Isn’t it exciting to start college and experience what this new chapter of your life has to offer? While going to college sounds exciting, the real struggle begins when you don’t prepare for it. Many individuals don’t focus on the practical side of this journey and struggle to find a balance between studies and other areas of life. This situation can put you under severe stress, especially if you got admission to an overseas college. Apart from the typical checklist you find on your college’s official website, there are other things you must know.
From taking things to college to managing life, you might find more than expected on your plate. As a first-time college student, it’s common to feel overwhelmed. But with accurate preparation, you won’t suffer in the new environment. Instead, you’ll focus on studies, grades, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Remember, you can transform your college life into fun memories that you can cherish in the future. So, without further ado, let’s look at things you need to know beforehand to ace your journey in college.
1) Evaluate the Benefits of Online and Traditional Education
There’s no denying that online education has revamped the education domain drastically. It might benefit you if you measure the pros and cons of traditional on-campus and online classes. Online classes sound convenient, especially if you’re working and studying simultaneously. Explore your options by going through the list of colleges and see which college offers online classes you can take with work. Although traditional classes allow you to meet friends or teachers in person, online education can cut costs, allowing you to study from the comfort of your home. When you decide to attend college, it’ll allow you to socialize and participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
Conversely, online classes enable you to manage your time and routine. Both methods of education have their benefits and limitations. It’s your job to keep these factors in context while preparing to enroll in a college.
2) Create a Realistic Budget
No matter how much you’ve earned and saved over the summer. The expenses that come with enrolling in college can eat half of it away before you even realize it. You may find the need to hang out with new friends, drink morning coffee, or enjoy late-night pizza. But these basic yet fun activities can exhaust your savings. That is why you must create a realistic budget and watch how much you spend. Prepare yourself to spend a lot on one-time expenses in the first month. Things will start falling into place from the second month when there will be only recurring expenses. You can also look for resources to study budgeting, especially for college students, like YouTube. You can always ask a senior for advice on saving money while still having fun in college.
3) Focus and Learn Life Management
Life management comes with a series of responsibilities. No matter how small a task may seem, make yourself responsible for finishing it on time. For example, if you’ve to organize important documents, do it in the right way. Get separate files and attach each document carefully so you can find it whenever you need it without ruining its condition. Other life management activities could include:
• Hunting apartments under budget (if you’re an international student)
• Search part-time jobs (if you’ve got a tight budget)
• Read and understand legal documents, such as leases
• Handle stressful situations or stress
• Learn basic first aid
4) Practice Time Management
Time management won’t only help in college, but it’ll also help you in your practical or professional life. You may do more while spending less time with efficient time management. It happens when you focus on the given task and ward off distractions. For example, suppose you must go through a few lectures to prepare for an upcoming class quiz. In that case, you must focus on studying and avoid wasting time on TikTok. When you use the time to be productive, it gives you the satisfaction that comes from finishing a task. For example, if you need to submit an essay on Monday, try to finish it by Friday evening. This way, you’ll get a sense of achievement from finishing your task and a chance to use the weekend to unwind.
5) Learn to Take Notes
Note-taking can help you learn faster. Before your classes start, you can practice your note-taking skill to make your study sessions less stressful. But remember, you take notes to summarize your lessons, not to transcribe them. The following tips can also help you with note-taking.
• Find an outline or slides of the lesson on the internet
• Try to remember only essential snippets of information
• Use subheadings with key information to absorb more knowledge in less time
• If allowed, take pictures of slides or chalk or whiteboard and make notes later
• Try to write a summary of the lecture’s main idea
More so, note-taking is an incredible way to focus on the lesson. Writing important parts of the lesson also helps you understand it properly. You’ll easily remember and recall the information when actively listening and summarizing a topic. Also, keep a notebook and a bunch of pens to make note-taking hassle-free.
6) Polish your Domestic Skills
Practicing and acing domestic skills is another factor you shouldn’t ignore, especially if you’re moving to a different country for studies. Chores such as cooking and cleaning aren’t exciting, but they’re essential to daily life. A clean and tidy space influences your mood and well-being. You’ll need an organized living space after hours of studying on campus. Therefore, make yourself responsible for washing your clothes weekly. Create a weekly cleaning routine, focusing on scrubbing the restroom, tidying the kitchen, vacuuming the bedroom or study area, etc. Basic cooking classes are advisable because cooking at home is safe and healthy when you know your food’s ingredients and nutritional value. But you can rely on takeaway if you’ve extra budget.
Being a college student isn’t only about studying. It comes with other responsibilities, too. There’s a lot to learn and understand, from time management to money management. Remember, practicing some of these factors won’t only help you in college, but they’ll also benefit you in the future. A good student is expected to perform well academically, avoid risky behaviors, seek assistance when required, and respect college rules and policies. When you get your priorities straight, you’ll accomplish whatever college life goals you’ve set for yourself.