Congratulations on making it to college! Showing up is the first step (well, after completing all of the paperwork). A high school senior that just graduated asked me whether I thought college was hard. I couldn’t tell them it was easy, but I didn’t think they should be as scared as they seemed. I remember being somewhat nervous going into it, too, though.
Here are some things to take to college:
Take deep breaths, and be thankful for this opportunity.
If you’re going to school in person, take one’s schedule and find classes before they start.
Try to reach out and make some friends.
Check out extra curricular activities, if possible (i.e. clubs, Christian fellowships, volunteering, sports etc.), and experiment with different interests.
Time and money management– watch out for and ask about deadlines, try to stick to a budget, and make time for important people and things in life.
Ask for help (tutoring, counseling, advisement, mentors, friends, instructors etc.).
Find out what resources are available and take advantage of them (i.e. many campuses have career fairs, so take resume copies and see what’s out there).
Carry a school ID. It will come in handy.
Take breaks and drink plenty of water.
Have fun. We need to stop and enjoy ourselves now and then.
It can be helpful to ask others about professors and courses they have taken in the past, or you can look at Rate My Professor to get a general feel for things. However, not every student is the same, and not everyone is going to experience things the same way.
On a related note, we might not always learn things as fast as others do, or think we should, and that can frustrate and discourage us to no end. We are trying though, and by not giving up no matter how much we may want to, we’re getting there. On the flip side, some things could be easier for us than those around us. So be patient, caring, and helpful.
Looking back now, a lot of high school teachers’ warnings of college didn’t come true for me. In college, we do have to work hard and keep on top of assignments because there is normally more freedom and therefore, more responsibility. However, don’t fall for some high school teachers’ scare tactics that are used to get people to do their work. College is difficult in places and some professors could use a sprinkling of sugar now and then, but let’s not make it harder for ourselves by being afraid.
Please smile at people. Many won’t return it, but they might need it anyway. It could also make us feel better. We can’t let all of the straight faced, intimidating figures keep us from being the curious, bright, welcoming people we are fully capable of being.
We need to remember that we’re trying our best, and whether we realize it or not, we’re making it, slowly but surely. There might be times when we just want to scream, “I don’t know! Please stop asking me questions. I want to go home!” However, there is more of the world we need to face today. And even though that may take all the courage we can muster, we will definitely be just fine. That point could be reached today, next week, years from now, but it will arrive eventually, and maybe when we least expect it.
Keep praying. It does help.
Yes, we will survive that job interview, even though we feel like we’re going to have some sort of mental breakdown going into it, despite how much we tried to calm ourselves down beforehand. Keep going, though, even if we don’t happen to get the ideal job on our first try.
We can be kind and still stand up for ourselves and others that can’t do so for themselves. Standing firm in what we believe is not something to feel bad about.
Something that should have been said earlier– all of this work is worth it. And we’re worth it. So worth it!
Joshua 1:9 (NIV) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Proverbs 3:6 (NIV) “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Joy Edwards – Column: College & Career
Joy is a college student from Arizona. Her major is undecided, but she enjoys sports, photography, learning about different cultures, and spending time with friends and family. She is also Christian and volunteers with her church.