I'm only in my second semester of college, but I've already learned a ton about myself and about college and life in a general. And I thought it would be interesting to share what I've learned with you. College life can be tough, and while yes, I'm only taking 13 credit hours, I still get stressed a lot about homework and due dates. I have been attempting to figure out a way to balance school and friends and church and family and personal hobbies; and it is not easy. But I've figured out some tips for you. Enjoy!
1. You do have the time
I know. Coming from someone who's barely a full time student sounds like bull crap, and maybe I don't have room to talk. But in November I managed to do tech week plus 6 shows for columbinus, write a 50k word novel with NaNoWriMo, attend church every Sunday, and keep up my grades. So, as the saying goes, you make time for the things that matter. Realistically, how much of your time do you waste? Yeah. A lot. I know. I do it too. So prioritize. Find what matters to you and accept that some things won't make the cut. (Sorry, tumblr.)
You could also find resting periods. You know, times that you're in limbo. Like for me, I take the bus to school every morning. While I'm waiting for the bus, I like to read instead of listen to music; because that's something I don't always have time to dedicate specifically for that. I've always found it sad how people stop reading for fun in college, so I made it a point to read in those times I'm waiting. If I'm at the doctor, I have a book. Even as I sit in my class room waiting to start, I read. Reading is important. So I make time.
2. Complaining does literally nothing.
There are so many memes and Twitter accounts dedicating to complaining about college and while they can be pretty funny, they don't do anything. The only thing complaining helps you do is procrastinate. It also gives you a bad attitude and crappy outlook on things. Seriously. It's nasty. I hate people who say this. but really, be thankful. You get to go to college and meet people and learn! We all love to complain about how useless college is but how many of us have actually tried to get something out of it? Yes, it has it's flaws, but whining about it does nothing to change that. If you feel that passionately about the education system, contact a person of authority at your school or vote for Bernie Sanders.
3. Make friends
It's terrifying. I know. But friends in college make the whole experience that much more enjoyable. Plus, they're great because they can give you notes if you've missed class or study with you if you're struggling. So step out of your comfort zone and talk to the kid that sits next to you. College kids don't bite. (Usually.) And nine times out of ten, they're really great people who are just as socially awkward as you. I've met a lot of amazing people at college and I don't know what I would do without them.
4. Don't procrastinate
The most repeated and yet most ignored advice in college.
But really. It's self explanatory. It's a bad idea.
5. Use the resources
Your campus has a ton of resources you might not even be aware of. Most colleges have things such as counselling, gyms, tutoring, informative databases and more! Explore it. Oftentimes, they offer them for free. Take advantage of it. I've been going to my school gym since I started. It's tiny, but its free so I like it. Don't be afraid to ask around and see what's available. Check it out. You might like it.
6. Use your textbook
How much did you spend on it? Why did you spend so much to just have it sit on your shelf?! This one actually goes out to me because I bought all these books and I've only used them like, once. *Sighs* Let's get our moneys worth on this stuff, okay?
7. Pack snacks
I get so hungry if I'm at school for a long time. If I don't have food on me I know I'll walk over to Dunkin Donuts or get food from the way overpriced vending machines. To avoid eating crap, I bring snacks or pack a lunch. Some of my favorite things to bring are saltine crackers, nuts, celery sticks, fruits of varying kinds, and turkey sandwhiches.
8. You'll get more studying done at school
I always tell myself I'm going to go home and study or do homework, but then I realize I'm tired and I want to nap or I want to watch Netflix. I tend to be more productive at school. Homes are so full of distractions and they're noisy. The campus library is a nice place to stay focused. Or get a study room. If you don't need to be home (or back in the dorm room.) try and study at school or get there early so you have time to go over things.
9. Flash cards
They were the sole reason I got an A in psych last semester. They're a great study tool that I personally find very helpful. On that note, the Green brother's youtube channel, Crash Course, is another great study tool, if they have your topic of choice on there. I've been using it for biology and it's the only reason I've been surviving.
10. Mental health comes first
This is the most important. Please, if your mental health is suffering, reach out to someone. Tell your parents, a professor, or see a counselor on or off campus. Take all the steps you need to take care of yourself. Sometimes that means taking a semester off school and that's okay. You should never have to sacrifice your mental health for education. Take a break. Have a Treat Yo-self Day. Take a nap. But please, don't destroy yourself for a good grade.
So there you have it! Ten things I've learned at college so far! What did you think? If you've got any tips for me, drop a comment. I'd love to hear all about your college experience and what you've learned. And I hope you liked the photography! I've been having a blast in photography class and had to share some of the product of us messing around with studio lights today.
Have a great week!