College Do’s and Don’ts

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By now, you’re probably sick of hearing how much of a change college is going to be in your life. I remember hearing it from my parents, teachers, and guidance counselor and I know that it gets old quickly. However, after going through a year of it, I can say that it really is a major adjustment and the more prepared you are for the change, the easier the transition is. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts to help you survive freshman year.

DO: Plan out your semester’s classes in advance– No matter how big or small your school is, you can never be sure that you’re going to get into the class that you want. Courses fill up very quickly and you should definitely figure out what you want beforehand so you know exactly what to sign up for on registration day. Have a backup plan in case something goes wrong and always try to e-mail the professor to see if you can get into the class after it fills up. The more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.

DON’T: Plan out your entire college career– I already made this mistake during spring semester. While it would be nice to know exactly what you’re taking every semester, it just isn’t realistic. You don’t know what classes are going to be filled up, if they will even be offered, or if you still want to take them. I know I’ve considered changing my major a countless number of times and one change can screw everything up.

DO: Have a social life– Going out with friends is a good way to have fun and try to forget about some of your stress. Don’t think that you have to work 24/7. You do deserve a break every once in a while.

DON’T: Forget that school comes first– Remember that you do need some breaks, but make sure you are keeping up with your school work. If you get everything you need done, then feel free to go out, but don’t get used to it. Don’t forget that your primary reason for going to college is getting an education; having fun unfortunately comes second.

DO:Get some sleep-You’re going to find that it can be very difficult to do considering the work load, but really do try to get sleep every night. It might be hard to figure out a normal sleep schedule, but do your best. The faster you can figure out a sleep schedule, the more rested you’ll be and the easier it will be to do well.

DON’T: Oversleep– On the other hand, if you don’t get enough sleep, sleeping through classes may become a problem. If you miss classes, you will fall severely behind and it will not be easy to make up. Like I said before, really try and figure out how much sleep you need to function and make sure you actually get your necessary amount of sleep.

DO: Try new things– College is a chance for you to reinvent yourself. You can now do the things that you may have been afraid to try in high school. If you always enjoyed playing sports, but didn’t think you were good enough to play in high school, you can try it out in college. This is your chance to do what you enjoy and not have to feel judged or embarrassed.

DON’T: Feel peer pressured to do something you don’t want to do– Make sure you set your limits and don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable doing. Don’t feel like you have to be a completely different person in college. This is a chance for you to be the person you want to be, not a completely different person.

These may be just a few guidelines to follow, but they are really easy ways to not only have a great freshman year, but an amazing college experience as well. The best way to sum it all up is to just make sure you have a balance. It might take a while, but when you can find a balance between your social life, school work, and relaxation, you’ll be ready for anything.