Off to College: Got Organization?
January 14, 2013
You know that awkward moment when you’re not sure whether you finally have free time or you’re just forgetting something? I’ve hit that, but I know I don’t have a thing left to do. Four years ago, I started my journey into University life, and now I’m a fully equipped English writing major with a Philosophy minor.
As I look back over the past few years, I’ve noticed how I have changed drastically. I used to be really shy. I mean, like, I would avoid people by walking down a different road if I could. But now, I love saying hello to strangers that I pass by on the street. I’ve given talks to large audiences and have even mentored a few freshmen college students in the last two years. It’s been a blast, but I also remember the anxiety I felt after graduating high school, wondering where life would take me.
There are a few things I would recommend for those of you finishing up high school either this past December or this coming May.
Get organized. You may have heard that in college you have less work. That’s wrong. You have less busy work but exponential amounts of reading. Reading that you have to remember as you walk into your Tuesday morning class at 7:00 a.m. to have a discussion over the how your choice for breakfast influences your philosophy.
Now, when I say "get organized," I don’t mean just your things—though that is a good idea, too. I mean your time. Be sure you plan study sessions in an environment that is conducive to your concentration. If you need peace and quiet, head to the library; if you need loud music and people, have a mini-friend study party (with friends that like that sort of environment to study in).
Make time for the things you want to do. If you are going to plan out time to study, be sure you plan out time to have fun—so you know you’ve got a good balance of work and play. Too much studying and your friends and family may wonder if you’ve gone MIA at college; but, too much fun will give you a lot of embarrassing moments in the classroom trying to explain to a professor that you didn’t do your reading or your assignment because you forgot.
In light of having fun, be sure to go to one social event per day, week, or month. Whatever your personality type, the social events can really help you know that you’re surrounded by lots of cool people in the same boat as you. You may find another life-long best friend or a great study buddy. Or, maybe you’ll find your future love; one just never knows. Enjoy every moment life presents you, as well as every opportunity and every challenge, because each moment is unique and once in a lifetime. The whole business of 12/12/12 at 12:12 being once in a life time is true, but so too is 12/18/12 at 10:32 a.m. All moments matter.
Keep your head up. There will be some rough storms and nights ahead, but there will also be very beautiful sunrises, too. This is what’s gotten me to the end of my journey at college, along with my family and friends. But it’s my attitude that has really made the difference and made college the most fun and awesome experience I’ve ever had.
I hope these few bits of advice help you as you start the journey down your own path. And remember, don’t fret about the small stuff, and it’s (mostly) all small stuff.