Monday, March 25, 2013

A College Student’s Guide to Survival

By Cinterra Lucas

Transitioning from high school to
college can be one of the greatest milestones in a teenager’s life. Most students decide to live on campus so they can have the independence they have been longing for ever since they turned the legal age of eighteen. College is all about independence, but it is also about making the right choices.
When students first enter college, their questions focus on the social aspect such as meeting friends, on-campus activities, on-campus clubs, dorm life and parties. Their parents, on the other hand, ask the questions concerning academics, simply because that is what they are focused on for their child. After talks and arguments about which college you should go to, the decision is made. Parents are deeply saddened because their babies are going to be away from them, while students are counting down until move in day.
Move in day is finally here and you have basically left your room at home completely bare, even though your mom tells you not to take everything because she knows you are not the only one living in the dorm room. After attempting to set yourself up in your college home, you see each roommate come in one by one. You begin to realize that each roommate is the complete opposite from you; one may be loud, messy, and another quiet. The student then feels as if she has made a big mistake of choosing to leave her one bedroom home where it was just her and her alone. 

Believe it or not, many people have issues with their room situation. The only way to solve this problem is to meet with your Resident Assistant; that individual will be your number one help at college because they have been through the same thing you are experiencing.
The next difficult part of college is the work load and the professors. The work given out in high school does not compare to the work given in college. From the ten page papers to the calculus teacher you do not understand; it is all there. If you are having difficulty in classes, make friends with the individual in the class who understands everything and have study sessions with him or her. Colleges provide tutors as well; free tutors, you can not beat that, so students should take full advantage of that if they find academics too difficult. The library will become your best friend, so take advantage; there are people who want to help you, but let’s not forget you have to help yourself as well.
There are a lot of events and extracurricular activities on college campus; it is up to you as a student to make sure that your social life does not interfere with your academics. For example, if you have a work study job and you also have a paper due that night, you can not attend the Spring Fest event that is being held. Your main priority is going to work and finishing the paper correctly. Time management is a skill that students have to teach themselves. Speaking from experience, one way I learned time management was with the help of creating a planner, to create balance between my academics and social life, because you do need to make time for yourself as a college student.
The list for preparing for college can go on and on, but I am afraid there is not enough time in a day. The most important advice I want to leave incoming students with is to do what is necessary and focus on what you are paying for. Higher education is very costly and ten years from now, a private education may cost up to $100,000! While you are in college, make it a memorable experience, but do not forget what you came to do at college and that is to get a degree. 

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