Must Read Advice for College Students

Must Read College Advice
  1. The first year of college is going to be hard. When you are struggling know a) that it’s not your fault, b) that you’re not the only one struggling, and c) that asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness 
  2. College doesn’t need to be the best four years of your life. Have fun and learn a lot, but if at the end of the day you aren’t having as much fun as you thought, remember that you have a lot of life after college to have the best time of your life  
  3. Showing up is literally 80% of everything.
  4. Talk to your professors
  5. CHECK YOUR EMAIL – once a day minimum. 
  6. Do things you don’t feel 100% ready to do. It’s how you grow. If you wait until you’re ready, you will wait a long time (ex: run for club president, take that really hard class, study abroad, speak UP). 
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! When something isn’t clear to you, ask professors, classmates, mentors, offices on campus, etc. College is an entirely new experience and everyone’s incoming knowledge base is different. That’s okay! It’s important to learn to advocate for yourself and find support systems early on. 
  8. You are your strongest advocate.
  9. There is never any harm in applying to lots of things.
  10. Pick your battles.
  11. Write thank you notes/emails when people do things for you that they didn’t have to. Within a week is a good rule of thumb; Within 3 days is better.
  12. During your first year or two, don’t be afraid to take classes you  think you might be interested in. You might be surprised what you discover about the world and yourself. Relatedly, don’t limit yourself to what you think (or what others think) you should study. 
  13. Making new friends is scary and takes time.
  14. Practice self-care. Drink lots of water and try to sleep well (at least on weeknights). If you find yourself getting overwhelmed take a break. Don’t be afraid to use the counseling services at your school. Go to the health center when you don’t feel well
  15. Know your limit; both when it comes to drinking and stress 
  16. Do not let the time it takes to find your place discourage you. It doesn’t always happen right away, but if you keep putting yourself out there and being persistent with people you want to know better, you’ll get there. Like, go to club meetings/school-sponsored activities/that Greek recruitment you were only just kind of considering. Ask people to grab dinner, they are probably also trying to find their place and wishing someone would ask them to do something. 
  17. Being a part of clubs and organizations is fun, and can end up being great resume material. Don’t over-commit yourself, however. Among studying and going to class, make sure you’re spending enough time with friends. You may regret not doing that more once you’re out of college.
  18. There are so many people out there that want to see you succeed. Never feel like you can’t reach out to them, they want to help you. With that in mind though, don’t feel like you’re letting them down if you have to take a semester off or don’t do well in a class. 
  19. You aren’t a failure if you need to take a semester off or transfer schools. 
  20. College is the only time when you’ll have access to so many “free” things. Take advantage of it and go to as many free events as you can and use the resources you have available to you
  21. If you can fit it in your schedule, study abroad. When else will you have the opportunity to live in a country where you don’t speak the language for several months? 
  22. Don’t compare yourself and your experience to other students. It is easy to feel lost, especially when it comes to academics. Remember that everyone has unique talents, and you have four years to cultivate yours.
  23. Your grade in one class does not define you 
  24. Have confidence in the fact that you were chosen not only for your academic competency but also for the perspective you have to offer your peers and professors. You are now part of a conversation that would be lacking without your voice. Speak even louder, and help others understand a life story they may not have considered before they met you.

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