Attending college can be the most exciting time of your life. When I arrived on a college campus for the very first time three years ago, I never could have anticipated where this journey would take me. Now, I am President of Collegiate DECA, a position I would never have anticipated I’d have the opportunity to serve in.
However, attending college can be a daunting challenge. It is likely the first time you are living on your own, managing your own time and making most decisions for yourself as you enter adulthood. I am beginning my senior year, so I don’t have all of the answers, but here are a few tips to make your transition a bit easier.
1. Manage your time wisely
The biggest challenge I found when I started college was managing my own time. Like my peers, I had spent the last thirteen years of my life with structure built into my day-to-day life. In high school, I had a very set routine. Suddenly, my only obligations were classes and sometimes a part-time job.
It is important to establish a routine as soon as possible to succeed in your academics and extra-curricular activities. Without a routine, you may find yourself aimlessly scrolling on your phone or binging Netflix for hours.
Building good habits when it comes to your own health and your academics is important. For example, I try to get up early (so that I don’t sleep the morning away), grab my coffee and go to the gym. After that, I am ready for my day and productive. That’s what works for me, but it is important to your success that you find a routine that works for you.
2. Get involved
I know that the cost of higher education can make it very difficult to get involved in student life because of the desire/need to work. However, getting involved and becoming engaged in a student organization like Collegiate DECA is an amazing way to enrich your college experience. The investment will definitely pay off!
Some of my best friends and most amazing experiences have been the direct result of my involvement in student organizations like DECA.
3. Find your passion
Students are increasingly attending college to graduate as fast as possible and enter the workforce sooner. This attitude largely makes sense due to the cost of post-secondary education. However, I think an important part of college is figuring who you are and what you want to be. As corny as it may be, the adage, “If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” is true.
Finding your ideal career path and other passions you find rewarding can be the most important part of your college journey.