I’ve been in college for what feels like a lifetime. OK, more like three years, but it really does feel like a huge chunk of my life so far. I absolutely love being in college. I’ve learned sooo much and it’s already created some awesome opportunities for me.
I was thinking about graduating the other day and then it hit me. I’ll be done my junior year of college in just a couple weeks. I had it in my head that I still had months to go! Which also means that finals are right around the corner… I should probably start studying!
I’ve been in college for almost three years now and I have learned quite a bit. From transferring schools to switching majors, I have learned a lot about myself and how to succeed while being a student. If you want to learn more my journey with transferring colleges click here!
It’s OK to not know what you want to do
I went into college to study food science. I didn’t know exactly what career I had in mind, but I figured I would figure that out along the way. During my sophomore year, I worked at an oral surgery office and fell in complete love with dentistry. I eventually ended up transferring schools (across the country!) and uh-oh my new school didn’t have food science as an option. Let me tell you, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do for a while. I ended up switching to health science and I absolutely love it. It’s a great major to go into dentistry with.
Plan Your Four Years in College
College is expensive. Duh, everyone knows this. But not everyone knows how to keep that cost down. Something that I’ve been really meticulous about is preparing my time there. Something you should really really take some time to do is to plan all the classes you’ll need to graduate. You can also meet with your advisor to go over this to ensure you are on the right path. It’s not worth spending 2,000 on a class that you don’t need to graduate. Planning out each class you need to take will really help you graduate on time.
Make sure you take into account the classes that are only offered in the fall or spring, especially if it’s a prerequisite! I’ve updated my school class calendar each semester and again each year. I now pay out of state prices and I want to make sure I’m using my time in college wisely.
Take Advantage of Being a Student
There are TONS of places that offer a student discount-use them! I try to shop primarily at places that offer a student discount-it can save you money.
Use the resources that your school has to offer. Join clubs, use the school health insurance if you don’t have any, attend job fairs, go and grab the free pizza. Just take advantage!
Another reason why I love college is the ability to generally pick your classes at the times you want them. You might not be able to start your full time job at 11 am! Take advantage of the weird student schedules and sleeping in!
Start Preparing For The Real World
College is all about preparing you for the real world. Once moving off campus and not living in the dorms anymore, I had to pay rent, utilities and other bills. You slowly start becoming less dependent on your parents and need to start relying on yourself. That can be kind of scary if you do it all at once. Over the last three years, I’ve grown my responsibilities and I feel that I’ll do OK for the real world right out of college.
I’ll be in the “real adult world” in about a year and I’m slowly preparing for it. Make sure you know the terms of any loans that you took out. You may not be able to apply for a lower monthly loan if you don’t graduate. Start saving extra during that 6 month grace loan repayment period (if you have that option).
If you are living on a college campus or college housing, start getting an idea of how much renting a place will cost you. Save everything that you can. You may want to move away from your school when you graduate and moving is expensive. Finding a job out of college may be difficult, so having some savings can go a long way while you’re transitioning.
Remember That You Are There to Learn
The number one priority in college should be to learn. You are paying a ridiculous amount to be there, you should show up to your classes! To help me remember how important it is, I just think of how much I’m paying for a class. Is it really worth it to have to retake a class that cost me thousands to take? No way. If you are taking out loans, it can be easy to say oh “what’s another couple thousand” but you do eventually need to pay it back. I always keep that in the back of my mind when it comes to my classes.
Figure out your best way to study. It’s different for everyone and can take you some time to get a grasp on how you best study. Learning these tools early during your time in college can be beneficial as your classes become harder and life gets busier.
Needing some organizational tips? I wrote an entire post on how I stay organized for school.
Of course, college life isn’t all about your head in a textbook. No one wants to be studying 24/7. It’s all about finding balance. I make sure I block out some “me” time each week to do what I want to do (aka watching Netflix). If I’m constantly studying or working on assignments I get stressed out and don’t perform my best in class. I try to get everything done before the weekend starts so I can spend that time working on my blog, spending time with friends or just doing absolutely nothing. Of course, that doesn’t always happen, but I make an effort to have some fun.
Get Help if You Need It
College counselors, advisors, and other resources are there to help you succeed! Take time to reflect on yourself and see if you need any help. College is meant to be difficult but it should still be fun!
If you are struggling, see if your school offers tutoring. Thinking your major isn’t the one for you? Talk to an advisor and see what they can do for you. If you are having mental health problems, see if you can take a semester off. Talk to your professors if you aren’t understanding the material.
There are a ton of resources in college to help you get to where you want to be. There is no need to struggle!
Related: 10 Ways on How to Lower Stress
Do you have any tips and tricks on what you learned in college? Did you find any of these helpful? Leave a comment!