A lot of people have gone back to school whether it be elementary, middle, or high school. Then there are those returning to college or just entering. I remember how excited and anxious I was to start college. It would be a new journey in my life and opposed to my other friends, I’d be going to a smaller school and commuting. My friends went to universities while I opted to go to a college. The difference between the two is that in a university you’re going to a school within a school. For example you get your degree from ‘X’ University from the School of ‘Y’ with a B.A. or B.S. In college you get your B.S. or B.A. from ‘X College’.
I knew what I wanted to do from the gate and the school that I went to would be smaller and I would be able to not just interact with my peers, but on a personal level with my professor. My major was English Communications-Broadcast Journalism. With the school I went to, the people in my major were in a majority of my class and the only thing that was a bit annoying was seeing the same people 3-4 days a week.
This post isn’t to complain about college it’s me sharing my personal experience to help at least one person. Here’s my 10 tips:
- Know what you want to study or at least have an idea. Be practical in what you want to study as this is what you want to start a career in. If you’re unsure try the 2-4 year route (Community College to College) then by the time you transfer you’ll be well in your major.
- Try not to switch schools. You’ll be in college longer because the credits from your previous school may not transfer. More time in college, more money.
- Don’t make early classes and then plot when you’re not going.
- GO TO CLASS! Absences are meant for emergencies not lounging around with friends on campus or finishing an assignment you waited to start the morning it was due.
- Read the material. Spark Notes is no longer your friend. Teachers pick material that hasn’t been reviewed.
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH your FINANCIAL AID. Know the ins and outs of how much you’re receiving, any scholarships or grants available, the logistics of loans. Even if it means being a pest. Any out of pocket money is coming from YOUR pocket so know where the hell it’s going.
- If you need excess funds to buy things for school by all means take them. Just how you need to know the logistics of loans know that you have to pay every single penny you take back. Loans are not meant for a new wardrobe or Spring Break vacation with friends. If you can, return what you don’t need. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Skip the honors courses; jobs don’t care. As for minors, if you choose to pick up one do not pick it up halfway through your studies. Pick it up within the first or second semester of your freshman year.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to check if you can graduate. Constantly know what requirements you need.
- MAKE CONNECTIONS! Whether it be with your peers of your professors, network your ass off. Be sure to get internships as well and build connections there. The goal is a JOB after earning that DEGREE.
College is a great experience for all those that have the privilege to attend. While it’s not for everyone there are it’s perks to having it. It can be discouraging after graduating and not automatically going into your career, but continue to network and put yourself out there. Good luck to all those pursuing higher education.