The fast-paced campus life is filled with surprises and new experiences around every corner. Excitement is expected, and incoming freshmen jump feet first into the deep end of the college pool, sometimes not knowing how to swim.
It’s always best to take advantage of all the opportunities and services your college or university has to offer in order to make your transition into the new environment at college as smooth as possible. Most importantly, for both underclassmen and upperclassmen, you can always make your life easier and better with the following tips.
Ah, procrastination! The bane of every student’s academic existence. Procrastination can be a serious problem for students, affecting their grades, sleep and social life. One episode of a show on Netflix is a slippery slope that will lead to a binge fest and still no homework done 5 hours later.
To combat the urge to check Snapchat one more time, keep all distracting items away from your study area. If you are easily distracted by a messy room, then the library is a great place to study and complete your assignments. There’s nothing better than white fluorescent lighting and uncomfortable chairs to keep a student awake and focused on their research paper.
It’s a rude awakening when students find out that homework can’t be done a few minutes before class begins. So, try your best not to re-watch “The Office” for the 10th time before completing your homework.
Not Joining a Club
Once you get to college, you may think that classes, friends and parties are all you need, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Making friends in a 150-person lecture hall is not the same as chatting up your neighbor in high school homeroom. Joining a club, however, is a good way to make friends and enjoy mutual hobbies and interests.
There are clubs for every type of person. From cultural and religious clubs to academic and sports clubs, they exist for the purpose of connecting people of the same interest. Not joining any club, therefore, is a detriment to the college experience.
College clubs are an integral part of the social atmosphere of the university life. They are where students meet friends for life outside of classes, jobs, roommates and chance encounters. If you’re skipping out on school clubs, then you are definitely doing college wrong.
Ignoring Office Hours
Professor office hours are ignored by most students except for the ones that need help on difficult topics, want to know their grades or need a letter of recommendation. While the trekking across campus at random hours of the day to meet intimidating professors is less than ideal, the benefits outweigh the inconvenience.
If advice from classmates and Google can’t help you figure out complicated assignments, then meeting the professor during office hours is the best option. Believe it or not, not all instructors take joy in flunking every student and making them feel stupid.
In fact, most of them want to help their students and enjoy talking about their field and answering questions, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. College life is exciting and fun, but the academics can be difficult and there is no shame in asking for help.
Not Going to the Career Fair
Most universities have career fairs for students to network with potential employers. There are even career fairs dedicated to specific majors, such as business and education.
After walking across the stage and getting their diploma, every student wants a job. When you opt for sleeping in for a few hours instead of passing out resumes in a blazer and dress pants, you lose unique networking opportunities.
Submitting a resume to a job posting online is not the same as speaking with employers and telling them what makes you special from all the other students competing for the position.
You never know if the job of your dreams will come from talking to an employer about college life and shared experiences. Networking with people in high positions may also lead to job openings in the future.
Ignoring the School Clinic and Wellness Center
A sure way to do college wrong is not to go to the school clinic when you’re sick. Since most students are busy with classes, clubs, jobs and other activities, they prefer to stick out illnesses and hope to get better.
If student’s tuition fees are going to the clinics, then they should take advantage of them instead of living off of store brand cold medicine for a month. The clinics provide treatment for colds and flus, and can even help with sports injuries.
Also, more and more universities are offering mental health diagnosis, treatment and counseling. Students are experiencing more mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, than before.
These centers can help them with such conditions and it can even help students who are suffering from homesickness and the stress of classes. It’s always better to see a doctor instead of trying to self-diagnose and self-treat an illness.
Not Going to Lectures and Meetings for Your Major
Often times, departments for different majors offer students meetings with experts in their career fields, who will give talks about their jobs and advise young students about their transition into the workforce. Ignoring opportunities like these means giving up an advantage to learn from veterans in your field and pick their brains.
Most of the time, students ignore the emails and alerts for the events, which eventually leads to poor attendance. It’s a shame that more students don’t come to those talks and learn from the very people they want to become after graduation: successful professionals.
Another much-neglected opportunity for students is meeting with advisors. Registering for classes is easy on some school’s websites, but everyone needs help picking out which classes to take.
Advisors know what credits you need and how to get around your academic problems, whether it is falling behind in a class or missing out prerequisite courses. All in all, if you don’t attend lectures that teach you about your future career and don’t get advice from an advisor, then you’re not going college right.