College is a journey of trial and error. It’s a time for students to explore their interests, step out of their comfort zones and conquer challenges they encounter in pursuit of a new education and career. Our job as a higher education institution is to guide students in the right direction while still allowing them to take their own unique paths. So as you prepare to start, continue or finish your college adventure, we want to remind you of a few “do’s” and “dont’s” to try along the way.
Do make room for school, work, family and life.
Clear out the back seat because you have a few passengers tagging along on the trip. While some students may have a lighter load, many of us, especially nontraditional students, need to make room for school, work, family and life. Try prioritizing your goals each week. This will help you plan ahead and include everything that is important to you as a student, employee, parent and person.
Don’t skip class…or the reading.
While it’s important to balance your activities outside of school, remember that graduating should be first priority. In order to graduate, we strongly recommend not skipping class or the homework. Afterall, that is where the learning takes place.
Hint: Professors also have great tips to steer you further down the right path.
Do pursue internships.
Having at least one internship in college is valuable for a number of reasons. Not only do internships give you the opportunity to get practical experience, but they also help you network with professionals, build your resume, find a mentor, learn new skills, gain confidence, ask questions and weed out things you may not like about a certain industry or career.
Don’t rely on mental notes.
With all of the new information you will be learning, don’t rely on your memory to keep track of everything. Note-taking is critical. Invest in a planner and organizational tools to help you keep up with important information. Think of your notes as the map that will help guide you when you are lost about a certain subject, date or assignment.
Do ask questions.
You aren’t expected to know everything about college, your classes, our processes and more. We want you to think critically, but we also want you to feel comfortable asking questions. Whether that means going to office hours to talk to your professor, scheduling an appointment with your advisor or just stopping by career services, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You probably (definitely) won’t be the first person who had a question.
Don’t be afraid to meet people.
You don’t have to make this journey alone. There are a ton of other students trying to get to the same place you are—graduation! Study with them, ask them questions, talk about goals and get involved in extracurricular activities. The opportunities to meet people are endless, and it is up to you to embrace the new company.
Do embrace technology.
Remember, you are going to college in a technology-driven time period. Embrace the extra opportunity that technology has to offer such as helpful learning apps, note-taking tools, study tools and social media. In fact, being connected can be the best thing that happened to you during college.
When you are ready to embark on your journey, apply to South College!