Being successful and graduating from college is not just a walk in the park. It takes a bit of hard work, perseverance and many other qualities. This can be especially hard for many students due to all the temptations and new freedom. Use the advice below to get the most from your college education while still having fun.
Saying no to things that make you uncomfortable is just as important in college as it was when you lived with your parents. Many students experiment with alcohol or sex during their college years, but if you don’t want to do these things, don’t let anyone pressure you into them. Your college experience should be about having fun, exploring who you are and preparing for your future via your classes–not about doing things you don’t truly want to do.
Student’s discounts are one of the best perks of college, especially if you need to save money. Check with your student resource center or ask an adviser for a list of perks. Many local restaurants, movie theaters and bookstores offer generous discounts when you present a student ID. This allows you to save money and show school pride.
Keep your loans to a minimum. Look into scholarships, grants and special programs to help pay for college so that you won’t have a lot of debt hanging over your head when you graduate. For many students, loan checks seem like free money while they are in school–but once you get out they become an obligation you may regret.
It is important to choose your classes wisely. Try to avoid taking a lot of classes that you are going to have to devote a lot of time and attention to all at once. Instead, alternate these harder courses with easier ones to make your semester and college experience a much easier one.
Watch the carbs you’re eating to keep your weight in check. Avoid such things as sugary snacks and processed foods. Try instead to incorporate healthy foods from all of the important good groups. Try not to build your diet just around protein, as that is not optimal for your health.
If you are an adult going back to college, try signing up for night classes. The classes during the day time are full of young adults right out of high school. The night classes are usually filled with adults and students who are serious about their education. It will result in a much better college experience.
Invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones so that if you have to study in your noisy dorm room, it will help to block most of the noise out and focus on your work. Unnecessary noise can not only distract you but can irritate you and make you unable to focus. So help keep the peace by investing in a pair of noise cancelling headphones.
Textbooks can take a huge toll on your wallet. Fortunately, you now have many options to save money. For example, you can rent textbooks online. Another option is to purchase online-only access to required textbooks. While you won’t have a physical book to take notes or highlight in, you will save money in doing so.
If you are looking for a way to pay for college, do some research on scholarships. Many corporations and affinity groups set up scholarships that college applicants can apply for, based on a certain set of criteria. You may be surprised at what you can qualify for. Do not rule out an opportunity before you look into it.
Avoid relying on electives as the way to determine your major. Get involved with extracurricular activities on campus. You can always join some clubs on campus or do a work study program. There are plenty of things to choose from. Aim to try something new at least once per week.
When you first get to college, get a map. You will feel a little silly using the map, but you do need to know where to go, after all. Map out your classes and the cafeteria so that you can easily get around when you first begin. That can make your first days less hectic.
Give the school a year before deciding if it’s right for you. You might want to come home; it is hard at first, but give college a chance. If you think your school isn’t working for you after a year, try considering options for the next year.
Only bring what you need to your dorm. Most dorm rooms are very small, and excessive clutter will be a real problem. Bring only the basics with you. Search for options that can help save you space.
On the first couple of days of class, make sure that you personally introduce yourself to the professor during their office hours. This can go a long way in showing the professor that you are interested in the class, and will also help them to put a face to a name quicker.
Even study positions that do not involve your major are important, and you must concentrate on them. Experience is always more important than education. Positive reviews from a work/study position will show prospective employers that you would be a viable candidate for future jobs.
Don’t rely on others’ notes. There is no way to tell whether or not that particular student took good or bad notes that day. Thus, you may be getting the short end of the stick.
Search out on campus jobs. These jobs are specifically geared toward students and are generally limited hours a week. These jobs will give you spending money while teaching you important work ethics. Ask your professors and admission counselors if they know of any work-study projects, which may be available to you.
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