By Zoe Raetzman
I’ll be honest, after graduating high school I didn’t quite understand all of the hype that surrounds college. I have found that a lot of the fuss has to do with one’s newfound independence. For the first time in your life you are suddenly free to make your own decisions, ranging from what you should eat to what you should major in. Clearly some of these choices you will make will be harder than others. One key decision you will constantly face is deciding whether or not to go to class every day. Make a commitment to go every day and stick to it – your life will be incredibly more stress free when you attend and know exactly what is due and when. Once you master this, you’ll find that you have even more free time outside of class from effectively managing your classwork.
Successfully juggling your course load will also call for organization. You don’t have to have a type A personality to manage five different class schedules, but you do have to invest in a planner. I cannot stress this point enough. This may seem like a no brainer but until you are fully immersed in the college lifestyle you can’t understand how busy life can get. A planner will provide you with a tangible grasp over the chaos in your life each week.
Never forget that this hustle and bustle should be exciting! Sign up for clubs, get involved on campus, and ultimately throw yourself into things outside of your comfort zone. You will make new friends, personally get to know faculty members for recommendation letters, and find things you are truly passionate about. Yes, there will be weeks that you’ll be swamped with homework, tests, club meetings, group projects, etc. But you will get through it and be thankful that you did when it comes time to interview for jobs.
I’ll put my greatest learning from college in two words, be present. Ironically I have learned that to be present, you must plan ahead… What I mean by this is, in order to most effectively utilize your time – make a list of goals, to dos, and make your dreams into plans. Too often I heard friends say things they were going to do, and never did. You only have four years of college, so use them wisely! For instance, if you want to study abroad – do your research early and plan ahead so that you choose a semester that works with your schedule. College, just like life, is what you make of it. No one but you will decide what grades you make, what career you will choose and so on. So be proactive in the things you want to pursue, and dive in head first; you wont regret it. You will though regret the things you didn’t do. It is never to late to start fresh, and make your dreams into plans.