Going to college can be quite the transition. It is an exciting time in which you can develop intellectually and socially. You meet more people, engage in meaningful discussions with peers and professors, get internships, have roommates, do your own laundry, and the list goes on. It can be a bit overwhelming to jump into all of these changes, but worry not! Our interns have experienced the same transitions and have provided gems of knowledge that they have learned over the past few years. We hope these tips can help you with your transition, as well!
Kelli: You are your own motivator.
In college you are able to have freedom and independence as an individual, but with that comes responsibility to take charge of your future. The most important is to stay focused on your goals, especially studying or doing other tasks on your own.
April: Do not be afraid of changing friend groups.
Although there is nothing wrong with keeping the friends you had in high school, do not be afraid of branching out and making new friends, too. Like many people say, high school is like a pond and college is like the ocean. There will be a plethora of new people around you. Of course, you should try your best to keep in touch with your friends from high school, but know that you meet many new people in college who will also become some of the greatest people you will meet.
Tina: Take every opportunity you can! Don't be afraid to take risks and don't be afraid to fail!
Make new friends, experience life, and learn about yourself. Be open-minded!
Jerry: Get a job on campus.
On-campus jobs are usually less stressful and a lot more convenient than off-campus jobs. Their hours are flexible to your needs as a student and understand if you need some extra time to study for that upcoming exam.
Kirk: Always have a goal in mind but not a rigid process.
When you are in college, some people have set goals for themselves while others don't. Goals allow you to follow a path and help guide you to work towards something greater and better for you; however, don't create rigid steps to the point where each of the small failures leads you to a downward spiral of loss of confidence. Always work towards something important to you and expect and adapt to the changes that come along with it.
Kendrick: Eat healthy.
With a meal plan, you are in control of what you eat on campus, so take advantage of healthier food options that may be even more expensive and time consuming to prepare yourself at home. It also results in improved mental and physical health, which allows you more time to study and have the energy to be productive (which includes having fun).
April: Homesickness is not always a bad thing.
If you live in the dorms or move to another state for college, you may experience homesickness. Although it is hard, it may not always be a bad thing. Being homesick allows you to truly appreciate your home (family, friends, food, and maybe even your own bed). And so when you do go home for vacations or holidays, you remember to cherish everything you have! If you ever experience homesickness sometimes doing things that remind you of home like eating food, watching your favorite TV show, and calling or Skyping folks from home can help tremendously.
Macie: In college you may have a lot of free time on your hands, but the way you spend your free time determines your success in the future.
Some spend their free time investing in their future by getting a job, working through an internship, or doing something that exposes them to the world. Others just sit and hope that something suitable comes their way. Either way, you, as an individual, are in charge of the success or failure that your future holds, so ask yourself, “What should I do with my free time?”
Kendrick: Do not do all your general education requirements at one time i.e all in two semesters.
Many degrees have prerequisites that need to be taken in sequence, so by the time you start taking courses required for your major, it might take a while. Also, why not mix some fun classes like theater to lighten up a course load when taking upper-division courses.
April: Get an internship!
Internships allow you to get a taste of the professional sphere in which you can interact with highly successful people, learn more about possible careers, and gain more skills and knowledge of the workplace. In addition, if you are not quite sure what you want to do in the future, getting internships can give you a small taste of different careers, which can help you figure out if you can see yourself working in those fields in the future. You can also gain great connections and mentors in the process!
Kirk: Take the time to study abroad.
One of the best times to travel abroad while you are young is in college because you have the chance to go to a new country or continent for 4 months and truly experience life outside the U.S. At the same time, college is the time for you to work on yourself, so traveling and studying abroad will definitely challenge you to go outside your comfort zone. Lastly, when you are in college, you have a lot of possibilities and choice to apply for scholarships and grants that could potentially pay for all your expenses while you are abroad. Have fun, explore, and see the world for yourself!
For those of you who are entering college for the first time, we wish you the best of luck, and we hope that these tips will help you with your transition into one of the most meaningful and monumental times in your life.