Back to College, Back to Reality

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That’s right guys, summer will soon be over and you’ll be back at college. Now, if you’re heading into your first year that might sound rather exciting and exhilarating. After all, freshers week for the first year of college is essentially just like a mini holiday. And after that, you’ll have a week or two settling in, making new friends, joining social groups, maybe signing up for a few sports teams? The first year of college can be a lot of fun where you find your footing. Don’t worry too much about those exams either at the end of the year. Most colleges – not all, but most – won’t count your level of achievement in first year when determining your final grade. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that the first year of college is a breeze. You’ll love it. It’s when you head back after summer for your second year that things get interesting.

Before we get into what your second year in college is going to be like, let’s get through a few mistakes that people make during this time that you should avoid.

Mistakes Before You Pick The Wrong Major

Living Too Far Away

During your first year of college, you’ll probably be living in the dorms and you’re going to have a fantastic time. Most nights there will be parties and ragers, unless of course you happen to live in a quiet block. Second year is your first chance to carve your own path and find where you want to live. Some people make the mistake of moving too far away from the college.

You can see the appeal of this. You get a little breathing room and if you move out of the city, you can dodge the traffic and hustle and bustle of the city that can keep you up before a morning lecture. But if you live anywhere further away than a thirty minute walk it’s going to be a little mini headache. Sure, it could get you used to the inevitable commute to work that will be a big part of your future. But, you’ll be arriving at college exasperated and stressed. You don’t want that. When you’re looking for apartments for rent make sure you only look at ones that are close to the college. There’s a financial advantage to this as well. Landlords in these areas know who their target market is and they will decide their prices accordingly.

Attending Every Lecture And Class
Wait, attending every lecture and class is a mistake? It could be if it leaves you drained or if there are lecturers that sound like they were designed in a lab to send students asleep. Oh, those types of lecturers exist, I assure you. You’ll also get the type that are literally reading off their notes and powerpoint presentations which they will helpfully post online after the class. So unless you are struggling with a subject, have a lecturer that doesn’t give out notes or you simply find the topic interesting don’t bother with the lecture. You’ll quickly get a grasp of which ones you need to attend and which ones could be skipped. But be warned, there will be ones in the early morning that are essential.

How about classes? They are a tad different because they tend to register who attend and who doesn’t. You might even be asked why you didn’t show up for a particular class and that can get awkward. As well as this, you’ll usually find awesome, useful information does crop up in these classes and seminars so typically, they are worth attending.

With Great Power…

To put it in 21st century comic book movie obsession terms, you need to be like Peter Parker/Spiderman, not Wade Wilson/Deadpool. You are given a great power when you go to college in your second year…freedom. It’s not like high school. No one is always going to check your are there or push you to study. If you want to get fantastic grades and secure yourself a brilliant future it’s up to you. You should be setting up times and periods through the week when you are going to study and work.

Most people do find the time to complete their coursework and essays. But they let themselves down by not planning enough time to study. You were probably studying around an hour a night in your final years of high school. When you reach college, you should at least be doubling that and this becomes essential during your second year.

So, we’ve looked at a few of the mistakes people make during their second year of college. Now, let’s discuss some tips that can make your life just a little easier.

College Survival Guide

Join A Study Group

As the old saying goes two heads are better than one and four heads are better than two. This is another reason why you want to live quite close by to the college. If you’re too far away, you might be invited to the study groups but you probably won’t want to go. Study groups are useful because you get the benefit of a group intellect. So, you might not know something but someone else in the group will, boosting your chances of success in that final exam. The key to a successful study group is, shockingly, making sure that people do actually study. It’s not as easy as you think because in a group of students there is a lot of other things to talk about. But knowing Jon Snow’s real name isn’t going to help you to pass that exam, nor is finding out who Bethany went home with last night.

Meal Deals
No one is denying that college is expensive. It is and you’ll be lucky if you scrape through without a few money problems. You’ll definitely go over your budget at least a couple of times in your second year. But there are ways to make things easier. For instance, you can think about looking for meal deals. You’ll often find that there are vouchers and offers on different food places around the city. These tend to crop up just in time for freshers week and you can easily get a lot of freebies if you are in the right place at the right time.

You might also want to keep an eye out for signs such as ‘all you can eat buffet.’ You can get all the food you need for a day here for a fraction of the price of three meals. It’s a fantastic way to save and there will be offers and opportunities like this. You just have to be a savvy diner.

Why Don’t You Do Something?
A common misconception is that college is all about the grades. College is about any form of achievement and it doesn’t have to be academic. So, you might join the debate team or perhaps sign up for college basketball. Anything like this is going to look great on your resume once you leave college and start looking for that dream job. You do need to be thinking about this even as early as your second year in college. It’s important that you do have something, anything that shows more to your future employee than a great set of grades.

The excuse usually presented here is that a student isn’t particularly sporty or athletic. But as we have shown, you don’t need to be. You just need to be interested in something. There’s a club or activity for everyone at college. You just need to find the one to suit you.
Feel The Burn

Here’s a handy tip for when you first get your college schedule. Search for a period where all your exams and assignments are due at once. This is called hell week and it is a nightmare. Usually, you won’t have a hell week in college in first year because contrary to popular belief, lecturers are not evil. Your first taste of it will most likely arrive in your second year. Lecturers may even warn you but if you know it’s coming, you can prepare. You can get some of your assignments out of the way early and this will make things a lot easier for you. This another part of college life where your freedom and responsibility to use it wisely comes into play once more.

You see, in college, you often get given your assignments all at once. They are readily available for you to start and get a grip on as soon as the university term begins. However it will be up to you when you begin your assignments or start to study. Don’t be a late starter, get things sorted early and you’ll be able to relax a little later on.
The best way to do this is to right the basic structure or essays and assignments in advance. Then, when you get a lecture on the topic you can correct anything you got wrong or add more detail in. If you get the wrong end of the stick you might have to rewrite the entire essay, but that doesn’t mean this is a waste of time.

So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about before you head back to college and back to reality, for your second year. Hopefully, you’ll find this helpful and avoid a few of the common mistakes while taking my little tidbits of advice on board. Don’t forget, once you’re through second and third year, you’ll find fourth is a lot easier. You get even more freedom and a lot of breathing room with your assignments. Goodluck!

Thanks so much for reading, as always <3

Xoxo, Rae

 

September 5, 2017
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