For many, college is among the most pivotal times in life, and sets the stage for all of the professional achievements and intellectual interests to come. Therefore, the process of making decisions about which institution to attend, what course of study to follow and how to pay for it all can be crucial indeed. Continue reading to get some terrific advice for navigating this challenging stage of life.
Don’t worry about choosing your major right away. Most schools give you until your junior year to select a major, so you should take time to explore different options and figure out what you most enjoy and might want to make a career out of before you select your major.
Try and keep a part-time job throughout your college career; as tough as it may be to balance work and studies, the extra money, you make can make a big difference. If you have a huge amount of money to pay back once you are finished, life will be much more difficult after graduation so try and work your way through it.
One of the smartest things that you can do as you enter college is to map out the exact route of your schedule before the first of class. This will give you a great idea of where you need to be at what time, and also will reduce the frequency that you get lost.
Check if there is a study skills class available. Even students that did extremely well in high school may have a hard time adjusting to college expectations. A study skills class can help you succeed in your college classes.
If the campus you are attending is large, it is important to familiarize yourself with it during the first week. You should know how to get to the cafeteria, library, the Professor’s offices, college security, study rooms and the student center. Knowing the location of places you have to go saves time.
Keep up with your checking account to avoid wasting money on overdraft charges. Debit cards are easy to use, and unfortunately, that means it is also easy to spend more money than you actually have. Get into a schedule where you check your account online every few days so that this does not happen to you.
Balance your class load with classes you need along with at least one elective that you enjoy. Any class required for graduation that does not enthuse you should be passed early on to free up class slots later in your college years that you will enjoy more. This will also help you to avoid embarrassment in your future classes.
You aren’t at home, and no one will pick up after you or prepare your meals. It’s important that you monitor what you eat, keep your place clean, and get enough sleep. Have a schedule for everything, including taking care of yourself. Stress and an unhealthy diet can make you sick.
Keep your loans to a minimum. Look into scholarships, grants and special programs to help pay for college so that you won’t have a lot of debt hanging over your head when you graduate. For many students, loan checks seem like free money while they are in school–but once you get out they become an obligation you may regret.
Choose a college that has an environment you’d enjoy exploring. In addition to a beautiful campus, your school should be in a city or town that you would enjoy exploring. You are going to be here for four years and might move into the surrounding community when you finish college, so make sure you enjoy where you will be living and studying.
Wait to buy the books for classes as they may not be necessary. Oftentimes, you will not need to purchase all of the “required” books. This is common in online classes. Many times, all you need to complete these classes is already online.
Do you enjoy coffee? If so, then don’t buy your coffee in the mornings. It might cost you way too much. Brew your own coffee. Sure, it isn’t as quick as stopping by Starbucks, but it will save you a heap of cash. You could find a great machine at a garage sale or from Craigslist to save even more.
If you are a woman, consider a STEM major. STEM majors are those that are focused on science, technology, engineering, and math. Since women are less likely than men to choose these fields of study, there are many scholarships and grants available for women. These fields also usually end up being more financially beneficial after graduation.
There can be no denying the importance of a college education for countless individuals. However, that is not to say that decisions regarding where to apply, which major to choose and how the degree program will be financed are simple ones. By heeding the tips found above, it is possible to simplify the process a bit and gain a bit of helpful perspective.