that will show you a great time. Whether its berry picking, playing Frisbee in the park, or laying in the sun, spending time outside is a fun, relaxing way to have inexpensive fun in college. Take advantage of a beautiful day, explore the area around you, and you may be surprised what you find. When night falls, showing a movie on your lawn is a great way to stay in the outdoors and maybe even meet your neighbors. Set up screen to project the film, lay out some blankets, and see who stops by to watch with you.
Daily Deal Websites
Companies like Groupon and Living Social are great ways to take advantage of your town. They allow you to experience the best restaurants and attractions around you at a lower cost, and often extend deals aimed at two or more people that you can enjoy with your friends. Visit daily deal websites frequently to make sure you see every opportunity available in your area.
Organize A Scavenger Hunt
Reminiscent of your days in grade school and at summer camp, scavenger hunts can be just as fun in college as they were when you were younger. College towns, with their historical landmarks and countless buildings, provide the perfect map for a memorable, funny time with your friends. Form small teams and break out your cameras to document your findings; you’ll have a great time scouring the city as you find everything on your list and meeting up at the end of the day.
The college experience isn’t all about studying, and no one knows that better than the staff in the student life department at your school. These departments work with various company representatives around the country to bring events like movie screenings and restaurant tastings to campus at little or no cost to students. Find out what you school is planning throughout the year, and make sure to arrive early so you don’t miss out! These events tend to be very popular and are likely fill up quickly.
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As a high school graduate preparing for college in August, whether you know it yet or not, your life is about to change! There’s a big difference between life as a high school senior and life as a college freshman. Even those who loved high school and are reluctant to leave can enjoy college even more! Here are five things you can look forward to about your college education this Fall!
In high school, you had a very set schedule, and not much control over it. Your school day began and ended at a particular time. Your parents might have made tacos for dinner every Tuesday for as long as you can remember. You’ve probably spent weekends being dragged to department stores and family parties instead of being able to do what you wanted.
In college, for the most part, you can choose when you want to take classes. You decide when and where you want to study. It’s up to you to determine when and what you want to eat for every meal. You’re in control, and at 17 or 18 years old, you’re ready for it!
The Chance to Be a Rock Star
Between middle school and high school, you’ve had to take science, math, English, social studies, home economics, gym, technology, music, and art. Some of those things you were great at, while others you struggled with. Some subjects bored you to tears. In college, most of the classes you take will be what you’re good at and what interests you, making you feel like a rock star!
In college, you’ll meet new people unlike the people you’ve known your whole life. There will be people from other parts of the country and other parts of the world, all with different beliefs, expressions, values, experiences, and ways of having fun! In addition to all of your high school pals, you’ll have a whole different group of people to hang out with.
Because college is a place where people from all over gather to learn, you’ll find college has a lot more opportunities than high school to learn and try new things. Your college might offer snow shoeing, ice skating, and Irish dancing as physical education courses. Your dining hall may serve meals from other countries, as well as gluten-free and vegan options. There will be clubs on campus that support a variety of different political parties. In college, you’ll have the chance to try so many things you’ve never had the opportunity to try before.
A Fresh Start
As a college freshman, you may be the last to pick your classes and you may be too young to live off campus, but you also have the most time ahead of you to seize opportunities and make your mark. You have a clean slate in which you can do and become anything. You have your whole college career ahead of you. Your road is only beginning!
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