Looking back at the past 4 years, I’ve spent most of my time in class or studying for midterms, finals, and lab exams. Since I’m less than a couple of weeks away from finishing courses and starting with my Master’s thesis, I’d love to share a few tips to survive those years and get the best of your years.
Why talk about it? Because not everything you will learn from textbooks. Most are learned throughout the experiences throughout your coursework, social life, and other activities.
1. You will hold your own hand
No one is going to hold your hand as they did in high school, and you’re going to learn to hold your hand by yourself. The transition between high school and college is a very short break so you should be ready to face everything, and you won’t be able to do that without being confident
2. There is nothing wrong in changing what you plan to learn.
I wanted to be an MD, then an oncologist, in my last semester of my bachelor’s degree I set my mind on plant and environmental science. It took me a long time to find what I love. However, for others, it might be changing their whole career direction. Some of my classmates quit from the first week, and went to another field like Engineering or English literature, while others lasted till the final year and then went into Psychology.
But do what you love and love what you do.
3. You’ll learn who your real friends are.
I’ve had people in my life come and go. I cherish the memories I had with them, although some were a bad influence, and thankfully that part of my life is over.
However, you may still be friends with people from your high school, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be friends with others. College changes people, and it may or may not include your high school friends. So broaden your circles
4. Prioritize and balance your life
You will thank yourself later on in life when you aren’t burned out by projects and even are capable of completing projects before deadlines.
Prioritization is key. Just say, I need to finish X, Y and Z before the end of the week so that I enjoy some free time to hang out with my friends or family. Because if you wait until the last minute, you’ll be burnt out and you won’t give 100% efficiency
5. Say Yes
Say YES to new experiences, to new prospects, to new ways of thinking. Say YES to accepting others, and their views and their ideas.
Get involved with groups and social activities but don’t let it affect your balance by any means.
6. Say No
Say no when you are in over the top. Don’t burn yourself out for extra credit, or anything like that.
It took me some time to realize that that’s okay. Saying “no” isn’t about being weak, missing out or offending others, it’s about being smart and understanding what you reasonably can and cannot accomplish.
7. Create your resume and work on filling it.
You can’t imagine how some people who have started Ph.D. programs can’t fill a CV or don’t have any experience what-so-ever in that field. Because they finished their graduate/Master’s program and directly applied to another program. But those people don’t succeed in life. They just don’t. They have no human interaction what-so-ever and although they may have the academic skills, but can’t hold themselves through a full conversation or an interview.
Creating a clean, clear résumé template in college will set you up for success later in life when you will have more impressive accomplishments to add. Not only that, work on being friends with your professors to use them as references and to see if they know of any internships in their field. Filling it with internships (whether paid or unpaid) will help you gain more experience and be a better candidate when you start applying to full-time jobs.
8. Go after your dream and stay motivated
Set a goal. Whether a 5-year goal or 10-year goal and work your hardest to achieve some, if not all of it.
Be flexible with it. That means if you suddenly change your major or gain new perspective, change it on your way.
9. Take care of yourself, then take care of everyone around you
You may think I’m a narcissist for saying that, but by prioritizing and putting yourself first, and put your goals first, help others on the way and achieve your goals. It is you who matters.
10. Be yourself.
If you learned something else in college, feel free to comment below, as well as if you have ideas to blog about, comment below.
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