Making the adjustment to college life can be difficult for almost any age level, but especially for those just out of high school. There's so many new experiences to get used to, and it can easily get overwhelming. So here are 10 of the top tips to help get your college experience off to a good start.
1. Of course, money is a major consideration whenever you go to college, and one of the largest expenses in college is the books that you will need for each semester. It's very easy to spend between $300 and $400 every semester just on your books. So one tip on how to cut back on expenses is to buy used college textbooks online instead new ones at the college bookstore. You may be able to save $200 or more each semester by doing so.
2. Use a day-timer or calendar to help you keep your schedule straight when you're planning your activities. You'll need to keep track of your test dates, and project due dates, as well as scheduling out your homework for all the various classes you're taking. Without some organization it will be easy to lose track and get unpleasantly surprised by a test date that you had forgotten.
3. Try to avoid all credit card debt that you possibly can while in college. This is where many college students ruin their credit ratings for many years to come. So just say no to credit for now, no matter how easy it is to get.
4. It should go without saying that the reason you are at college is to study, not to party. It may seem like you're doing more reading than anything else, but if you don't keep up with your reading you will have problems later on. So stay focused on your studies and don't get sidetracked.
5. If you're not quite sure exactly what your major is going to be, then start out with basic courses that can transfer to almost any major that you finally decide upon. Every extra course that you take that is unnecessary is going to cost you money.
6. Don't forget the value of an education from a community college. In some parts of the country community colleges work very closely with the larger four year colleges, allowing you to transfer full credit for your first two years and then get your degree from the larger college.
7. Try to get to know your professors as well as you can. You may not be able to know them as well as your high school teachers but it will help if they at least know your name and a little bit about you.
8. The value of a good study group cannot be overemphasized, so try to join one as soon as possible and then actually study, not just socialize.
9. Learn how to say no to your friends or others who want you to spend more time in certain endeavors then you should. “No" is not a bad word to learn. It's always good to have fun, but just don't let it get out of control.
10. Don't forget to eat like you should if you want to get the best results from your college years. The better you eat and take care of yourself, including getting enough sleep at night, the better chance for success you will have in your studies.
Hopefully, the suggestions given above can help you get the most out of your college experience, and get your first year off to the best start possible.
Steadman Issenburg writes on many consumer related topics including education. You can make a college university search and learn about a life experience college degree and more by visiting our education website.