Adjusting to college life is challenging in many ways. It’s exciting to embark on a new adventure, but it can be overwhelming. With so much uncertainty and newness, you can use all the advice you can get. Here are some things an older sister would tell you to avoid when you start college.
1. Skipping Class
This isn’t high school — you don’t want to skip class. You are paying to be there and want to learn as much as possible. Classes are more complex in college, and falling behind is very easy. Skipping too many can cause you to miss learning opportunities and information vital to your success.
When you don’t know anyone, copying someone’s notes from your missed class can be tricky. Skipping class is tempting in college because you’re newly independent and can make your own decisions. It can be enticing to play drinking games with peers in the dorm rather than go to class, but they’ll likely still be there when you’re done. You are now the captain of your ship — you want to sail, not sink. Go to class and make up every missed assignment to stay on track.
2. Peer Pressure
College is an excellent opportunity to make new friends. However, choose your friends wisely. Ensure you can be yourself around the people you hang out with. Join as many clubs and organizations that interest you as possible. Take part in healthy activities like playing sports with people in your dorm or going for a jog. College is about advancing your future, so you want to make as many connections and seize all the opportunities you can.
Don’t give in to peer pressure. College is about experimentation, but that doesn’t mean you should try drugs or compromise your morals or values. You should try to make friends, but be careful who you trust. Never ingest or smoke anything from someone you don’t know. Drugs are dangerous, but unknown or newer substances can amplify their dangers. For example, K2-spice has many unidentified chemicals and unknown toxicity. Say no and stand your ground. You’re the one making the smart decision.
3. Losing Sleep
Your freshman year might be academically the easiest one in college, but don’t skimp on your sleep. Your grades still matter and lay the groundwork for the rest of your educational experience. Sleep is vital for your schoolwork, relationships and overall health. Establish some routines that allow time for your social life, studying and perhaps your part-time job while still getting adequate sleep. It’s college, so there will be exceptions when something spontaneous and exciting happens.
You don’t want to miss out on fun opportunities, yet your schoolwork doesn’t have to suffer. Invest in power naps when possible to boost yourself for class if you have a long night. Don’t fuel up on energy drinks — they’re horrible for you — and try to power through your day. Lack of sleep will likely lead to you crashing and not thinking clearly and could impact your academic performance. Do yourself a favor and get some rest. College is exhausting, and you need it. It’s OK to take a break and reset.
Things to Avoid in College
Your freshman year might not be as ideal as you hope, and that’s OK. Roll with the punches and learn as you go. It’s not about how often you fall but how many times you get back up. Mistakes happen. Take your sibling’s advice and grow from your experiences.
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