Dear Upcoming Student,
I would like to welcome you to the next chapter in your life! This is the part in life where weekends of studying replace weekends of relaxing, where grades are more important than health, and where you realize that plants are not all about roots and leaves and you will consider changing your major every time you enter biology class!
There is an infinite amount of knowledge that has been held from you about this college ordeal. Unless mommy and daddy pay for everything, it will not be party non-stop. The teachers do not care if you show up, but when you get a job your boss will.
Oh? You did not think you were going to need a job?
School is your job, right?
Ha. That is cute.
So here are a few pointers!
I would like to begin with encouraging you to create a schedule. It will make your life much easier and you will not find yourself running wild on the weekends or sitting in your room stressing because you procrastinated. I have learned that by having a specific time to study every day, I can balance my life out and I do not become increasingly overwhelmed. A calendar, daily and monthly, will aid in keeping you organized and on schedule with all of your assignments. You may think that just because you only have five classes that it will be easy to keep up with your school work, but do not become that confident and do not put that much pressure on yourself. Just write it down and do it. It is completely acceptable and advised to study at least three hours a day for each class. This is going to seem nearly impossible and demanding, but it is actually more attainable than it seems. If you follow your schedule and manage your time and energy levels then you will achieve this or at least come close. We all have twenty-four hours in the day and it is up to you now, finally, how you choose to spend your hours.
The fact is high school did not prepare you for college, especially if you are coming from a 2A school. Yes, you had seven classes every day and yes, you had struggles and life was demanding, but now is the time where you have to take on the responsibility of everything from college to groceries. On that note, keep your health in mind. You do not have to be another statistic and fall into the “college fifteen” category. By learning to manage your time, energy levels, and money, you can learn how to buy healthy foods and how to schedule in time to exercise. Grades are important, but you may begin to feel burnt out and even sickly if you do not properly address your body’s requirements. Exercising is a great way to take a break and clear your mind when studying. Also, do not try to do everything. Do not get a job if you can help it; at least not while you are doing your basics because this is the quickest way to become overloaded and have your priorities out of focus. Though, if you must get a job, try getting one on the weekend. You can work 30 hours Thursday- Sunday! That means more time during the week to actually study.Try to stay away from the party crowd. College is a great time to meet a diversity of people and there will be people who do much more interesting activities than just drink or smoke.
You came to college with a dream in your heart and now is the time to turn that dream into a reality by creating goals to achieve this. A goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. These key elements will aid in keeping you focused and keep you from setting unrealistic expectations. College is full of distractions and it is easier now than ever to get off track and forget why you are even going, but college is also full of opportunities that will open doors and show you what you are to do with your life. I advise creating a mission statement once you set your goals. A mission statement serves as reminder of what you want ultimately out of life and why you want it. It needs to address your values and what you believe in, why you believe those things, and what you want your life to mean. Create your mission statement and hang it up somewhere you can see it every day.
If you take your classes seriously, but with a light heart and have fun then you will enjoy college. Do not be afraid to create connections and expand your network with people, especially if you are new to the area. Join organizations, use your campus services, and find friends that will study with you! Find a church or a local coffee shop, or a combo of the two, to unwind and have a place to clear your mind. This is the best time of your life; it just comes with a little more details than what you were told. Learn who you are and how you work and then college will be less hectic. It will not be easy, but do not lose sight of your goals and aspirations!
The most important comment I could make is do not lose yourself. Gosh, it is scary how easy it is to get caught up in being someone else or someone you thought you were suppose to be. Child, it is beautiful moment when someone realizes that this is his or her life. This is your time that God has granted you. Take it and be brave.