Joining college is a dream come true for any high school graduate. Besides preparing for a profession, time spent there is crucial to developing key life skills and experiences that will enrich a student’s life.
Some of the most innovative ideas were created in college. For example, Edwin Land’s polarizing lens, Boyan Slat’s ocean cleanup system, and Eesha Khare’s supercapacitor device.
Additionally, it’s not news that most people met their life partners and friends while pursuing higher education.
That said, here are some things every high school graduate should know before joining an institution of higher learning.
Don’t Wait to Start Networking
Interacting with fellow students and professors can open doors you never even dreamt of. This is especially the case for classes that you are passionate about. Being active in the classroom is a sure way to grab other people’s attention. You can then nurture a healthy student-teacher relationship. You might even get recommendations for life-changing mentorship programs.
Don’t Ignore Safety
Most students see college as a golden opportunity to enjoy freedom away from intrusive parents or guardians. However, keeping in touch with your loved ones is crucial to reassure them of your safety.
In addition, it’s also important to choose a safe college. Nuwber has a list of some of the safest campuses by state, which can help you choose a secure school. The list includes such schools as Athens State University, University of Alaska Anchorage, Polk State College, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Indiana University Kokomo, and many more.
Whenever you go out with your college mates, keep one of your close relatives or friends in the loop of your whereabouts. In case of any unforeseen circumstances like a kidnapping or a tragic accident, they will know where to start looking.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
College is the best place to experiment with innovative ideas. It’s time for you to do some soul-searching and dig into hobbies you never discovered in high school. It’s also time to explore different career paths and identify which one is best for you based on your passions and interests. It’s common for students to change their courses and pursue a different career path that’s more fulfilling. You can also get into charity or any extracurricular activities if anything floats your boat. Sports, academic clubs, community service, and cheerleading are some of the popular activities among students.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Peer pressure in college may take many forms. Your new friends will probably try to get you to skip classes or party all the time. It could also be subtle, like when you get a positive reaction from dressing indecently on campus and feel pressured to maintain this appearance for validation.
A quick way to overcome peer pressure is by listening to your gut and defending your values. If your friends keep pushing you into doing things you don’t like, it’s best to start looking for a new group.
Stick to Your Budget
Rest assured, you’ll meet students from all backgrounds. Some can afford an expensive lifestyle, while others can only afford three meals a day.
Since you’re just a student, you need your parents’ financial support. Hence, you must live a life they can afford to provide you. If you land an opportunity and your schedule allows, having a side hustle is a good idea.
Find Scholarship and Grant Opportunities
While many think that one can only apply for scholarships and grants before joining college, the truth is that there are many opportunities that a student can still pursue while studying. This can be a great alternative to getting a student loan. Good grades and success in extra-curricular activities are a bonus in such applications. You can find scholarship and grant opportunities online or on your college’s website. Some companies constantly seek to sponsor deserving students as part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
Capitalize on Free Resources
You may not have to incur all the costs of studying in prestigious institutions if you know how to leverage free resources. Many colleges have gyms, swimming pools, and playing fields for their students. With this, you can keep fit without paying for a gym membership.
Some institutions also offer free internet connection, which cuts down on your spending. If you’re lucky, you might also find student housing on campus, which is very cheap compared to renting a place outside.
Focus All Your Efforts on Education
College offers a lot of freedom and countless chances to explore your passions at the risk of your education. There are many cases of students simply losing focus and dropping out of college to pursue other things like business. Additionally, you may easily get carried away chasing a good time instead of attending classes and learning. Your first priority should be your studies, and all other productive or otherwise activities should only come as an afterthought.
Try to Adapt
While you’re eager to join college, you can easily overlook how big of a transition this change will be. You’re going to a new environment with many people from diverse backgrounds and could be unsure of your future. You could even be uncertain about the career or course you will study. These are common concerns that you will have to process. In this case, it’s better to take a day at a time until you fully adapt. Keeping in touch with your former classmates and talking about your experiences will help you cope with anxiety.
Going to college is something everyone who seeks further education after high school will have to take. It’s time for self-discovery and time for you to try your hand at many hobbies and ideas.
Colleges provide many free resources that can help you cut down on your expenditures. Seeking a scholarship or grant can help you cover your tuition. You must stick to your budget and avoid peer pressure. Feeling anxious about the transition is also common, so keeping in touch with your loved ones and former classmates should help you cope with negative experiences.