-Joshua Underwood, Year One Nursing Student
Going to college for the first time can be an exciting and scary experience all at once. You may have expectations from stories you have heard from others, from movies, or from recruiters from the colleges you plan on attending. You will have a lot to think about when adjusting to the college lifestyle, so here is everything a college student needs to know before making the big transition!
Whether you come from a big city or you are like me and lived in such a small town that you could close your eyes to sneeze and walk past it, the social life associated with college can be a big change from what you are used to. If you come from a small town, be prepared to put yourself out there! It may be scary but once you get past the initial nerves, you will wonder why you were ever afraid in the first place. While social life is a huge element of college, you have to always remember the main reason you are there, to learn.
Now that you are in college, you will have to be more independent than ever. This can be difficult for some, so a great idea is to get an agenda or planner of some sort. Write down everything you need to do and when it is due and be sure to pencil in specific times for studying. Try your hardest to stick to this schedule because procrastination will be your worst enemy. You may think you can cram a 15-page paper all in one night but trust me, you can’t. (Side note: Be sure to save OFTEN and email your work to yourself just in case something happens to your computer). Try to form good study habits even for “easy” classes because they will carry over when you actually need it. When you go to class, be sure to take food, water, and a phone charger with you because you never know how long some days will be. Sometimes, it’s worth sticking around and asking questions after class, going to your professor’s office hours, or studying in between classes.
On that note, be sure to use all resources available to you. Most schools offer libraries, student discounts at many participating businesses, counseling, and work-study programs. Remember, you are paying for your education, so get the most out of it. Don’t let pride get in the way of asking questions on things you don’t understand and listen and take useful notes. Try befriending an upperclassman so they can “show you the ropes.” More importantly, be kind to any and all staff (not just professors) because they can help you out far more than you realize, whether it is pointing you in the right direction when you are lost or unlocking a door to an empty room for you to study in. Any interaction can be an important networking opportunity.
Another thing you should be mindful of is what you post on social media. What may seem funny and harmless at the time might come back to haunt you later on. Before you post, think “would I want a potential employer to see this?” Even if your account is on private, nothing is truly private on the Internet. Getting a job during school is a good idea to get work experience and to have a little extra money to have fun in your free time.
Balancing work, school, and your social life can be difficult but is very important. Working and studying are important but be sure to plan time for yourself to have fun! Last but not least, when it is finals week and you are only sleeping a few hours each night in between tests and studying all day, and you are more stressed than ever, remember one thing; There is an end in sight. Keep looking ahead at what you are working toward.
For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program CLICK HERE