The college life

Taylor Nicole Young will graduate in May 2015 from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor of science degree in strategic communications. Originally from Chicago, Young resides in Stillwater, where she serves as the marketing chair for OSUSexperts, a school organization promoting safe-sex awareness. She’s currently an intern at the Oklahoma Film and Music Office in Oklahoma City.

College is like an audition for adulthood. It’s a mini society in which students evolve into adults. For the first time, students will experience an immense amount of freedom. It’s an opportunity to explore your passions and interests; the time to create your own identity. It can be both exciting and challenging, so here are a few tips to help you make it through.

1. The workload IS heavier – learn to manage your time.
When high school teachers warned about the intense workload college brings, they were not lying. You will have more homework, and it’s important to develop time management skills to keep yourself sane. Time to get organized! Buy a planner, utilize your smartphone, or keep a whiteboard calendar. Organization is essential to success in college. Keep track of due dates and be sure to set time aside for homework and studying. Yes, studying. Unlike high school, professors aren’t responsible to motivate students. Motivation comes from within.

2. Yes, you should actually do the reading – it IS helpful!
When it comes to assigned reading, most students skip it all together, figuring the material will be covered in class. Some might bother to skim the chapters. Although the material will be covered in class, it’s much easier to keep up when you do the reading. Having background knowledge of the subject matter leaves students a lot more comfortable when listening in lecture. It promotes class participation and helps to make studying easier when test time rolls around.

3. The party scene IS what you see in the movies – learn the concept of balance!
The epic parties showcased in movies are no tall tale. These bangers are a regular occurrence in college town. It can be quite overwhelming for incoming freshman. Balance between a social life and academia are key when it comes to succeeding in college. Too often, students get caught up in the party scene when they first get to school because they’ve never experienced that level of freedom. Limit the number of nights dedicated to partying. Study hard to play hard!

4. The “Freshman 15” IS real – take care of your body.
It’s important to adopt healthy lifestyle habits early on in college. The “Freshman 15” is no myth. It is very easy for students to gain weight when they first get to college. Again, it’s the first time they’ve experienced so much freedom. College campuses are filled with plenty of dining options, and mom and dad are not around to mandate what you eat. Students slip into unhealthy habits quite easily. Get enough sleep, take vitamins, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

5. These ARE the “wonder years” – make them count!
The most important piece of the equation is to make the college years count. College is about discovery. It’s the time to figure out who you are and what kind of person you want to be in life. It’s important to dive into new experiences and make new friends. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. And as cliché as it sounds, enjoy the time, because it will be over in the blink of an eye.

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