And off I went to college on the month of August, seven years ago. My family and I took on a road trip from California all the way to Pennsylvania to my new home for the next four years. As we emptied the trunk to get settled in my dorm, I realized I had not brought anything essential to my dorm. Fast forward to today, I know that it is not about what I didn’t bring for my dorm, it is about my lack of preparation and knowledge of college life. I actually arrived to college unprepared and unaware of what I was about to encounter. Therefore, I decided to compile eight things I wish I knew before going to college.
- Network From Day One. Start getting to know people. Get to know the cook in your cafeteria, professors, and administration staff. The more they know you the more they will think about you and offer you opportunities.
- .Speak With Your Professor. Do not be shy. It can be intimidating but get closer to your professor. The more you expose your vulnerability or interest in a subject the more the professor can offer his/her advice.
- Be A Leader. Do not just volunteer in your campus. Go out to the community and become part of it. Intern in local organizations or volunteer in that school around the corner of your college.
- Do Not Buy New Textbooks. There are so many websites where you can rent your textbooks from or you can always buy a used one. It is usually half the price of a new one!
- Chose Your Advisor Carefully. I chose terrible advisors, I am pretty sure they didn’t even know me. My mistake. Chose a professor who knows you and cares about your academics. Chose a professor whose class you enjoy to be your advisor.
- Conduct Research. Asks professors about research available under their supervision.
- Study Abroad. There are thousands of programs to study abroad and not only during a semester but during the summer too. Your school can provide you with scholarships, the program itself, and there are many other private donors giving out scholarships so you can travel for free
- Intern, Volunteer, and Enroll in Language Exchange. Following from the last point, there are many scholarships and programs. These are designed exclusively for undergrad students to learn a language for free or intern in the government and large corporations with an attainable and promising future. Stipends and program fees are covered.
If you are already in college, do not wait and start taking action. It is never too early. If you are not in college yet but you are soon applying to, keep these points in mind.
College application season is coming and my sister will be applying so I will posting a set of reminders for deadlines and such.