College admission rates are declining, with over one million fewer students joining the ranks of university students in the past few years. That means if you are heading to college sometime in the future, you’re part of a lucky group who are getting to further their education.
It’s not an opportunity to waste, and one that you’ll want to make sure that you use to its maximum potential. However, it can be hard to determine how best to embrace and maximize your overall college experience.
Need a few pointers? Read on and we’ll walk you through a few tips and tricks that can help you to get familiar with college life and better your overall time in school.
1. Don’t Skip the Dorm Experience
Your freshman year of college really sets the tone for the rest of your college experience, so it’s important to embrace it. It’s becoming more and more common for college freshmen to forgo the experience of living on campus during their first year of college life in favor of private housing.
While the comforts and benefits of off-campus living probably need no introduction, there is a trade-off in something potentially more valuable when one lets the dorm life slip away.
Freshman year is a time of great transition and the beginning of a brand new life. For many, making new friends, getting into new habits, and accepting a new home can be difficult.
Too often, private housing can serve as a cocoon that keeps new students away from the lure of new people and experiences. It requires much more initiative on the part of the private housing student to find a sense of community with their new school.
Living in a dorm means all that new community and life will be happening all around you. It will be impossible to miss out on it, and the connections and experiences that arise naturally from this closeness? They can provide an essential foundation for the next four years.
2. Don’t Skip Your Classes
This one may sound obvious, but if you’ve never been in the collegiate environment before, you might not be familiar with how real this temptation can be.
Many college students find it hard to get themselves out of bed without the pressure of parents around or think they can get by without hearing the lecture. While it is possible to do enough studying on your own to pass your courses, you’re putting yourself in a much more difficult position by skipping class.
Sitting in a lecture hall with your fellow students will push your focus forward and make it easier to retain information. Your teacher can elucidate the information in the text and help you to understand it within the context of your broader studies.
There’s a very good chance that if you decide to skip classes, your grades and the overall strength of your studies will suffer.
3. Try To Get Involved
Yes, your studies are an important part of the college experience. But it’s important to remember that college is a rare time where you have a certain freedom to explore and experience life.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to try and get involved in whatever might attract your attention from around campus. There are also sorts of clubs, organizations, and experiences that exist on college campuses and are free and easy to join.
What might you want to look into? If you really feel as if you don’t want to let go of focusing fully on your studies, you could always join an honor society. This allows you to be part of a community of like-minded students, who can encourage one another and work together to better your scores.
You can read more about these kinds of groups at honorsociety.org.
Of course, there are all sorts of other avenues that might be worth exploring. If you have any sort of extra circular interests, there’s likely a club that you can go to based around that interest.
There will be cinema clubs, music groups, comedy communities, political organizations, intermural sports teams, and that’s really only the tip of the iceberg.
Being a part of these communities can allow you to make friends and work and play in a way that enriches your life.
4. Learn To Take Care of Yourself
Being in college means living alone for the first time for a great number of students. This can be an exciting time of freedom in a lot of ways, but in others, it can be something of a terrifying free fall.
Outside of focusing on your studies, this is a time in your life when you can learn to function as an adult for the first time. One of the ways you can do this is to learn how to budget properly.
Setting some time aside at the top of the month to look at your previous month’s expenses and plan ahead can be smart. Getting into the practice of budgeting can be one of the healthier habits that you can learn at this point in your life.
Learning how to cook at this point in your life can be a huge help. It’s important to maintain good health on your own, and eating right and exercising when in college can set your expectations right.
Having the Best College Experience
If you’re about to head off to school, you’re likely somewhat anxious about maximizing your overall college experience. The above tips and tricks can help you learn a bit about college life and get familiar with a few practices that might aid your overall experience.
Want to learn more about the college living experience? Keep scrolling our blog for more.