8 Things Every College Student Must Know
I remember when I was about to complete my education, and I started thinking that I had life all figured out at the age of 22. Though it’s only been a few years, I now know you are constantly learning something new in life, and if you’re not, then you really need to leave your house more often.
So, in the spirit of learning something new, here is a list of 8 things that every college student must be aware of:
1. Money doesn’t grow on trees
Okay, so although this may seem rather obvious, it apparently is not to many college students. Just because you received a student loan does not mean that you have free money to go shopping for iPads and pay for your friend’s tabs. You need to be responsible with the money that has been loaned to you because it’s just that…it’s been loaned, not given. You will have to pay it back, so be wise with it.
2. Cramming sucks and gets you nowhere in life
I’m going to be honest, I crammed when I was in school…I crammed a lot. It was not the wisest thing to do because although I retained the knowledge that I needed to know for my exams, that knowledge didn’t really stay with me for very long. In fact, I think that I forgot most of it by the time I left the exam room. Moral of the story is: if you are only cramming, then you’re not really learning. The whole point of earning a qualification is to prove that you have learned something and are knowledegable enough on the topic to do the job; cramming doesn’t get you there.
3. Shop around for student loans
In Ontario, we have a student loan programme in place called OSAP. It is through this loan that a large amount of students are able to go to school as it provides the finances that they need to do so. Upon graduation, the student then has a 6 month “grace period” to find a job in which they do not pay interest on the loan. As wonderful as the programme is, I think many students just assume it’s their only option. However, you can get a line of credit from your local bank to pay for your college/university in which the interest rate is much lower than the OSAP interest rate. So, make sure that you look around and get yourself informed on all of your options to pay for your schooling.
4. Even if you’re studing Information Technology, playing Wii doesn’t count as studying…
We offer several I.T. diplomas at the college where I work, and I think that sometimes (but just sometimes) some of the students believe that playing video games counts as studying. I mean, after all, playing video games is much like studying: you’re stuck in the same room for several hours at a time with only your closest friends, getting stressed out by your next task, and staring at a screen without blinking. Yeah, much in the same, right? NO! No, it is not the same. Make sure you spend an appropriate amount of time studying what your teacher has asked you to.
5. Ask for help if you need it
For some reason, when we graduate high school, we believe that we’re completely prepared for college life and the real world. Guess what. You’re not. And it can be rather scary going to college, and even more daunting to see all that you must do and learn in a few months. Remember, everyone else is in the same boat as you are and if you have questions, then chances are, so do they. So, if you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It shouldn’t make you feel stupid to do so; in fact, quite the opposite. Those who ask for help care about what they’re doing, and want to learn to do it well.
6. Find a balance
Don’t just hole yourself away with your studies; enjoy your life too! It’s important to find the fine balance between having fun and concentrating on your studies. You don’t want to go too far one way or the other. Make sure that you set aside time for studying as well as socialising; both are very important. (I almost want to say they’re “equally important”, but they’re not. Socialising won’t find you a job, but studying will. I feel kind of torn now…) 😉
7. Whatever you do, do it well
Aah, I love clichés. Yes, whatever projects or papers you may be working on, do them well. Don’t put in a lame attempt, but really put your heart and soul into every project. Your professor/instructor will be able to tell when you hand in a half-hearted project and aren’t going to be impressed. Make sure you give it your all every time.
8. Don’t complain to your professor/instructor
Once again, we have another fine line here: that between explaining and complaining. Explaining something to your instructor sounds something like this: “I’m sorry sir, but I didn’t hand in my project today because I didn’t get a chance to complete it. I promise I will have it in to you by tomorrow morning”. That’s it.
Complaining, however, sounds more like this: “Okay, sir, there was NO way I could’ve handed in my project today. I had SO much homework from my other professors, and I have 3 other projects as well as 2 papers due this week. I’m so tired because all I ever do is study, and I feel like you guys never just give us students a break! I have so much to do that I don’t even know when I’ll have a chance to do my project for your class!”
Seriously, it’s awful just reading those complaints, but it’s even worse hearing them. Trust me, your professors and instructors don’t want to hear them. After all, they’ve been through the exact same thing too. So don’t complain. Ever.
So, these are just a few lessons I’ve learned and thought I’d pass them along. If you don’t like it, I don’t want to hear any complaining…. 😉
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