College is a new chapter in life. It is a chance for you to find yourself and become the person that you have always dreamed of being. You are on your own and away from the parents, and you can finally be in charge of making a lot of big decisions for yourself. In college, you can explore your passions, relish in new experiences, meet new people, and discover new possibilities. However, it can be difficult to step outside of your comfort zone. Here are some steps to help you during your new chapter at college.
- Fake it ‘til you make it. Get out of your comfort zone and be brave. A lot of us have insecurities that keep us from doing something that we want to do. But now that you are in college, this is a time for you to start fresh. Story time: When I was a freshman in college, I went up to every new freshman and introduced myself. (I never did this back in high school, but I wanted to have a new outlook and approach in college.) When I did that, it gave me a boost in confidence and allowed me to meet people I might not have otherwise.
- Make sure to complete all of your homework assignments on time. College is not like high school. Your professors won’t remind you when an assignment is due. You have to remind yourself. Also, most college professors won’t accept late work or incomplete assignments, so it’s better to stay on top of your assignments rather than be at the bottom, struggling. Story time: I had an online professor, and I forgot to double-check to see if I made a post on the discussion board, so I got a zero for that assignment. (Please don’t be like me.)
- Have a small circle of friends. This means don’t go sharing your personal business with every new face that you encounter. It’s always good to find that close-knit group of friends who will always have your back. You don’t need hundreds of friends in college, you just need the people who will help support you and will help you get to the goals that you want to achieve. Story Time: I made a lot of friends during my freshman year at college but lost the majority of these so-called friends as the years passed. I started off with well over 50 “friends”, and now I have only about 15 that I can truly count on. I’m okay with that because these 15 friends are like family to me.
- Get involved in your school. Whether this means joining a club or volunteering to help with Career Day, do it! The more you are involved with your school, the more you’ll feel connected. College is going to be your home away from home, so make sure it feels comfortable for you. Story time: I barely got involved with my college because I was so wrapped up in drama and in my friends that I let some really cool opportunities pass me by. Now I’m a senior in college and I’m trying to make up for the lost time. (College doesn’t last forever. Make the most of it while you’re there.)
- Stay connected with your family and old friends. Relationships are important. While it will be easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of making new friends, don’t forget to stay connected to your family and your old friends. They probably know you best and can give you the emotional support you need when things get rocky (and they will) at college. It’s okay to call Mom or Dad when you need advice or a sympathetic ear — it doesn’t mean you’re still a kid.
I hope these tips will help you have a successful and fun college experience! Good luck.