These are my tips for those of you who are new college students. Many of you are anticipating this adventure, but keep one thing strong in your mind: the reason you chose to go college. Go in with a plan, have the time of your life and succeed… 🙂
1. First, picture the beautiful future that you see for yourself. It is important to identify and set goals along an academic path. Don’t be the student who blindly works through four years of college and doesn’t absorb the positive energy that college has to offer, yet has no idea what the next steps will be after graduation day! Clearly identifying goals for what life will look like six months – or six years – after graduation is important for making good choices during a college career.
2. The first couple of weeks may be a bit lonely for a new student, as he or she meets new friends and establishes a social circle. Make time for new friends. It’s important to carve out the opportunity to make this happen while also remaining focused on academic goals. A social support system is an essential component of successful academic life and can turn into an amazing network later in life. Friends who share and support each will motivate each other throughout their mutual academic path.
3. Some students may be heading to college without a clear idea of their academic major or post-graduate goals. Though developing academic interests can happen naturally, keep an open mind and observe synchronistic events, which will help guide this journey. It is okay to take some time to decide on a major, but still important to take those first semesters of college seriously in terms of establishing a strong academic record. Choose classes that fulfill general education requirements, but that also present appeal for exploration and enlightenment as a potential major. New students can talk to other students about their majors, goals and dreams to uncover inspiration in their passions! These steps will help move students forward towards identifying their goals, deciding on a major, and pursuing a degree with a sense of purpose.
4. New students should also take the time to get to know their professors and ask for their academic guidance. Professors generally make themselves available to students during posted office hours. Taking advantage of this opportunity for one-on-one discussion is a great way to build relationships, find guidance and continue to identify goals for the future. These relationships are important for an academic career but are also important contacts for a future professional career.