Enjoying the Journey: A College Kid’s Survival Guide

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Whether you’re traveling halfway across the world or simply commuting locally, attending college is a pretty big deal, and your first semester can have a huge impact on your overall experience. While your primary goal may be to earn a degree, the college experience as a whole can be an important step in shaping the kind of adult you’ll choose to become. You’ll be growing much more than just book knowledge during this new chapter of your life, so make a plan ahead of time to develop healthy and positive habits in all areas of your life.

Meet New People and Try New Things

Even if you’re attending college locally, get out there and make some new friends. Go to student events and mixers and try a club or recreational sports league. Have you always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance or take up hiking? Guess what? Now is the best time to find a group and give those things a try. You never know what you’ll find a new passion for and there’s a good chance you’ll build some lifelong relationships in the process. You’ll probably find more opportunities than normal to get involved in your community and serve others while you’re at school. This is a great time to find a worthy cause that excites you and develop the habit of helping others in need.

Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure

Take advantage of meeting with an experienced advisor in your department of study. If you haven’t decided on a major yet, that’s not a bad thing. It’s still important to get some sound advice on how to set up your schedule so that you’re making the best use of your time. Most colleges and universities require that you take many major-specific courses in a particular order. It’s also very typical for these institutions to only offer certain classes in the spring or fall semester, not both. A poorly made schedule could either have you drowning in papers and exams or adding an extra semester for the sake of one class.

Prioritize Your Health and Well-Being

Most college students are usually exhausted and for good reason. It’s going to be easier than ever to neglect the healthy habits that will keep your mind and body in their best state. Once your class schedule is in place, carve out time for exercise and rest in your everyday routine. The typical college student eats a lot of fast food or conveniently packaged meals and snacks to save time, so make an effort to eat fresh fruits and veggies every day. Vitamins and supplements for your overall health and immune system are a good idea since it’s easy to let yourself get run down. Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. It will do wonders for your health, and it’s actually been proven that sleeping at least a few hours before a big test will help you perform better than pulling an all-nighter.

Appreciate the Value of Learning and Studying

Have you ever asked yourself or your teachers when you’re actually going to use a particular fact or subject in real life? It’s time to eliminate that type of attitude towards learning. While it’s true that you’re pursuing a degree to help you get a job and build a career, education isn’t meant to be purely pragmatic, at least not in that way. All learning is good for your brain, whether it has to do with your major or not. A well-rounded education helps you become a well-rounded person, which is going to help you connect with others and have a better perspective of the world around you. Once you’ve fostered the mindset that every class matters, you’ll be much more likely to stick it out when things get tough. Develop some solid study habits that work well for you. Find the setting and atmosphere that help you focus the best, tackle the tough stuff first, and give yourself the time you actually need to understand the information while taking frequent breaks.

Your college years can be some of the best years of your life. A successful experience all hinges on how you’ll balance conflicting aspects. Do the things you’ve always wanted, but make time to care for others. Have fun and work hard, but make time to rest and relax. Appreciate the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that abound and you’ll get the most out of these years while expanding your horizons.

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