Dear Fellow College Students,
We all have struggles. Trust me, figuring out how to get to class on time will not be your only problem. You made it through high school, great. We all thought that was never going to end, but here you are. You made it. The rest of your life has begun and this is just the beginning. Choosing your career is your first milestone for your future, that is why the amount of success you have these next four years is very important. You have so much to learn and so much to live for, believe me, you are still so young, even if you feel so grown up. I am here to tell you how to survive this part of your life, because it is going to be tough, so pay attention.
1) Save Money
The 7 ways to survive college are all equally as important, so there is no particular ranking to this list I am giving you. You have to save money. One weekend you will go out with your friends and spend nearly all the money your parents gave you. Trust me, that dollar amount is never enough. You have no idea how to budget. If they gave you $1,000 a week you still would find a way to spend it. Don’t. You know nothing about money. Think of it like this, the less money you have, the less food you will eat, and a lot of the time you will be starving. Also, this advice will help you even after you graduate. So save your money. Listen to your mom when she says that to you, because she does know what she’s talking about. Speaking of your mother, call her. She misses you about 10 times more than you miss her.
2) Read Everyday
Text books are your best friends these next four (or more) years. There are classes that are extremely easy- be thankful for these. That “A” you see on your transcript at the end of the semester may be the last one you ever see. Now, that is not to say it is impossible to get an “A” in a hard class. You can get an “A”, you really can, but it is going to take a lot of work. Reading your text book is the simplest way to study. Really, you learn a lot just for reading it. There will probably come a time when you think you can skate by doing the bare minimum for a class, trust me, reading your text book IS the bare minimum. So do that, at least. Walk in to every class saying “I need an “A””, and your rest text book because it definitely won’t be a waste of time. Binge-watching 3 seasons on Netflix however is a total waste of time.
3) Go to Study Groups
I know this is tough. It will require you to sacrifice some of you spare time and maybe some sleep, but this is important. Studying as a group helps you see other ways of understanding the same issue at hand. What you’re confused about may be the same thing that others are confused about, and maybe you both don’t see how to ask for help, but when a group of confused students get together with their notes and textbooks, you guys will collectively find the answer and see many different ways to understand it. You need that. College will require you to think in ways that you aren’t used to. You spent very little time in high school using critical thinking tools, and that has left you under-prepared for college. This is a time for learning and you are not alone. Every person in your class is in the same boat as you, even when that boat is sinking. Working together is another simple way to get through this just like reading your textbook. There will be several times that you have to study way harder and do a lot more work than just read your textbook and go to study groups, help yourself now by taking advantage of these two simple ways to learn.
4) Make Lists
It’s easy to forget important things that you need to get done on any given day. It’s even easier to forget to do the important things that you absolutely don’t want to do. Sure, you want to succeed. You want to have a successful future. You want to make straight “A’s” and have a 4.0 GPA. But none of us actually want to do what it takes to get it done-work. Your first year is going to be all boring classes, classes that will mean basically nothing to you. This is tough, so you need to get yourself in a routine that will help you get all of those crappy assignments done. Make lists that show you what needs to be done at any given day of the week. Consult you syllabi, yes, your professors gave you these, and yes, they are important. Schedule the due dates and schedule times to study before hand. You may think you can get everything done in one night, but you can’t, and if you do this you will get behind, and your grades will suffer. Schedule time to relax also because this is tough work, and you’re doing it all on your own, no one can do this for you.
5) Be Selfish
This is one of the most important times in your life. You are going to learn so much about yourself and about life in your college career, so you need to make sure it’s not stripped from you.Keep going. Take out another student loan, take that class over again that you got an “F” in, and definitely don’t let love get in the way of your college degree. When you walk that stage and shake the Dean’s hand, you have achieved it. No body can take that from you, ever. Wait to get married until after that day happens. If your love is true, it can wait, and it will stronger after you have finished. Take the time to do this for yourself and forget about everyone else. Life is full of reasons not to do something this important. Trash those reasons. This is your time to draw-out your future, and it’s just the beginning. Embrace it and keep going. Also, stay in school as long as you possibly can. After that first degree, after you have achieved the ultimate goal, if you get the chance to keep going, definitely go. Go until you physically can’t anymore, until you run out of money, until you have more college hours than there are hours in a month. Education is a gift, receive it util it’s done giving.
6) Make Time for Yourself
This may seem like it falls under the last tip, but this is different. What I mean is, when you’re being selfish for your degree, remember that you’re doing it for you. You are on your own side. It is easy to forget that and it is easy to think you are your own worst enemy. Stop thinking that. Don’t work yourself to death, there are ways of getting what you want without sacrificing everything near and dear to you. Remember what I said earlier, schedule time to relax along with scheduling all the work you have to get done. Also, don’t neglect your health. Go to the gym, there is always time for that. Don’t spend all spring break studying, even if one of your Professors assigns something for you to do. Hang out with your friends, go home to visit your family, take a road trip, you need it. Don’t lose sight of your hobbies either. Sometimes your hobbies are related to your career choice, and they always are related to who you are as person and a professional, and that is absolutely important. Keep going with everything you do in your life because everything is important.
7) Have Fun
It may seem like over-kill by now, but this is your life we are talking about here. Everything you do, everyday adds up to who you are. The good and the bad, the successes and the failures, the fun time and the boring times. Surviving and succeeding in college requires you to give it your all, just like everything in life does. Remember that you are here for a reason, that you have a deep connection with why you are here. Maybe you have a love for animals and a love for helping them, so you are going to school to be a vet. You are going to wake up every morning one day and save many lives of animals, and you are going to have a blast doing it. If you are not sure if that is going to be fun then you need to rethink you major. You have a passion, everyone does. Embrace it, live it and chase it.
Go to school and be that person you dream of being. Don’t stop for anything, and study hard. Work for everything you get and make sure you hold on to it as long as possible. It is absolutely worth your time, so stay as long as possible. Relax because you can do this. Make time for your friends and family, and save every penny you can. This is the advice I can give you to survive this time in your life. Be positive everyday, because I know you can do this, I am rooting for you!