Going to college is one of the most important and exciting moments in a young person’s life. Their entire academic lives have been building up to that point, and college represents the culmination of their education so far, allowing them to specialise in a chosen subject they truly feel passionate about and start preparing for their future professional lives.
It’s also a time when young people start to become more independent, growing into adults, beginning to make more of their own decisions and chart their own path in life, as well as being able to meet more new friends, attend parties, develop new hobbies and interests, and so on.
In spite of all this excitement, starting college for the first time can also be quite nervy and intimidating for many young people. A lot of first year students report feeling stress and anxiety in the build-up to their first weeks of further education, so here are some useful tips you can bear in mind to have fun, stay safe, and make the most of college life.
Set a Schedule
In many cases, the first year of college might be your first experience of living as an independent adult. It can be quite a big adjustment to move out of your family home and suddenly start having to do things on your own, keeping up with your studies and social life while also looking after yourself each day.
To make this adjustment as smooth and stress-free as possible, try to set a schedule and stick to it. Having set times to do things and plans for each day will make it a lot easier to keep up with your classes, hit your targets, and feel like your life is under control. This can have a big impact on helping to reduce college stress and letting you enjoy your time there.
Have Fun, But Stay Safe
It’s no secret that a big part of college life is the social side of it. There are plenty of parties, get-togethers, and special events where you can meet other students and have fun together. These experiences can be enjoyable and memorable for students, but it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with college parties too, especially in regard to excessive drinking and sexual violence.
The statistics regarding sexual violence and assault at college make for worrying reading, with 13% of all students experiencing some form of rape or sexual assault. Students of any gender and background can be affected by this, and it’s vital to stay safe, stick with your friends, keep a close eye on your drinks, follow your instincts, and report any sexual assault issues to the authorities.
Make Education Your Priority
Following on from the point above, it’s perfectly normal and natural for college students to want to party and have fun with their friends, but it’s also important to remember that the main purpose of college is education, rather than enjoyment. You need to prioritise your studies, keep up with your work, and attend classes on time to avoid any issues arising.
Spending too much time socialising or partying might be fun in the short-term, but could prove disastrous in the long-term when exams arrive and you find yourself struggling to answer a single question. Try to keep a good balance in your life when it comes to having fun and studying hard.
Try Something New
Your college years are a great chance to learn more about who you are, what you like, and what you feel passionate about. You could have all kinds of untapped interests and talents just waiting to be revealed, and college gives you a multitude of opportunities to bring them out, with many colleges offering countless extra-curricular activities, clubs, and events to take part in.
Make the most of those opportunities by joining up with some clubs or interest groups. These extra-curricular offerings can serve as a great way to expand your social circle, engage with different ideas, learn new things, and perhaps even discover a passion for something that could play a big part in your future life.
Your college years can be a wonderful period of your life, and if you embrace the opportunities offered by the college, you can have an amazing time there. However, it’s still important to keep your schedule balanced, stay safe at parties, and keep the above tips in mind in order to have the best possible experience without any unnecessary risks or stresses.