So, you have finally finished high school and escaped to the freedom of college! But with this newfound freedom comes some hefty responsibilities. If you want to stand on your own two feet and make it through unscathed, we have a six-step survival guide to help you on your way.
An Empty Wallet and $0.00 in your Bank Account
I made my way through college like most students do, scraping together change from the back of the couch, living on packet noodles and on-campus chips and gravy, and racking up an unhealthy credit card debt that took me years to pay off. Don’t be like me. If you find yourself in a sticky situation (and I don’t mean the floors of that local student bar), don’t turn to credit cards and lock yourself into a debt cycle. Instead, look for a no interest loan scheme available to students in your area.
Lack of Sleep
Fear of missing out is tough – there is always a party or date or excuse to go out and socialize rather than tucking yourself in for an early night. But remember, lack of sleep leads to cognitive and memory issues (not ideal when you are trying to study) and is associated with anxiety, stress, and depression. Set yourself a target number of nights in and stick to it. Make sure you head to bed early on these nights instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media until the early hours.
If you have moved away for college, it can take some time to adjust and settle in. You might spend a lot of time texting and FaceTiming old friends for the first few months. The trick is to build a new support network. You will meet people through your dorm, your job, and your classes. If you don’t find anyone you click with, there are plenty of online platforms that can connect you with others who share your interests.
College is a time of fun and discovery, but it is also a time when many people find themselves completely overwhelmed by their feelings and the expectations of the people around them. If you are struggling, book in to see a college counsellor. They will talk to you about how you are feeling and offer some coping mechanisms.
It is so easy to get distracted and fall behind when you are the only person holding yourself accountable. However, college classes are way too expensive to be flunking. There are some necessary steps to help you avoid this predicament.
Step one – show up to all your classes. Don’t let your lazy roommate tempt you into the habit of skipping class. Step two – keep on top of your assignments. Make sure you record all the due dates in your phone or on an old-school calendar and check it each week. While you want to enjoy your college experience, you also want to smash all your academic goals out of the park!
Choosing a Major
The pressure to pick the perfect career at the start of college can be challenging. Keep in mind that the average individual changes careers between five and seven times in their working lives. You can change your major, and you can retrain. So, start by choosing something that you enjoy and go from there.
College life has its challenging moments, but for most people, it is an excellent experience that they look back on with fondness throughout their lives.