By Shahael Myrthil
No one said that college would be easy, but that doesn’t mean that you should just drop out and live under a bridge. If you do, think about when it’s snowing: where would you get heat, if you don’t have a homeless shelter nearby? So if you’re not too fond of the idea of slowly dying from hypothermia, listen up and know that, like myself, you can and will survive college! Here’s how:
1. Eliminate the toxic relationships in your life. Having to constantly deal with petty drama will only drain your energy and serve as a distraction that’ll hurt your grades.
2. Treat the library as if it was your second home. Spend less time wasting your money on unnecessary clothes and invest in your future by tackling your books and study!
3. Behave in class and participate. Being a teacher’s pet in high school was considered lame, and would make you the laughing stock of the school, but in college, it isn’t as bad as you think! Don’t be afraid to stand out from your classmates, and participate in class as if your life depended on it! It’s that type of behavior that will get a teacher to take a liking in you and remember you for years to come! I can’t tell you how many of my professors wrote letter of recommendations for me! Not all professors will do that, especially if you got caught sleeping or texting away in class a lot. Please treat your professors as if he/she was your boss! You would never break your boss’s rules right in front of them, so don’t do that to your professor. You just never know when you might just need a huge favor. I have professors that I’ve taken many semesters ago, that I’m still in contact with today!
4. Join a Club. Don’t feel as if just because you aren’t an outgoing person that means that you can’t join a club! If that was the case, I would not have become an editor of my school newspaper 2.5 years ago. Joining a club will help you gain experience needed for the real world. Let’s say if you wanted to pursue a career in business, but had no experience, join the Marketing Club! Love fashion and want to involve yourself in a group of like-minded people? Check out the Fashion Club!
5. Visit the Career Counseling office. Is there a degree that you’re interested in pursuing but aren’t quite ready to take that leap of faith in that direction? Check out the Career Counseling Center for advice. The counselors there will help you decide what jobs will best fit your current interests and the skills you already have and plan on developing. Taking assessment and personality tests will help you narrow down which field might be ideal for the characteristic traits you currently possess.
6. Don’t procrastinate! I can’t tell you the number of restless nights I’ve had trying to get a huge project done! Don’t be like me – give yourself a few days in advance to get homework done, especially if it’s worth half of your grade. You’d think that I’d learned my lesson after the first time, having spent the day with swollen eyes and a pounding headache from a lack of sleep.
7. Save money by packing your own lunch. Trust me when I say that it’ll benefit you in the long run! Ever found yourself having a shortage of change for the bus or had an incident occur where you unexpectedly needed that wad of cash, that you had that previous week before you had gone and spent $40 on lunch? It’s not a good experience to find yourself in. For the past two months, I made a decision to cut back on my spending drastically, by bringing a homemade lunch to school. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, seeing that I saved $50 a week!
8. Depend on a dictionary/thesaurus like it is your best friend. Bad grammar and misspelled works would easily get you in the rejection pile of a job opportunity you really wanted, if an employer spots mistakes that could’ve been avoided. Apply that same mindset to your school assignments as you would for a job. If writing isn’t your strong suite, buy yourself a dictionary and a thesaurus or rely on the free sites offered online!
9. The fewer latenesses and absences you have, the better! If you went to a high school like mine, every time you were late you had to go around collecting people’s trash around the cafeteria. That wasn’t fun at all, considering the fact that it had come between me and trying to get my homework done before the next period. Again, procrastinating is definitely a weakness of mine that I’m not too thrilled about. Most professors have a policy, where they’ll excuse two or three absences. More than that, and you’ll run the risk of either getting kicked out of their class or having points taken off your final grade at the end of the semester.
10. Carry a planner. Having a to-do list where you’ll be able to jot down the due dates of your subjects will help you stay on top of your assignments. I did not like that feeling of waking up that morning of, realizing that I had a homework due in a few hours that I forgot to do over the weekend! Don’t let that be you! You can get free planners at your Student Activities Office.
So with all of the tips I have given you, I’m sure the rest of your experience here at a community college (or any school for that matter) will be great!