Juggling College Life
Take a bit of advice from me, Daddy Nickell. I’ve raised four wonderful kids who are now in their 20’s, I have two toddlers at home and one more on the way. Now, after putting my own children through college, and attending college myself back-in-the-day, I’m here to share several do’s and don’t’s that will help you to be personally, socially and academically successful during your college years.
First things first. College offers a great deal of newly found freedoms to the incoming freshman. You need to figure out how to make those freedoms work for you in order to achieve the goals you set academically, while still having fun with new friends and staying out of trouble.
So here are my recommended do’s:
Do: Put learning first. I know college is a grand social event as well, but if you aren’t passing your classes, you aren’t going to be in college for very long. Manage your time so you can have the best of both worlds.
Do: Get a job and begin to support yourself. Parents are generally happy to fund your academic endeavors, but they do not want to dip into their pockets to be funding your “party” budget. A part-time job will ensure you have a bit of “fun money” all the time.
Do: Wash your own clothes. You laugh now, but when people start to move away from you slowly, you will soon be sitting alone – and stinking. Pick a day each week to do your laundry, and make sure you get it done. It may be one of the more important factors in your social life.
Do: Maintain contact with your family; they miss you, and with all of technologies available today, it’s easy to stay connected. Skype, Facebook, email, phone calls and texting will help you feel less homesick, and it will also help your parents feel a bit better about the newfound distance between you and them.
And here’s what you should not do:
Don’t: Skip class. Sometimes it seems like other activities are more pressing, but trust me – they can usually wait until after class. If you attend class everyday you’re GPA is likely to remain high and the points you receive for participation could very well sway a C to a B come the end of the semester.
Don’t: Move back home. Become an independent individual. If you’re attending college close to home, it’s important to jump into the full college experience even though you “could” live at home. You’ll learn a lot of academics while in college, but you’ll also learn a lot about life. Learning how to be independent is extremely important for your future.
Don’t: Cheat. Just don’t do it. You might feel tempted because you didn’t manage your time appropriately, and you have no idea what the answer is to question 38. Being underprepared is a healthy lesson to learn; it will teach you to take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Besides, if you get caught cheating you will likely take an automatic zero, get kicked out of your course and obtain a negative mark on your college record.
Bottom line, college is new and it’s different and it can often be overwhelming. Learning to juggle college life successfully can take a little finesse, but it will better prepare you for life afterward when you face the “real world.” So take it seriously, yes, but don’t forget to have fun too; it’s all about balance, and once you find the right balance, there will be no stopping you.