So, you've just spent a year of your life applying to colleges, and most of you are likely moving in as I speak. Now you're beginning to actually think about college, as more than just an ominous entity that your parents push on you, but as a real way that you are going to be spending the next four years of your life. You wonder what is it like? Will I really have to study? Will I spend every night partying, only to skip class the next morning to nurse my ever-present hangover? Lucky for you, here at The College Essayist, we have compiled a list of The 5 Most Important Things To Do In College.
Get help when you need it Most bright high school students agree that high school is fairly easy. You could probably get by with not doing homework, waiting until the period before a test to study, or not even studying at all. When college starts, many students find it hard to make the adjustment in terms of having to study and self learn. That is why is it so important that you find help when you need it. Whether you go to your professor's office hours, join a study group, or sign up for a tutor, you should never be afraid or ashamed to seek help when you are struggling academically. College courses are rigorous; it is far better to get help than to flunk out of a class. Additionally, if you are struggling mentally or emotionally, as many college students do, never be afraid to reach out for support. Whether it is your friends or family, an academic advisor, or a counselor on campus, there are many outlets available for college students to use to help ease the transition. Use these tools to your advantage!
Get involved Maybe you were the class president in high school, or the captain of the tennis team. Maybe you just went straight home and did your homework. Whatever the case may be, it is super important to get involved when you are in college. One of the most important aspects of college, aside from the learning, is the networking. By getting involved you build both your resume and your network of people- professionally and socially. It is a win-win! Many schools have involvement fairs in the first weeks of a semester, this can be a useful tool in finding ways to get involved. Remember that there are many ways to get involved- academic clubs, community service clubs, sororities/fraternities, sports teams/clubs, research, and the list goes on and on.
Go to class Depending on the size of your college, you may find yourself in giant lecture halls where the professors will never notice whether you are present or not, or maybe you just have a professor who doesn't have an attendance policy. It is important to go to class anyway because the more you can get exposed to the material you are supposed to be learning, the better. Also, often in class, a professor may hint about questions on a future exam or may specify and cover which topics will be on the exam out of the whole, large textbook.
Stay organized Learn to live by a planner or calendar. College is far less structured than high school, but also much busier. Many college students use planners to write down everything from when they have class, to when assignments are due, to when they will hangout with friends and sleep. It is always a good idea to go through your syllabi at the start of a semester and put all the important dates of assignments and exams in your planner as your professors will not remind you like your high school teachers did. Another part of being organized is to make sure that you keep all of your paperwork from your classes neatly separated so that you can easily access any papers you may need throughout the semester. Always make sure that you back up computer files on a flash drive. This way when the cumulative midterm and final exams roll around, you will be able to go back and study from all of your neatly organized past papers.
Stay healthy We've all heard of the freshman fifteen, but aside from weight control, staying healthy is essential for college students. College students experience intense stress and regularly exercising and eating right can help combat this. Most colleges have fitness facilities open to students (sometimes at a small fee). You can find a few friends and go for a run between classes or even join a sports club. Most importantly, make smart decisions in those dining halls. Living a healthy lifestyle will prevent you from getting sick easily, so that you don't have to miss any class time.