ADVICE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

  1. Say hello on the first day of class.
    Introduce yourself to one or two or all of the people sitting near you right away. It's easier to skip classes where you don't know a soul. It's important to do it the first day (or two) because after that it seems more awkward for some reason. Worst case scenario: people think you are weirdly friendly. Best case scenario: you make a few new friends.
  2. Speak up on the first day of class.
    If you don't say something during class discussion the first day then it will be a little bit harder the next day. And even harder the day after that and so on until you feel like a mute prisoner. Say anything the first day and that pressure magically evaporates.
  3. Join two clubs.
    One of people who think like you and make you comfortable and happy. One that challenges you and is made up of people you might not normally befriend. Both are equally important for your personhood.
  4. Study abroad.
    It is the single most humbling, life-changing, perspective-altering thing you can do for yourself at this point in your life. Yes it will cost more. Yes it will be scary. Yes you will miss your family. Do it anyway.
  5. Don't be afraid of a few loans/Be very afraid of too many loans.
    I'm 30 and still paying. I don't regret borrowing money because it was necessary. My decisions then greatly formed who I am now and led to my current (amazing) job and life. BUT I could have done more to off-set my debt and been wiser with my money over all. It sucks to still be under the yoke of my loans.
  6. Go to as many events on campus as possible
    Take full advantage of any free entertainment. Go to concerts and plays. It's a great way to discover new things and/or support your peers and their talents. But don't just go to the fun events. Go to guest lectures, discussions, and presentations too. You will learn so much and hear many incredible stories and sometimes you will meet amazing people.
    Suggested by   @nervesofscared
  7. Join something that you are interested in
    Adding on to your third point; when you join something you are interested in/passionate about, you are more likely to find like-minded people to befriend. If nothing else, you get to do something you love with people you otherwise would not have met.
    Suggested by   @nicolefunaro
  8. Refrain if possible for taking the 8 AM classes/lectures if you live off-campus
    Even if you're an early riser or a morning person, other things like traffic, transportation and other people would factor in your undertaking of this module. I had lecturers who disallow entry into the class after 10 minutes. It was just a trying experience and may make you hate it.
    Suggested by   @aida
  9. Take care of your health & create good habits! This is probably the last time you will get a free gym membership. Running saved my life in college. Really cut through the stress of school work & improves focus. It's easier to make good habits while you're young. Learn to manage your time so you don't have to do all nighters. Sleep is important!
    Suggested by   @grumpus
  10. Make new friends, but keep the old...
    Your high school friends will always be special people in your life (unless they aren't) but the friends you make in college can be even better. Don't dwell on people back home so much that you miss out on the awesomeness of where you are presently.
  11. Get the meal plan.
    Especially if your parents offer to pay for it. It is like the oil that never runs out. I miss the days of made-to-order omelets and unending salad bars.
  12. If things get overwhelming or you are depressed there are FREE counselors on campus that get paid just to be there for you! Use them! Seek them out! Help your friends get there if they need it! It saved my best friend's life and I'm forever grateful.
    Suggested by   @ameliaville
  13. If your program arranges an optional work experience component, take advantage with it if you have the ability to do so.
    Even though this delayed my graduation date, I gained a lot of skills, contacts, and just real-life experience. Putting your degree into practice is a LOT different than just learning about it in classes. Many people who did the work experience were more motivated after returning to finish their degree (ie did better in school) and many also found that the work was not something they wanted to do so changed programs.
    Suggested by   @kbon
  14. If you're REALLY not understanding the material, go to office hours and tell your professors. Be honest.
    This is their life's work and they're teaching to the masses because...you're...the masses. Give the professor the opportunity to teach something in a different way (and, in doing that, see that you are trying.) College isn't always about the right answers.
    Suggested by   @whirledpeas
  15. Don't be afraid to transfer.
    I transferred twice and loved all three universities I attended. Each school was what I needed when I needed it.
  16. Work at the study abroad office!
    Then you can learn about the awesome study abroad scholarships and get one and not owe any money!!! Besides it's such a fun and upbeat job like being a travel agent for students 😊!
    Suggested by   @notme