These are things I wish someone would’ve told me BEFORE I started college. I ended up learning about them either the hard way or later in college. Hopefully, these will help you have a better college experience from the start.
Get involved in campus groups and activities. This can be a great addition to your resume, and it’s a way to meet other students who are interested in the same things as you. Meeting people and making friends is a big part of the college experience.
Manage your time. Staying up all night in the library to cram for a test is not a fun situation to be in, so plan ahead. Plus, getting enough rest is essential to leading a healthy life. Reading your textbook and studying really is more important than social media, I promise. Start developing study habits early. If you find studying in groups is easier for you, then create a study group to help you stay accountable.
Don’t skip class. Sleeping in or binge-watching Netflix may tempt you to miss class, but don’t give in. A lot of things you learn in college aren’t just from a textbook. Attend your classes, take notes, and participate in discussions.
Use your resources. Most schools offer support services to their students. Some examples are tutoring, resume building, job placement/internships, computer lab, counseling services, and in some cases, childcare. Be sure to see which services your school offers and use them when you need that extra support. Use your professors as a resource as well; meet with them during office hours so you can get the one-on-one help you may need.
Study and turn in assignments on time. You may find your classes to be challenging, or maybe you feel some are easier than others; in the end, you will have to put in the work to do well in your classes. Setting aside time for studying, writing papers, and completing homework assignments is key.
I’ve met some of my best friends from being part of a campus organization and by participating in on-campus events. Not only did I have fun by being a part of campus life, but I learned more about campus resources, which helped me earn a college degree. These little things allowed me to create memories and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
I am a Financial Coach for college students and parents. I am an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and received my BBA in Management from Texas State University. I help students understand their financial aid and help them develop a plan to achieve their educational and financial goals. I was a first-generation college student, so I have a personal understanding of some of the struggles students face.
Working in the financial aid industry for 13 years has given me the opportunity to work with students at different points in their life from starting college to graduating and finding a job — all the way through helping them repay their student loans and save for the future.