Autumn is just around the corner, and for upperclassmen, that means it’s time for us to get back into the swing of the semester. Unfortunately, we’ve got to say goodbye to endless beach days and vacations to tropical islands so we can pretend like we haven’t forgotten how to function as normal members of society. For incoming freshmen, however, it means that you’ll be entering a whole new world. College is a completely different universe than what you’ve been used to for the last seventeen or so years of your life. There are lots of things you won’t be able to get away with since you’ll be officially considered an adult. There’s going to be much more real-world stress on your shoulders, especially when it comes to balancing outside jobs and legitimate college classes along with any extracurricular activities you choose to take on. Personally, I feel like college is high school on steroids.
One of the first things I’m going to tell you to prepare you for this next stage in your life is to stop procrastinating . I’m not really one to talk since I procrastinate to this day, but I hope you make the decision to learn from my mistakes over the last few years. When I say “stop procrastinating,” that’s not limited to class assignments; I mean that in every sense of the phrase. Whether it’s hauling your butt to the registrar’s office to take care of a financial aid crisis or stopping in to see an advisor in between classes, do not wait. I can’t stress this enough. As long as you check your school email consistently, you’ll be able to easily monitor any potential issue that presents itself during your time here.
The second thing I’m going to tell you is that you really don’t need to buy all of your textbooks for every class in every semester. Speaking for myself and for countless other students who have gone through the same thing, it’s extremely likely that some of your professors either won’t require readings or assignments from the the textbook at all, or they’ll require roughly one assignment be completed using information directly from the textbook. I personally believe that textbooks have got to be most useless items any college student has to purchase, because my $4.00 RedBull or $5.00 hot Caramel Macchiato with extra whip from Starbucks does more for my mental stability than re-reading the same four sentences does. However, that is just my opinion.
The third piece of wisdom I am going to share with you is to join some kind of club or group that has nothing to do with your classes. I will be the first to share that in high school, all I’d ever do was go to school and go home. When I got home, I’d do my homework, eat dinner, and go to sleep. That was my routine every single day for four years. I hated high school and 95% of the people in it, so socializing was not exactly a priority for me. Once I started college at CSI, though, I was immediately roped into joining The Banner by a classmate in my Intro To Communications class. I’ve been working my way up the ranks for the last two years and I was elected as our publication’s new Editor-In-Chief by the entire staff. Being a part of The Banner has honestly become such an important aspect of my life that I know with absolute certainty I would be different without it. The friends I have made through this organization alone have all been incredibly supportive people, we’re truly like a family. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to be in my current position, and so I strongly encourage you all to break out of your comfort zone and try something new, or something different. I guarantee that your experiences will be rewarding.
The last thing I want to say is no matter what you choose to make of your overall college experience, make sure you’re having fun! I would’ve never dreamed that college would be so different from high school, but luckily, I’ve been having a pretty great time at CSI and I’ll be sad when it’s time to graduate.