10 Things I Wish I knew before College
We get a lot of emails from students who use our services asking us for advice on succeeding in college. Some of the questions are related to academics, but others are related to campus life, financial issues, relationships, well-being, and simply having fun. All of this got us thinking. If we could go back in time, what advice would we give ourselves? So, we asked some of the great folks who work here at getacademichelp.com what they wished they knew before they started college. Then, we took the results and created this list of ten items.
1. Don’t Buy Your Textbooks Early
If you make it a practice to buy your textbooks before the first day of class, there will be at least one occasion where you find out that the book you purchased is not needed, and not returnable. In addition to this, always check to see if there is a free online edition of your textbook. The bookstore and your instructor might say no, but this isn’t always accurate.
2. Jump at any Chance to Study Abroad
If you are like many people the opportunity to travel internationally won’t come up any time soon after college graduation. A semester or year spent studying in another country will bring you unforgettable experiences, and something great to add to a resume or CV.
3. Don’t Work too Hard to Maintain a High School Romance
You’ll learn in college (hopefully) that romantic relationships shouldn’t be a struggle. If a long distance relationship with a high school boyfriend or girlfriend is fraught with fights and drama, it’s probably best to break things off.
4. Unless you have no Help from Home Don’t get a Credit Card
If you are completely on your own as far as finances go, you may need to get a credit card for emergencies. Otherwise, avoid the temptation, stick with cash only, and get a loan from your parents if you need emergency help.
5. Get a Job even if you don’t Need the Money
You’ll gain so many useful skills from working part time. When you graduate, you’ll also have something to put down in the all-important past employment section of your resume.
6. Don’t Feel Obligated to Stick with Your Major
It’s super common for students to change their majors. Even if you have to take extra classes and delay graduation by a semester or two, it is better to switch majors than to end up in a miserable career. Remember, you have skills and talents that you won’t even discover until you are well into your freshman year.
7. Even if you are a Commuter Student Consider living on Campus
You won’t get the experience of true independence if you live at home. Stay on campus and you will learn the life skills required to navigate everyday life issues without relying on Mom or Dad. You’ll also begin to redefine your relationship with your parents on adult terms.
8. Embrace the Joy of Napping
Your schedule will keep you up late one night and waking up early the next morning. Eight straight hours on the rack will be harder to come by than you realize. If you have a chance to nap, take advantage of it. You need all of the sleep you can get. Just keep naps to an hour and a half or so, or else you’ll feel tired the rest of the day.
9. You can Skip Class Whenever you want – Don’t
In college, you are only accountable to yourself. This means nobody is going to ring up Mom or Dad if you skip a class. Don’t abuse this. Remember that somebody is paying for education, and you should have enough respect for yourself to make the most of it. Use the privilege of skipping classes judiciously and rarely.
10. Get the Meal Plan your First Year
You’ll be so busy studying, attending classes, and working that you’ll barely have time to cook in your dorm or go out to eat. You may not use it every day, but having the meal plan as an option will be a lifesaver when you simply don’t have the energy to do anything else.