College Grads Share Advice For Those Beginning University
College can be the most important and rewarding years of one's life. But it's not easy - you're on your own for the first time, there are many demands of you, and it goes by fast. These tips can help make the journey a wee bit easier.
NotYourKindofFluff asked, What is some good advice for beginning college?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
You're on your own, kiddos - the best part of college is your social life.
I clearly remember when I started college - the day I moved into the dorm, my mom said: "don't unpack now, go meet the other hallmates." I remember the door closing behind my parents and it finally hit me that I was actually alone. I was tempted to feel sorry for myself and get upset, but I actually listened to my mom. I didn't make my best friends that day, but I still think it was important that I tried right away. It helped me navigate my new environment and give me a sense of belonging.
Go to those new student social events. Sure it's awkward for everyone, but there may even be orange drink.
To add to this, I recommend going to those "cheesy" student events. I met people at the student center bingo night and won a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble in the process. Those types of events tend to not be super busy and the atmosphere makes it comfortable enough to talk to the people around you.
Wander around campus (without headphones) and say hi to people.
I ran into a group of 3 other weird dudes wandering around campus and they turned out to be my bros for the rest of my life. So many good times.
This is, arguably, the whole point of college - social skills and interpersonal relationships.
Push your social boundaries. College is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet all kinds of different people and make amazing friendships, even if they're only fleeting. Life will never be quite like that again.
If you don't like your major, change it. Pursue what makes you happy - you're paying too much money to be miserable.
Don't be afraid to change your major. Better to change your mind now than years down the road when you hate your job and wish you would've done something else.
Textbooks are crazy expensive.
Buy used books.
I can't tell you how many textbooks cost hundreds of dollars - and never got used.
And don't buy books until after you go to the class and see if you actually need them. Half of them you won't
Develop good studying habits - and do your daily assignments. They usually don't take that long anyway.
Do the homework. Do it. Every week. It will help you on your tests more than cramming a few nights before the assessments.
Go at your own pace - and yeah, nap. Nap TF out of college. And you can usually nap almost anywhere.
If you don't make friends right away, that's okay! It can take people a while, and don't feel discouraged from seeing other people making friends right away. I see a lot of people saying study, and obviously, but also, take lots of naps and have as much fun as possible. It's hard to do those outside of college.
College is the only time in life that you and everyone else are in the same boat. Make the most of it.
But also have some fun! This may be the last time everyone around you is at the same point in their life. Get involved, meet new people!
If you can live on campus, do it. It's an amazing sense of community - plus meal points.
Living on campus my first three years was the greatest decision I ever made college-wise. Even at a predominantly commuter school, it is absolutely worth it.
Have a plan for when you graduate (after you've picked a major). Jobs are no longer a guarantee.
Understand what you want to get from it. Don't just wing it and hope there's a job for you at the end that the credentials will get you.
Don't let anyone else decide what your degree should be. It's your life.
As someone who has a degree they only sort of use and loathed by graduation, DO NOT get a degree for your parents. You will kick yourself for years and years to come. In my case, my student loan debt outlived the parents and now there isn't a soul alive who even cares about what I do for a living.
Do not get a degree you don't want to please someone else. They're not the ones who will have to spend the next 50 years living with it. It's also not that fun to be in your 30s and considering going back to school for a second bachelors in a field you actually want to work in.
There are other options, including but not limited to taking out loans of your own to cover your education, getting dual degrees and/or switching majors and not telling them.
Yeah, 8 am classes suck, but you gotta go, especially to lectures, where most of the course content is covered.
Go to class. I know its hard when attendance doesn't matter but you learn so much more in active discussions than you ever will reading the texts alone.
Easier said than done, but be careful with student loan debt. It can be crippling - and lenders aren't very forgiving.
Take out the least amount of loans you can. It feels like you don't have to worry about them for a long long time, but that 4.5 years goes by quick.
College can be very stressful. Find things to do to clear your head.
Take your mental health seriously. College has a tendency to drain you if you let it. Try to maintain fulfilling hobbies and get a good group of friends that work as a support system and have fun.
Classes don't usually meet every day, so you'll have time to spread your work out.
As long as you don't do everything last minute you should have plenty of time to do homework and stuff. Most classes meet only twice a week (at least for me) so you don't get s* like in high school where it's like "Here's a packet, I expect it to be done by class tomorrow morning."
Get a job. It'll help you manage your time and put money in your pocket.
Get a part-time job. Helps with the regularity of schedule, gives you some extra spending money, develops time management skills, and gives your resume a boost!!
College is about becoming an expert. Become an expert.
Try to get as much experience as you can in your given field. It will help you in the long run and not make you stress which I'm currently feeling.
There's no shame in asking for help.
Swallow your pride and ask for help when you need it.