College can be a daunting place with so much to juggle between classes, studying, work, family life and other social obligations; it can be quite overwhelming, especially if things are done purely online without any face-to-face contact with professors and other classmates. Here are a few tips that will lessen the stress when entering the college scene.
Pick the Right Professor
One of the first things that will make life a lot easier is making sure you pick the right professor. Students all over the nation use the websiteratemyprofessor.com. Both students and professors get a chance to make comments and rate the overall quality of the professor’s teaching. Typically this website is a good starting point when it comes to deciding which teacher to take for a certain class.
The next thing that’s just as important as finding a good professor is getting organized. Get all of your syllabi together in one place and find a calendar or planner that you’re never going to lose and write down every important quiz, exam, and homework assignment. This way you’ll always know what’s coming up & you’ll never have to worry about missing anything.
Start Networking Now
One vital aspect of college that most students don’t even think about until after graduation is networking. If you have made connections with professors that you admire or are actually working in an occupation or field that you are interested in, keep in contact with them. More often than not, getting into a career path will be easier and will happen much faster if you know a person, who knows a person who knows a person. During college, remember the people who you respected and were doing the very thing you wish to do one day. Their advice and aid will be essential to your future.
Get Experience Now
Along with networking, it’s incredibly helpful to get as much experience as you can in the field of work that you’re going in to. So, for example, if you want to go into a photography business, it would probably benefit a great deal more to try to contact any photographers you admire and ask them if you could shadow them, instead of working at a place you’re not interested in. Most careers in the big-league require at least two to three years of experience so get as much of it as you can! Even if it is for free!
Take Studying Seriously
Another tip for thriving in every class is learning how to study correctly. Often times study groups start out on the right track, but will end up spending the majority of the hour surfing YouTube videos and updating Facebook statuses. When you pick a person or group of people to study with, or even if you’re by yourself catching up on notes that were taken in class, find the ideal place to study. It could be a cove in the library, a café or diner, or the love sack in your apartment or house. Regardless, find a place that is comfortable, but is free of distractions. If you prefer to study with music, keep in mind that music with lyrics can be unconsciously distracting. Instead, try listening to instrumental music or movie scores.
Save Your Work
Probably one of the most frightening feelings in the world is when you’re working on a twelve-page paper and all of a sudden your computer shuts down completely out of nowhere. It may seem annoying, but back up your projects and papers in multiple places. Have a flash drive and an external hard-drive on hand every time you’re working on something important and save it every few minutes. This way, in case the battery dies on your laptop, or a lightning bolt strikes the hard drive, you don’t have to start from scratch.
Be prepared to feel overwhelmed. This may sound strange, but honestly, bracing yourself for feeling stressed out and having occasional bad days will lessen the shock that happens when they do occur. If you tell yourself that you are going to get stressed out, that there may be homework assignments you forget about, and that you will have a rainy day, then you’ll have realistic expectations of what college will be like and you won’t be as frustrated as you might be if you hadn’t. Take A Break When a bad day hits, the best thing to do is get your mind off of the problems by doing something different. Its alright to take a break from school. Go for a walk outside if it’s nice for a few minutes, put in an episode of Big Bang Theory or another TV show that makes you feel better, read a few chapters of your favorite book, or go spend an hour and work out. The trick is to always maintain balance in your life, especially at this time. It’s important for you to take some time away from school for your mental and emotional health. If it happens too often, it will hinder you more than help you, but if the stress gets to be too much, it’s good to just walk away for a bit until you feel more relaxed and ready to face the challenges once again.