08.30.2010 / Tips for a successful first year of college.
Many first year college students are unprepared for what they are about to encounter. There are always some little tips that can aid you on your way to a successful and delightful collegiate experience. We have listed some that many people overlook:
"There are always some little tips that can aid you on your way to a successful and delightful collegiate experience."
- Take as many credits as you can handle.
Many colleges and universities now are telling incoming freshman to take the minimum amount of credits to be a full-time student. The minimum at many colleges is 12 credits for full-time, which will feel like a decrease in workload for many. What they don’t tell you is that this will normally put you behind the curve to graduate in 4 years. This is especially true at colleges and universities where you do not pay on a per-credit basis but rather pay for the semester. At those types of schools, it is in the students benefit to take as many credits as they can handle. After all, you, as a student, may end up double majoring or getting a minor; which will only help your job prospects and future plans later on.
If you think you can do 12 credits, sign up for 15. If you can handle 15, sign up for 18. When your plate is full, you are forced to work more efficiently. If you challenge yourself through college, you’ll reap the benefits later on.
- Begin thinking about Graduate school or graduation plans as a sophomore.
Although you don’t have to have your decision made as a sophomore; studying for graduate school tests can easily take over a year to achieve the scores you want; and possibly longer if you retake exams.
- I don’t have the pre-requisite for that class.
Understandably, this is one of the reasons that many students don’t take more classes; as they think there is a standard progression of classes you have to take. However, this is rarely the case. A lot of times, there is simply a form that will need to be signed or meet with the professor to get into the class you want. Don’t hesitate on a class because of the prerequisites.
- Set clear goals for what you want to get out of a course.
There are many students who take random classes because they fit into the elective category of requirements, but fail to provide any value to them as a student. This doesn’t mean sit in the center in the front row and answer all questions; but make sure you’re in the class to get something out of it. Grades are nice, but learning is essential. Also, your future plans may need a recommendation from a professor. It is very difficult for professors to write recommendations about students that they don’t know. Make yourself known, but it should be based on your effort and enthusiasm towards a subject.
- Get an early start to each day.
Although many people aren’t morning people; it is beneficial to most to sign up for morning classes. First of all, many professors are worn out by their third class of the day; and it can sometimes be taken out on the students. Second, it will give you a jump on what needs to be done for the day. Many, especially those in college, will schedule afternoon classes and sleep all morning and spend all night doing homework. If you wake up early, go to class early, you have the afternoons to get a part time job and evenings for homework. This may be a bit much for some, but most people can handle this schedule; and you’re setting yourself up for future successes.
- Go out and have fun.
After all, that’s what college is supposed to be about, according to most. If you hole up with your books and studies and get in over your head, then it’s a drag and you’ll burn out. You’ll also decrease productivity if you’re always doing homework or in class. Make friends with your roommates or with people in your class and go out with them. The worst thing you can do is fall behind academically due to poor habits, feeling stressed or unprepared all the time, and then playing catch up. Squeeze as much out of college as you can, as it will be your springboard to a fulfilling career thereafter.
Was there something that you found helped you get through college or something you’re worried about going into it? Comment below and let us know!