Hello to college freshmen everywhere!
First, before we can even get to anything else, I’m going to need you to do something for me. Breathe. Sit down if you need to. I know you’re probably nervous — maybe even terrified. I hear lots of you are stepping into the world of higher education over the next couple weeks (that is, if you haven’t already), and those hallowed ivy halls can be panic-inducing. I get it because I’ve been there. Suddenly, you’re a small fish in a gigantic pond, and you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. And for most of you, this new journey is about so much more than textbooks and midterms — though those things aren’t to be overlooked, either. It’s your first taste of early adulthood, of that elusive freedom that you, until now, had only heard about on TV shows like Friends.
Well, I’m here with some good news: You’ll get through it. I promise. Sure, the entire landscape may seem intimidating (Hello, popular sorority girls and their PINK wardrobe! Hello, broad-shouldered football quarterback! Hello, massive library!), but once you learn the ropes, things will be a piece of cake! A couple months ago, I talked about life after college, but this advice is all about you, you beautiful undergrads! So in the name of college success, keep these 5 life hacks in mind…
1. Hit the books and go to class: I know, this one seems like a no-brainer, and I’m sure your high school teachers drilled this one into your head. But you’d be surprised how many people miss class for a variety of reasons — they overslept, they partied a bit too hard the night before, they didn’t finish a paper, they’d rather hang in the dorms and play video games than listen to a lecture on early American literature. You (or your parents…) spent good money on classes — why not make sure you get your money’s worth?
2. Get to know your professors: No, I don’t advocate stalking them, but don’t be afraid to ask for extra help! Make use of their office hours — they’re there for a reason. When I was a newspaper adviser, I can’t tell you how many days I’d sit in my quiet office! Professors are pumped about what they’re teaching and love to see students get excited too.
3. Get involved: Working on my college’s newspaper was one of the best decisions I ever made in college. Not only was it a great learning experience, but I also met some amazing people who loved journalism and writing as much as I did. What are you passionate about? Chances are, there’s a club that matches your favorite hobby! Get involved and have fun!
4. Know where the library is: Sounds basic, I know, but the library is a pretty happening place if you give it a chance — and not just because people apparently like to make out in the stacks. It’s quiet enough to get lots of work done, and librarians are like walking encyclopedias. I’d say the library rivals any frat party any day.
5. Call home on the weekends: Of course you’ll get homesick. My mom always likes to tell the story of how she called home every day for the first month. Hearing familiar voices will help ease the transition. One no-no: Don’t call just to ask your parents to send more money and clothes. That will get really old really fast.
So sharpen those #2 pencils and go forth! I promise these next four years are going to go by before you know it. And who knows — come 2018, maybe you’ll be the one doling out the college success tips! Knock ’em dead! xoxo
P.S. Don’t forget to enter this year’s BIC Back-To-School giveaway — lots of great office goodies await one lucky winner!
[Photos via We Heart It]