Simple Advice for College Students – 9 Tips!

Some people believe that the key to a successful college education can only be measured in tangible ways, such as a job offer or public recognition of some accomplishment. On the other hand, many other people believe that the benefits of a college education go beyond employment and achievement and, as well, involve building new relationships, fostering new life experiences, and building a community with fellow students and instructors. The following tips (or rules) may not be applicable to students solely focused on career growth, but they are probably valuable to other college students.

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  1. Always remember that the purpose of going to college is to learn. Don’t get too bogged down into pursuing a specific career path, involvement in sports, or your major. Be open minded! If you are an engineering major, consider taking an elective course in art appreciation. Remember that four year colleges were developed with the intent of mentoring well rounded graduates, not drones who are only focused on classes and careers.
  2. Take care of yourself. Don’t neglect sleep, medical and dental checkups. Spend some time each week doing a physical activity (outside whenever possible). Do not ever buy the myth that ignoring health problems or engaging in risky behavior is heroic. It isn’t. It is dangerous and stupid.
  3. Living with your dorm mate is your chance to get along with others and deal with conflict. Be flexible; be willing to change; be willing to apologize. He or she could be your best friend for decades to come.
  4. Four years is too short to spend it living with a toxic person. If basic courtesy and willingness to compromise with a roommate doesn’t work, ask for a new room assignment.
  5. Get organized. The beautiful thing about going to college is that you get to decide which organizational methods are best for you. In high school, they can tell you what color folders to carry, whether or not it’s okay to carry a backpack to class, and whether or not it’s okay to take notes on your tablet. In college, all of that is up to you. So, find out what works for you and use it!
  6. If organization is a struggle, ask for help. The student success center will have help for you, and many of your instructors are happy to email slides of notes and power point presentations.
  7. Always express gratitude. There are so many people who are contributing to your success, why not thank them. Tell your roommate, ‘Thanks for helping me write my essay.’ Thank a professor’s assistant for helping you research a problem.
  8. Call your mother. (no detail needed)
  9. Appreciate your campus. Even if it isn’t large, pretty, or sophisticated, it exists as a community learning environment, and you are free to pursue an education there. If it is large or pretty, spend some time enjoying it. Visit the art museum. Walk around and enjoy the landscaping; attend a theater presentation or a lecture that has nothing to do with your majoar field!
  10. Keep a change jar. This is useful for public transportation, tipping barista’s, and doing laundry!

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