Say Goodbye To High School & Hello To Life As A College Student!

March 19, 2013

Say Goodbye To High School & Hello To Life As A College Student!

Guest Post By: Miki Noble

So you've either just graduated, are about to or you’re counting the days until you do. Whichever bucket you may be categorized in, one things for sure… Ch-ch-ch-changes are in store… Life can be segmented up into achievement hurdles and as far as the normal standards go – graduating high school is definitely one of them. That said, there are a few ways that you can educate yourself about the college lifestyle.

I’m not referring to the ordinary topics that are dumped on you; I’m referring to topics that you don’t generally learn about until once you've moved into your dorm room or apartment.

The roommate situation… Whether your dorming it, living in a fraternity or sharing an apartment or a house with a few friends, a large part of your time will be spent with your roommates. Which means choose wisely and get to know them really well. In between classes and studying you will need to find time to buddy up with whomever you happen to be living with. Regardless if you’re an introvert or extrovert you’ll come to rely on this relationship in more ways than one. Food, laundry and extra curricular activities can and should be shared. No doubt your parents will thank you for not over spending on your monthly quota, but you may end up having a few extra dollars to play with. Either way, moving away from home and in with roommates is your first initial phase to stepping out of your comfortable lifestyle with the parents. So prepare yourself… Get comfortable with eating Top Ramen (or just having your food swiped all together by your dorm mates), as you won’t be having too many home cooked meals for your college duration. I’d suggest learning how to do your own laundry before you head out of the homestead as well, but I’m sure after a few loads you’ll quickly know that separating the whites from the colors is important in order to keep your wardrobe from turning into one color. And if you happen to know whether or not you’re going to be using public laundry equipment you may just want to start saving up your quarters now.

Buying Versus Renting Books… This strictly depends on the person and the budget they've been given. A majority of students prefer to buy their own books; there is something more personable about owning your semester reference manuals rather than sharing them. However, it all boils down to preference and where you want to penny pinch. For those of you who don’t mind the “sharing is caring concept” renting a book is super efficient and affordable. The great thing about renting is that you don’t have to worry about where to store your books at the end of the semester and/or how to re-sell them. If you’re a “what’s mine is mine” type of personality, I’d suggest buying a used textbook. They too are more affordable and often come in handy with previous owners notes and/or helpful hints. That being said, as much as a book can have a certain sentimental value to it – your textbooks are not something you need to keep. Considering they’re generally updated each year, the last thing you want to do is lug an old book around from dorm to dorm each year in hopes that it may come in handy as a reference later on. Especially when a majority of the information is searchable via the Internet.

Moving cycles… If you live far away from home or your college is out of state you need to be aware that your moving cycles are going to be constantly changing for the next 4-7 years of your college life. If you choose to live on campus, you will be moving at the end of each college term (Fall – Spring semesters). Even if you aren't living on campus, you may move just as frequently. Which means, on average from the beginning to the end of your college life you’ll have moved at least 5 times. Having a reliable car or source of transportation is going to come in handy. For you out of stater students – there are companies that specialize in providing moving, shipping and storage services for students. Based on the overall moves you will make, you may want to consider the limit of objects you take with you and obtain during each semester.

Have Fun (but be safe)… College isn't always about education. It’s about exploring your surroundings, becoming more attuned to the world around you and discovering who you truly are. Taking that into consideration, you should look into the social groups your campus offers and join one that most intrigues your curiosities. Getting involved in social groups will help build connections and looks great on paper when you begin applying for an internship or a job. Plus, the benefits of being involved in a group will open doorways to extra curricular activities that you may not have otherwise been able to participate in as some clubs are exclusive to members only. Social events and parties are a big part of that and whether it’s your scene or not, be sure to enjoy yourself (so long as your being safe about it).

Build A Group… Studying isn't the most fun activity you can think about doing throughout your college years, but it’s one of the most frequent activities you will be doing. Some people prefer to study alone, but there is something to be said to the phrase ‘two heads are better than one’. Having a study partner or group to rely on for projects, exams, and or just weekly assignments can be rewarding in the fact that you will have an outside opinion and be able to bounce ideas, concepts and answers every time you meet up. Plus, it provides some sort of accountability for you with your classes. Most teachers/professors aren't going to hold your hand through college. The pressure is all on you and your ability to manage your time effectively so you get what you need to get done for each class. The easier this process is, the better for you and your grades will be – so make friends in your classes and build a study group to keep you ahead of the game.

All in all, College is a huge part of bridging the gap between who you are now and where and who you will be in 5+ years. So my suggestion to you is - take it slow but enjoy the ride…



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