Going to college can be one of the scariest and most exciting experiences in one’s life.
It’s the first time you’re really going out on your own. You will be completely responsible for your own health and well-being.
For some that sounds like a dream come true but when you get there it can be an entirely different story.
At first all you can think about is how you can come home at any time and no one can tell you otherwise.
But the closer and closer you get to actually leaving home you start stressing about several problems.
You start stressing about classes, how to make friends, new roommates and how in the world you’ll survive sharing a bathroom with 20 other people.
Don’t worry I get it. College life is filled with a lot of new experiences and that can be a good and a bad thing.
You won’t know how to navigate a lot of different situations but I can give you a few tips that will get you headed in the right direction.
I put together a survival guide for you so you can have a little guidance on how to navigate all the situations that you’re going to encounter in the next few years.
So buckle up and let’s get started.
Get out of your comfort zone
Have you ever wondered why it’s so comfortable to continue doing things that you’re very familiar with?
Our brains are hardwired to keep us safe, and if we’ve done something safely a million times it will let us continue doing that activity.
On the flipside our brains hate new things because they don’t know the outcome and it might hurt us.
So, your brain will do everything in its power to steer you away from new experiences.
You might start to sweat, your body may start shaking, your heart may possibly start racing, and in the worst case scenario you’ll pass out.
Now I’m not saying this to scare you. I’m merely saying this to let you know that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and scared to try new things.
While you’re in college trying new things is necessary.
It’s how you meet new people and how you grow into the person you want to be. You have to try to shift into more of a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.
I can promise you some of your best college experiences will come from just taking chances and trying new things, at least that was the case for me and most other people I’ve talked to.
So when you get to college or if you’re already there, make it a mission to try something new every single week.
Whether that be joining a club and going to 1 meeting, trying a new restaurant, going to a social event, or even just talking to someone new.
Just make it a point to have new experiences.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Some people come into college and they are way too hard on themselves.
I’ll give you a prime example, some people come into college and they were overachievers in high school.
They were valedictorian, liked by everybody in the school, and they never really had to try that hard to be the best.
Then they get to college and they fail to realize that most people were overachievers in highschool so now their achievements are just average compared to everyone else.
Colleges admit people just like you, remember that.
You may have been the best and the brightest at your school but now they’ve recruited the best and the brightest at a whole bunch of other schools.
The competition’s a bit steeper.
Don’t let this discourage you, just realize college is a different playing field. Some people get so overwhelmed about the new college experience that they end up just giving up.
If I can give you any advice it would be that you can’t bully yourself to success.
In other words, being hard on yourself isn’t going to get you anywhere. at most you’ll just be 10 times more stressed than everybody else.
So instead of being so hard on yourself and comparing yourself to others just focus on doing your best. I promise you when you focus on that you won’t feel overwhelmed or stressed.
Everyone that just focuses on doing their best actually end up being some of the most successful people in college.
Ask for help
Ask for help when you need it.
A lot of the time in college people are too prideful to ask for help, they feel like they have to do it all on their own.
You actually don’t, and to be honest I would take all the help you can get.
This advice can be applied in your academic life, athletic life, your work life, just about anything.
Most colleges have programs that can help you with all different aspects of your life and I suggest you use them to your fullest.
I know when I first started in college I thought I wouldn’t need any help with class work.
Then I got some of my grades back and I realized I needed some serious help.
I was at office hours, study sessions, one on one tutoring, I did everything.
Ever since then my grades have been great but that’s because I know how to reach out when I need it.
Get into the habit of asking for help because it will make everything in life much easier.
Figure out a planning system
Your life is only organized as your planning system, and this is especially true in college.
There are so many things that you have to juggle in college that it’s absolutely impossible to keep it all in your head.
That is why you need to figure out the best planning system for you.
There are quite a few options like google calendar, a physical planner, spreadsheets, notepad, whatever works for you.
Finding out your perfect planning system is going to take some trial and error. I don’t suggest just copying someone else, make up your own system.
After a while I finally nailed down my planning system. I make a long list of things I need to complete each week.
Then from this weekly to do list I create daily to do lists for each day of the week. Finally the night before I time block the next day so I know exactly how I am going to get everything done.
This system may sound intricate but it works wonders for me and I came up with it myself.
So play around with different planning systems and see which one feels right for you.
Remember to take care of yourself
It’s easy to neglect yourself in college.
You’ll begin to get more focused on studying, extracurriculars, parties, and many other things that can steal your attention.
In the midst of all the other things you have going on it’s easy to ignore your own needs.
You may start eating less, sleeping less, and letting your hygiene levels reach an all time low.
Trust me I’ve seen it happen.
New college students tend to overschedule their lives because they are so excited about all the new experiences that college has to offer that they forget to pencil themselves into that schedule.
You need self love and care to be able to live a happy life.
Make sure to always leave some breathing room on your calendar so you don’t feel like you’re running from one place to another because that is a sure fire way to burn out.
It’s happened to me and let me tell you it wasn’t fun.
So it’s better to try and avoid burning yourself out by remembering that your health and well-being is your top priority.
Hopefully this post gave you a few useful college life tips to start off on the right foot.
College is a big step in your life and it’s natural to want advice before you start. But try not to worry too much about it, you’ll find your way.
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