Heading to college is a big step for young people. These 8 tips for college students are some that I thought might be helpful for first year students. A few of them are ones that I wish I had known when I first started college. Feel free to pass these on to college students you know who might benefit from them.
8. Take Lots of Notes
You can never take too many notes. Hand cramps only last for a short period of time, but this minimal amount of discomfort sometimes has excellent benefits. I had a couple professors who would allow the class to use any notes taken in class on tests. This was a huge help when it came to subjects with lots of vocab to memorize. Just make sure to keep track of your notes and don’t get the notebooks mixed up!
Making friends might seem odd for some people, but this is an important part of college. Most of my closest friends are people I met in college. The group you hang out with in college is probably going to be very different from the crowd you stuck to in high school. It’s also a lot easier to find lap partners and people to do group projects with if you are willing to go out on a limb and introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you.
6. Don’t Wait until the Last Minute to do Assignments
College is a lot different than high school in many aspects, with the most popular one being not to have the same class everyday. Having a class only once a week makes the subject less boring, but easier to forget assignments. It’s very easy to put off an assignment, thinking you have tons of time to complete it. However, the days seem to fly right by and before you know it it’s time for the assignment to be turned in. Many of the assignments are lengthy projects that take a lot longer than a day to complete, so be prepared.
5. Get Basic Classes out of the Way
It’s hard to know exactly what you want to major in when starting college. Some students know well before they ever graduate high school and others decide their first year. There are some students who end up changing majors part way through their schooling and have to take a lot of extra classes. The easiest way to avoid needed tons of additional classes is by taking the basic courses the first year or two and then making sure you know exactly what you are majoring in. Once you decide on a major, there are specific courses for that particular branch of study that don’t always transfer if you change your mind later.
4. Know Your Goals in Life
If you know what you want to do when you get out of school, this will help you decide on a subject to major in. For instance, if being a veterinarian is the area you are heading for, then you’ll want to take plenty of science and math courses. Maybe you aren’t positive about a profession, but you really like math. It might be a good idea to find out what professions utilize math on a daily basis and go from there. Taking courses in a particular area of study that you enjoy will be fun and possibly open doors to new opportunities when you least expect it.
3. Get as Much as You Can from Your College Experience
I’ve had friends who were very shy in high school, but turned completely around once they got to college. There are so many opportunities in college and you should take advantage of every one of them. Join clubs, go to school productions and events, make lots of friends, and try new opportunities that you never thought you’d experience. I have a friend from college who took on an internship because he was bored and ended up loving the job so much that he made it a profession.
2. Keep Track of when Exams Will Take Place
Most professors will provide students with a class syllabus that lists every assignment and exam. Some of these professors will expect you to know this syllabus and remember when each assignment is due, as well as the date of exams. Be sure to mark on your calendar when large exams will take places, otherwise you might be in for a surprise. Not the good kind of surprise either. Many college level tests cover a lot of material and it takes more than one night of cramming to pass them.
1. Don’t Go Anywhere Alone
Being a girl, this is very important to me. Thankfully I went to college in a relatively small town, but my daughter attends a large college where I think about this often. I always worry about her walking around at night. She tries to make sure that she is always with a group of friends, so she doesn’t have to worry about being on a dark street all alone. The buddy system is always good!
These 8 tips for college students are just a few of many that are offered from parents all the time. I hope these are useful to at least a few of you or you know of someone who can use them. Do you have any additional tips for college students that you’d like to add? What do you consider to be the most important thing that a new college student should know about?