College can either be the best years of your life, or the “meh” years of your life. It sure as hell can’t be the worst years of your life. But if you find that it’s the latter, then you’re probably doing it wrong.
1. Tabula rasa.
What may appear to be a cool name for a league of assassins, tabula rasa actually means “clean slate.” College is another world, and people vary in age, educational background, character, among other things, on a much broader range. Entering another institution gives everyone no idea about who you are, and that gives you an opportunity to start over—at least, if that’s what you want. This gives you a chance to branch out, explore, and challenge yourself—all of which are essential to college life. And when it comes to making new friends, bust that door wide open, because you’ll never know who’d walk in. After all, your life begins at the end of your comfort zone, as they say.
2. Save your high school notes for your first year in college.
Depending on the curriculum, the first year in college is somewhat a refresher course on most of what you learned in high school. The time you attend your General Education classes is when your high school notes come in handy. Read the course syllabi of your subjects, sift through your old notes, and keep the ones that could help you. It’s an instant advantage with positive results.
3. Find yourself a guilty pleasure.
Let me assure you that the pressure you might start to feel in your first hell week in college is nothing compared to the multiple hell weeks in your succeeding years. With that in mind, try to find something you might want to reward yourself after the end of it. It makes the days go by much faster because you’ll have something to look forward to down the road.
Consider it a personal tradition by treating yourself to whatever you want after all the hours you’ve put in to make the grade.
4. Join an organization.
If you want to expand your network, make new friends, explore other interests, or simply beef up your resume, then it’s time to get involved. Experience what it’s like to work with a team that has a much larger audience than your average high school club. It isn’t necessary to join an organization that’s affiliated with your major. Give your brain a rest from all the studying and stretch your think-tank with some practical, extra-curricular work. And if you have always been curious about developing an interest of yours but were too afraid to pursue it, then this is a good way to start.
5. Be independent.
There’s a difference between being lonely and being independent. You will learn to manage your time in however way suits you, and that includes doing things and going places on your own. Nobody really cares if you’re eating alone, but if you feel that they do, then it’s you who shouldn’t care. You are on your own time table. This isn’t to say that you’re antisocial. Save the pleasantries for later.
6. Hit the library.
For a lot of reasons, the library is an indispensable resource. When it comes to projects or papers, even as simple as assignments, don’t hesitate to go to the library to search for related literature. You can just as easily find answers in the Internet at the click of a button, and it, too, is a fantastic resource. But there’s something about getting your hands dirty from dusting off books and flipping through discolored pages. When you learn how to search for information manually, it’s practically an art form.
7. Nap times are the best times.
At some point during your college life, you may have to pull at least one all-nighter. Sometimes it’s because you were procrastinating, and other times, you just couldn’t help it—it’s as if the situation actually called for it. It happens, and I don’t blame you. But allow yourself to get some shut-eye sometime in the day. Power naps, as the name suggests, help you power through the day, and it also increases your energy, creativity, and cognition which are exactly the tools you need to get your work done. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself.