As I am about to finish my third year of college, I have reflected on the many lessons that I have learned throughout. I have compiled a do and don’ts list for future college students so they can have as fun or even better time than me.
Do’s: (The order which these are numbered does not matter as all are equally important)
- Explore your college town/city -It is so important to figure out what are the best restaurants, parks, and activities. It is so fun to go exploring with your friends on the weekends.
- Participate in several clubs-Joining clubs in college is the way to meet new people outside of class or residence hall. It is always best to sign up for many during orientation week, attend the meetings, and then figure out which ones are the best for you. In addition, you can always start your own club. Clubs in colleges really allow you to explore what you are passionate about and can help with future academic success.
- Attend office hours early on in the semester-Going to office hours is the best way to get to your professor and for your professor to get to know you. It is quite difficult for professors to know you one-on-one when lecture classes can be a hundred students or more. Office hours is the perfect opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification. However, I do not advise going to office hours for the sake of going. Always go with a question or purpose otherwise, you can be wasting the professor’s time.
- Get involved with undergraduate research-Regardless of major, research is important in every field. Before I changed to my Quantitative Sciences major, I worked at a biology lab. When I declared my major, I ended up working at a neuroscience lab. Definitely reach out to your professors for research opportunities.
- Network!-During college, you will discover the power of LinkedIn. Over the past year, I have polished my LinkedIn profile to reflect all of my college achievements and the activities I participate in. Your LinkedIn profile provide information regarding your academic and professional accomplishments to job recruiters. It is never too early to start making meaningful connections.
- Don’t stay in your dorm room all the time-I made it a personal goal to just sleep in my room. I would try to do all my homework either at the library or at the student center. This way I can remain productive and not get distracted by my bed.
- Don’t just expect opportunities to come to you-In college, it is all about knowing what you want and finding ways to get it. You have to work for research opportunities by connecting with professors and fellow students. Often times, there are applications to join clubs as well.
- Don’t wait till the last minute to ask for help-If you realize that you are behind in a class, start going to tutoring sessions and office hours right away. By the time finals come, it may be too late to save your grade. In addition, there is a huge variety of advising at colleges whether it is pre-professional, general advisor, or major advisors. Be sure to consult all of them. Their purpose is to help you succeed.
- Don’t go too wild in college-Yes, college comes with a lot of freedom and independence. However, it is quite easy to get lost and lose track of what is truly important: academics. I try to have fun during college as well. I have been to my fair share of frat parties trust me. I always remember that the reason why I am in college is not to party but to learn and have a solid foundation for a successful job and future.
- Don’t lose your personality-In college, everyone is different and has their own stories. College is the perfect time for you to stay out and be yourself. It is important that you remain true to yourself and do what is best for you.