Hi, I’m Milan Brown; I am a freshman at the University of Maryland Baltimore County majoring in biochemical engineering. I advise high school seniors in Prince Georges County about the college admissions process and help them choose the best college for them. When I am not working I enjoy running, and cooking new dishes.
The transition from high school to college is a big one. You no longer are with your parents for most of the day which allows you to begin making your own decisions about your health, academics, and social life. Being in college is similar to the application process, you’ll have deadlines to complete everything, but no one is there to remind you. With this newfound freedom, it is easy to neglect academics and other important responsibilities in favor a prosperous social life.
Academics is the most important aspect of college, you are paying for taking these classes, so I strongly urge you to take them seriously. Just like high school, there are general education requirements such as math, english, and physical education that are taken in addition to coursework related to your major. Although general education classes may not be related to your major, you still need to do well in them in order to have a good GPA. A good GPA can open doors for internship opportunities, networking privileges, and an overall feeling of accomplishment; all of which are important to self-confidence and future job prospects. If you find yourself falling behind in a course or simply need extra help, seek tutoring services and professor office hours. Both of these resources can help raise your grades tremendously. If neither of those prospects are available at your university, take time from your mid-morning nap to head over to the library’s quiet floor for some extra studying. If your major becomes too overwhelming, do not be afraid to switch majors in favor of something that you like. When you are more interested in a subject, it becomes easier to do well.
In addition to academics it is easy to neglect physical and mental health. Fast food restaurants are becoming popular and prevalent on college campuses. The accessibility of having cheap food at your convenience can take effect on your body. Eating too much fast food and other unhealthy options will leave you feeling sluggish and can lead to tremendous weight gain. These factors coupled with increasingly harder classes can lead to an unhealthy mental state. Whenever you feel upset do not be afraid to talk to a friend or counselor resource. Most professors understand that the transition from high school to college is a big one, and they are happy to help as long as you seek out their guidance.
Having a good social life is an important factor in college as long as you are able to balance it. It won’t hurt to trade a Friday night of studying to go to the movies or the latest party every once and a while. Join school clubs and go to activities that interest you in order to meet people with the same outlook and goals. Joining clubs is the easiest way to make lifelong friends.
While in college, call your parents or guardians, they might be worried about you, or may just want an update on your current situation. When you make an effort to call them first, they realize that you have gained a sense of responsibility, and are less likely to call you during unfavorable times.
Finding a healthy balance of good academics and study habits, mental and physical health, and a social life may be hard to balance at first, but as you progress, you’ll find it to become easier.