Hope you are enjoying your time settling in back to taking classes, and getting used to your dorm life and cafeteria food. It makes me sad to think I don’t have to (or really want to) go back to college & prepare for back to school season! So while I am transitioning my outfits from summer to fall (like today’s), I decided to give out some tips none of you were really looking for that I wish I knew from someone when I was in college.
You Got this
1// If you can’t get up for the class you probably shouldn’t be taking it. Pick a major that reflects your lifestyle. If you’re a morning person, incredibly responsible, and organized enough to get up for those 8am’s then take those classes! But if you’re more of a night owl, doing your homework late at night or staying up till 2am to finish a project, then don’t hurt yourself & your attendance grade.
2// Attendance policy. Trust me, you will be glad you looked into this beforehand. Research before or after you start the class what kind of attendance policy is enforced. That can make or break your class grade and if you want to continue taking it. If you don’t think you can hold yourself accountable remember the amount of money you pay per class and hopefully that will change your mind.
3// Weigh the pros and cons of what seems like a good idea. If you want to drop a class make sure that it is before the deadline and you can get your money back. If you stay up till 2am & miss your class, show initiative and email your teacher and a student for notes or homework. If you think you need more time on something and have a legitimate reason why you need an extension then just ask. If you went partying the night before a big paper is due don’t email your teacher drunk. Just use some common sense. You’re an adult now after all & if you want to be treated like one, with respect, then you have to be cognizant of your actions and consequences that come with those actions.
4// Water is your best friend. It is so easy for you to become dehydrated. You know how many times I was walking across buildings and was dying of thirst and there is no water fountain? Trust me you might be laughing at all the people who are carrying hydroflasks but they’re the smart ones.
5// Syllabus week is not a real thing. Be ready to take notes on the first day of classes, because your Junior and Senior year is crunch time. Be smart & prepare to put in the work the first week. Sometimes you’ll have an assignment due before classes even start. Don’t slack off that first week and you’ll be off to a great start.
6// Work on your personal brand. Working on school work is important but once you graduate no one cares that you got a 97% on a paper about business ethics. While you’re acing those papers make sure you’re taking time to work on your resume, portfolio, and networking with students/faculty within your major. Focus on who you are and what you bring to the table now so you’re not caught off guard when someone asks in an interview.
7// Get a mentor. If you have a mentor great! If you don’t then go find one. Whether it be for advice, looking over your resume, or just to vent about your struggles over coffee, there is no shame when it comes to reaching out to someone for help. Even when you graduate college finding a mentor doesn’t stop. Mentors come in all ages and backgrounds, they don’t have to be older than you and they might not even have the same profession as you. But they sure as heck will guide you to the best of their ability.
8// Your degree is not everything. Just because you majored in something doesn’t mean you’re going to get a job in that field after you graduate. AND THAT IS COMPLETELY OKAY. Most likely you’ll find something in another field and then work your way up to what you want. You’re not alone in the struggle to find a job. Let go of what everyone else is doing and the preconceived notions that you have to succeed right out of the gate. Most likely you will struggle and that is completely okay.
9// Mid college crisis are normal and everyone has them. Accept that they happen! Either ride it out or change your major, afterall all your counselor/teachers/peers want is for you to succeed. It’s normal to be in a panic about where you’re headed in your life. Surround yourself with a good support system to help you through it and then decide what is best for you.
10// Post grad depression is a real thing. Once you finish school I won’t lie to you it is rough to make yourself stick to a routine. Especially at 23. In school everything is structured for you. You go to each class and you spend a certain amount of your day doing school work, balancing your social life. When you’re done with college no one tells you about how hard it is to make friendships outside of having classes with them. Work friendships are completely different, and in my own opinion, not as lasting as the lifelong friends you’re promised when you go to college.
My biggest piece of advice? Enjoy the years and don’t try to blink them away. Enjoy the routine that you have set for you because once you’re free it will take you time to balance all the areas of your life in a structure that doesn’t feel like you’re underwater all the time. Remember to come up for air.
I know this was a little different than what I normally do during back to school but I hope you guys enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing it!