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The time in our lives where we really start to grow into our own skin. Where girls become women and boys become men. College! College for most of us is the most important part of our lives. Everything we have aspired to be, every hope we have had for ourselves and that our parents have for us comes down to this, the next four years.
So, is college the free and easy ride you see in the movies? Of course, it isn’t. College is going to be fun, sure but that will only make up for 20% of your time there.
We are going to look at the journey through college, how to survive it and how to come out of it ready to face the world on the other side. Once you're finished your undergraduate you can consider MBA online colleges if you don't want to do it in-person.
Your Freshman Year
Your freshman year will be your settling year. At times it will seem like your most challenging time at college. Others it will seem like you are on a free ride. This absolutely will not be the case.
Your freshman year should come with a survival guide. From day one you are kitten amongst wolves. So you must adapt to survive at first, don’t worry it won’t always be like this. Think of this as your self-initiation.
Within your first few days, you should think about finding who you are. After all, for the first time in your life, you are in charge of where you go from here. The decisions you make now will be on your own back and even though your parents have been in charge for 18 years, this is now your time to shine.
The most essential thing is, attend some form of orientation. You need to know where you are going and you need to absorb this information fast. Although nobody wants to take part in this, it’s going to be essential in getting to know your surroundings.
The next most important step is to register for your classes. This may seem like an obvious one but as it is your freshman year, feel free to take a few risks and find out what you enjoy. You may find the path you had in mind when you entered college may change very suddenly once you are there.
A great step to easing yourself into your college education is developing systems that work for you. Only you know your own mind so leaning in your own way is important. Especially when it comes to note-taking. You may be somebody that writes down everything, you may write in shorthand, or you may even be the person with transcription tech on your laptop. Whichever way works for you will be the best, no matter what anybody else tells you.
One of the most important things that will happen in freshman year will be the people you meet. You will meet people that will help shape you as a person. They will remain close to you until the end of time and you will all need to rely on each other to make it through college.
The final and most important step of your first year is to make sure you have the right technology. Having decent technology is going to make college life a lot easier and always make sure you have some encrypted USB storage devices handy. Backing up data can be a life or death matter sometimes.
Now we are really moving on to the big stuff. If you have made it to sophomore year, congratulations! You have beat 30% of your freshman counterparts. That is how many students don’t make it to the second year.
This occurs as it's a culture shock for some. Not having parents to rely on, others don’t interact well and the rest are just totally underprepared or didn’t want to apply any effort.
Sophomore year is going to take its toll on you, mentally and physically. Hopefully, this section will help you through piece by piece and allow you to sail through.
One of the best slices of advice that can be given is to take time to step away from your studies. I know this sounds counterproductive but applying yourself only to study will cause a detachment and overall, you will be far less productive.
The Sophomore year unbelievably drives a lot of students to places you would not believe. Some students fail to separate from their studies, detach from communication with their families and end up caught up in some form of addiction.
There are now places like The Haven at College which offer support whether it be for addiction or mental health issues. Mental health issues are now a huge problem with students and need to be tackled at early signs.
Simple ways to keep on top of your mental health would be to hit the gym a couple of times per week. This alone can improve mental health exponentially. You should also make regular communication with your family. This will be both great for you and them, at this time in your study they will be worried.
Finally, a great step towards your future is finding a job or internship. By now you will already know your major and which way your life is heading. So attempting to find an internship that will help you move forward after college is a perfect idea.
It will also help you move out of the shadows of your college life. It is a great step into adulthood and can protect you from the culture shock of the industry you’ve chosen before you actually get there.
Junior year is your year of work and hustle. You have made it past the halfway mark and you are heading for the final goal.
Junior year is the year where you will need your wits about you. You will need to take even more important steps into gaining experience in your chosen field and you will be needing to work every possible angle to find your way in.
This is where you will be shaping your post-college future. Your sophomore year was incomplete preparation for this. You need to at this point be sure of which way you want to go in life and confirm your direction as found as a sophomore.
Make it your every intention every day to wake up with your final goal in mind. This year is going to be tough and dedication is going to be one of the most important things that will get your through.
This is the year you will find yourself studying until the early hours of the morning. The year where those all-night drinking sessions as a sophomore and freshmen are things of the past. This is your moment, you are getting ready to take to your senior year and hold your head up high.
To survive this time at college, you need to also focus on some extracurricular activities, they will just help you realign your mind and give you the ability to regain focus when you need it.
This is it, this is the year you’ve been waiting for. Now is the time when things may seem tougher than they actually are. At this point, you’ve been studying for the best part of 20 years of your life. You will take classes now that seem to be impossible. Yes, they may be harder than your previous years, but you just have to realize that your brain is now tired and processing information at a different rate.
A great tactic for dealing with this is some form of mindfulness. This process just helps release. Practicing some techniques at intervals during the day and as we fall asleep can help us process information better at the time we need to.
This year we need to plan everything, we need to plan it on the level of obsessive. Notes are to be taken on everything and we need to have a post-graduation plan too. We are of course readying ourselves for the wide world.
You should have also over the last three years found the thing that helps you escape from it all. This year is the time to make sure you are doing this during whatever free time you can. Giving yourself an escape from the hustle and bustle is going to be the key to your success.
The most important part of this year will be your finals. This is where you need to apply yourself in ways you never have. The only two things you should be doing are periodically studying and then escaping that study in order not to melt your own brain.
This will give you a fresh approach to your finals and you will retain far more information.
The finals mark the end of your college journey and you have prepared yourself for the real world. Hopefully, this simple survival guide will help you through your college journey and beyond.