Congratulations on becoming a freshman and welcome to what could be the best years of your life. Yes, it is about work and study and getting the degree, but college is also a place to discover who you are, find out what your purpose is, and learn how you are going to chase your dreams after you graduate. It is about finding the balance between studying and your social life and experiencing everything you can that will add to your character as you mature into your 20s. Here’s how to make college the best years of your life.
1. ALWAYS BE YOURSELF
You will at times feel pressured to act against your natural instincts and there are so many different people that come from different backgrounds, different states, and different upbringings that it can be easy to lose yourself in the crowd. Don’t ever lose sight of your morals and values. Always act with integrity and this will serve you well in the future too.
2. GET INVOLVED
Campus life is exciting and entertaining. Getting involved can help you to become a better student, leader, and friend, but it can also help the time go by during the four years. Living on campus is an exciting new journey and can be scary at times. By getting involved, you will meet new friends and share experiences with others and feel more at home. You might discover new passions and make lifelong friends.
3. BEFRIEND PROFESSORS
Listen before you dismiss this. You are not a nerd if you are friends with your professors. Sure, some people may associate befriending teachers as a nerdy thing to do but that’s a negative view. Think about the long-term benefits and think about yourself before caring about what others think about you. By feeling comfortable enough to approach your professors about a lecture, an assignment, or go over homework, you are doing yourself a favour.
4. WORK HARD before PLAYING HARD
In some student’s minds college = partying. If you want that, fair do but college isn’t just about having a good time. The truth is, if you are walking into campus life thinking all you’ll be doing is drinking and going out, you will do poorly in classes and you will miss out on learning about yourself. Find the balance and respect it. Be organised and you will have time for work and play.
5. DON’T BOW down to PEER PRESSURE
College life isn’t always about what you see in the movies. If you go to a party and don’t take a drink that has been offered to you, people will not care as much as you think. You don’t have to have unprotected sex because you want to live dangerously, and you don’t need to take those drugs, just to try it one time. Do you want to be in with the in crowd or follow your own path and be true to yourself AND look after yourself as a priority?
6. REMAIN SINGLE
College hook-ups and relationships can be fun, and yes, you may well meet your future life partner, but you can also miss out on other experiences. Stay single in college for as long as you can. College is a time for you to discover yourself, not for someone else to discover you. If you are tied down with a partner, you will not be as open to getting involved on campus or focusing on your grades.
7. BE OPEN MINDED to CHANGES
Change is the only constant in college. If you can be open minded and accept change in your life, in your relationships, and in your future, you will be more at peace with yourself. It’s okay to cry and get upset about things from time to time because that’s normal but reflect and meditate on the reality that things will always be changing around you.
8. DON’T GET CAUGHT up DRAMA
Whatever the setting, drama isn’t worth getting caught up in. Some of you may thrive off drama or maybe it’s all you’ve ever known. But some of you may absolutely loathe drama and rightfully so. Beware of cliques as these really are drama magnets. Have friends in different groups – it all adds to your experience and the excitement of things new.
9. TAKE CARE of YOUR BODY
This means not over drinking, eating the right foods, exercising, and not allowing stress to take over your life. Balance is extremely important. Study hard but play hard too, have a BFF but lots of friends too. Enjoy extra-curricular activities but make the most of your time in the library.
Remember too, have fun. College is serious business but you can also enjoy it. Follow these tips for how to make college the best years of your life. You won’t regret it.