Posts Tagged ‘College Life’
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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