The thing about your fist semester of college is that everything is new-- new school, new home, new friends. I, however, did not leave my home; I in the end decided to go the university in my hometown instead of going to a university away from home. There were so many factors that in the end helped me decide to stay home to go to college instead of going out of town.
I learned so much my first semester of college. Even though I went home to my own bed each night instead of a dorm room, I made friends on campus and felt as though I could make a home their. I have outlined six things that I learned my first semester of college. They maybe viewed as tips, or ,perhaps, they maybe me heading warning.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions.
- Why did I make this my number one? First off, to succeed in college, I feel you have to be able to ask questions even when no one else does. If you have a question about an assignment or a particular point that the professor addressed, ask it. You won't look stupid; if you have a question about, someone else probably does, too.
- I don't know how many times, I had a question about something but was afraid to ask it during class. I thought people were going to judge me or think I was dumb for asking a question that they may have felt was self explanatory. In the end, I learned, I and my parents are paying good money for me to be in this class, if I have a questions I need to ask.
- I know this may sound like a no brainer, but let's face it, during high school it was easy to be on time for class. You went to one class right after the other. Teachers and other students urged you toward your next class. There were people always on top of you to make sure you were there on time. You don't have that anymore. Your classes aren't always right after the other. Your parents aren't on you to move it to your next class on time. There are a ton of outside distractions that will tempt you to skip or just make you late. It's up to you to make it there and be on time.
- Don't take this as gospel, but I think all teachers say the most important information at the beginning of class. They may outline what will be discussed during class, talk about the test coming up, or state material that will only be mentioned once (at the beginning of class).
- Don't just be on time for class, show up a few minutes early. That way if you have a question, you can ask the instructor before class. I found that most teachers were at class several minutes early to set up, and were usually happy to answer my questions or help me with my homework.
- Let's be honest, your probably going to wait till the last minute to type up that paper or speech. I'd highly recommend that you don't. I always tell myself that I'm going to type it up early, but then something fun turns up and so, I put it off. So, then it's a night or two before the paper is due, and something major actually does come up. Now your going to have to do that thing, and type up that paper till the wee hours of the night.
- It'll probably happen, but that's the college experience, right? I don't know about you, but I'd like to skip that part of the college experience. I find that it always takes me longer than I thought it would to write and type up that paper. When I thought it'd only take an hour, it actually took several more than that.
- Make time to type up that paper. Make yourself reminders and stick to them. It's easier said than done. Maybe type it up in chunks. Type up one part one day and the next to another part. That way it doesn't seem like such a big paper. Also you could make revisions while your typing it up. If your going to procrastinate at least wait to do that until the second paper.
- There were several times that I forgot about an assignment on accident. I had plenty of time to do it, but I forgot about it.
- Write it down. Write all of your assignments in a planner or on a sheet of paper dedicated to all the things that you have to do. I have a planner that I write down everything that I have to do and when it's due.
- So, your the only person you know in the class, and you have to sit by someone you don't know. This happened to me in every class I was in. I was pretty shy, and most of the time, I didn't even say anything to the person I was sitting next to. It was really awkward. Outside of class, I would see them, and we would make eye contact knowing who each other was but not acknowledging.
- Talk to the person your sitting next. This person your sitting next to you is just a nervous or shy as you. The person may be your coworker in the future or your boss. You may even become friends. You already have something in common. All you have to do is introduce yourself.
- Going to college is kind of like going to work. You are going to school with potential coworkers or teachers that could be giving you recommendations for future jobs or scholarships. I'd recommend that you present yourself as so. That doesn't mean you need to dress up, but act like you want to learn something, and that you are care that you paying to be their. College isn't cheap, it's an investment.
- I had a professor that often spoke about the secondary school system, and the future job market. He advised which classes to take with which teacher because some teachers had great internships or jobs that they offered.
- I'd also recommend that you have an advisor or professor that you can speak to about your classes and stuff.
- Don't let your classes always overwhelm you. Take the time to have fun. Spend time with friends, read a book, or watch an entire series on Netflix (hopefully not all in one day.)
By no means is this all that I learned my first semester. However, these are things that I came to realize during my first semester. I hope you gather something from this post. I hope it wasn't completely pointless that I wrote this. These things may seem obvious to you, and they were to me. But they didn't really sink in until my first semester of college. Good luck!