It’s all about balance. There are three aspects to college life – academic, social, and personal growth. If you intend to get the most out of college, then you have to focus on all three in the right amounts. If you do, you will end your college years very grateful for the experience. You will also be prepared for almost anything that life may sling at you.
Given the cost of a college education today, you cannot afford to push your academic work to the back seat. And a low GPA is kind of a turnoff to potential employers. Here are some key tips to keep those academics in the forefront:
- Get to class. Things go on there that someone else’s notes may not cover. You will want to be present for discussions and lectures and also be seen by your professors. Some of them still take roll, and some of them are pretty unimpressed when students don’t show up.
- Use technology. You will have a portal for every course with syllabus, assignments, and submission procedures. But, beyond that, find the technology that works for you, and that means apps to keep yourself organized, to record lectures, and take pictures of stuff on those whiteboards. There are also great student websites where you can join online study groups, make your own flashcards, etc.
- Get Help When you are Struggling: Every campus has a writing lab and usually other resources for extra help if you are struggling in any of your courses. Don’t wait until it’s too late. And if you get too far behind in those essay and paper assignments, find an online writing service you can trust.
One of the great experiences of college life is the social activities and connections you will make. Become active in lots of clubs and informal groups. Many of the friendships you develop in college will be lifetime ones. A few tips:
- Be as open and outgoing as you can. Mingle with various groups a lot. It is the exposure to a wide variety of individuals that make you a more social being once you enter the world of work and must relate to all kinds of people. Your horizons are expanding – embrace all of those expansions.
- Enjoy the parties and the spontaneous gatherings that always seem to come up. College is not supposed to be all work. One word of caution: don’t let your party go to the extreme that your grades suffer. That GPA will be more important than how many beers you can “down” in one night.
This is a huge aspect of college life, for it will determine who you are as an adult and how well you can manage the real world. There are a few things to keep in mind:
- Expose yourself to a variety of values and beliefs. This is the time during which you need to refine your identity as an adult. College environments are richly diverse. Make it a point to explore and better determine who you will become.
- Become involved in one or two campus organizations, in addition to any sorority or fraternity you might join. Try to gain leadership roles, for you will learn a great deal of team building and interpersonal relationships – skills that will serve you well as an adult.
- Learn to Manage Time and Money. These are two very practical and worthwhile skills. You will use them forever, so learn them now when the consequences of mistakes will not be as severe as later on.
There is nothing else in life that will ever replicate your college experience. Take it all in, learn, and grow.