Most people see college life as mostly studying and academics. However, there’s more to it. It encompasses so many new experiences, new opportunities, and loads of things to learn. In truth, it is difficult to define it as each individual experiences it differently.
Whether you are in a university or a college, you as a student should ensure that you’re balancing your course load with other activities to round out the college experiences.
Here are a few points that will help you in making your college experience more enriching.
Accept the change
The first few weeks can be overwhelming and impactful. We all have grown up in a very structured education system that adheres to classroom conversations that fit the syllabus. The university classroom will shatter your previous beliefs. It will make you uncomfortable initially, but please allow it to do so. Be a sponge and soak all that information in.
Let life happen to you, and don’t resist the change.
College life won’t be an easy journey, but it will be worth it. This can make you feel inadequate but make sure never to stop questioning or limiting yourself to what you already know. Question more, have more conversations and say yes to things you wouldn’t have said yes to before.
Plan out each semester’s schedule in time or in advance, exactly knowing which classes you’d like to opt for and also which all optional subjects you wish to take up. Taking up extra courses and also being able to maintain a schedule in college is essential. In high school, the exposure is different; the teachers tend to lead us through all homework assignments and due dates. But in college, the professors just post the assignments and deadlines- often for the entire semester at once- and there is no scope for spoon-feeding. Students are expected to work on the backend, self-study, and ask their doubts. Buy an organizer, use an app, or get a calendar- whatever it takes for you to know when assignments are due and how you can go about fulfilling them.
Take advantage of the study resources
The formation of study groups will help in effective learning and also increase productivity. Make full use of library reference materials as they are not restricted to a single subject. This allows exploring more ideas using credible materials stocked in the library. It also enables one to be innovative in the learning process.
Building A Network
Networking is one of the crucial skills required to develop your persona and will help you in the long run.
It will help you learn skills, advance your career, increase access to job opportunities, build confidence, develop leadership qualities, etc. There will be many college clubs and communities on your campus that your college seniors and alumni organize. Make use of these communities and clubs because they will help you connect with great people. Introduce yourself to your professors and staff in your department. Their experience and guidance will be highly resourceful for you in your future. In recent times, due to the pandemic, there are many webinars, seminars, and courses being conducted online, which could help build many contacts in your field.
In the digital era, you must have connections on LinkedIn too. A professionally written LinkedIn profile aids in creating an online professional presence that can help open doors to varied opportunities and networks that you may not have been aware of without the help of social media.
Stay healthy/ eat right
Many problems fresher's or first-year students face have their roots in an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period, leading to a downward spiralling effect. When one is physically fit and eating right, it promotes more time for study and extracurricular activities. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. Stay healthy and avoid fast food as it will impact your health in the longer run.
Seek mental health support
Mental health issues in students such as anxiety, depression are on the rise. Many colleges have recognised the increased demands placed on the students and have started providing resources to assist their students. It is the need of the hour to reach out to counsellors and seek help and cope with the difficulties of life. Even attending online stress management workshops, group therapies, movement therapies could be useful.
Stay on budget
It is a must to realise that life will be much easier if you learn how to develop and stay on a budget. Keep a record of your spending's and inculcate good practices of saving money too. There will be times when you will go off track but try your best to stick to the goal, and you’ll eventually get the hang of it. This habit will help you in the long run too.
Take up short term courses
It appears as though the world is advancing faster than we can take. To keep up that pace, we need to try our very best to adapt and constantly work on ourselves (particularly in situations like the current coronavirus outbreak).
There are many skills that we always think of learning but postpone due to lack of time. As we have time at our disposal now, it is an excellent option to explore online skills platforms such as Udemy, Coursera, Skill share. One can find skills that will be beneficial to the CV. It’s crucial to keep on learning and acquiring new skills throughout your career, picking up new techniques and new interests along the way.
Be in the present
You may have many expectations from your college life seeing the movies and series that show how colleges are. Simultaneously, you might think about whether the college will meet your expectations or not. Don’t overthink it. You, yourself, have the power to make college an enriching experience. Your college life will be good and fun if you manage to make the right choices. Also, be in the moment and get the best out of it. Be reasonable in your academics, maintain a balance, explore your dreams, nurture your knowledge, participate in as many events as possible, and follow your passion. Do not worry about making mistakes in the process. It will all make you a better person, and it’s all going to be worth it in the end.
Gaining an insight into the areas you need to work on is the first step on the journey of mental wellness. You can use our self management tools or also book a session with a therapist for more support without compromising on your confidentiality.