Special Issues » College Student Guide

Let's talk about college

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ANOTHER YEAR, another semester in school begins. No matter if you’re starting your first year in college or returning for your last one, here’s a guide to get you through the toughest times.

Friendships

In last year’s College Student Guide, I spoke about roommates but never discussed the ever-changing friendships that you’ll gain and lose while in college. You will be a completely different person from freshman year to who you are when you graduate. And during that process you will change and grow friends as well.

As a freshman you may entertain more people while you’re trying to figure out who you are and where you want to be. That’s perfectly normal!

The best thing you can do is meet as many people as you can and interact with people who are completely different from you. There is a lot to learn from those we have the most differences with.

As some friendships grow, others will die off. You may start to realize which friends aren’t conducive to your future and which ones are just not worth the drama. It’s all perfectly normal to be around a positive environment and be around ‘friends’ who push you to be the best you.

Professors

You will have many different professors throughout college. Some of them you’ll love, some of them you won’t be able to understand, and then there will be some who are only around to despise your existence.

Trust me: No matter what kind of professor you have the better the communication, the better the class will go.

The best thing that I can stress with professors is communication.

Everyone at some point during a semester goes through a rough time.

Maybe you’re going through a bad breakup, serious illness in your family, or maybe you’re just simply not understanding the material you’re learning. Please speak up and talk to your professor.

Although they do have to power to pass or fail you, they are still human and may be able to help you by pushing back due dates or coming up with a plan to help you pass the course.

Whatever the issue is, the earlier you speak up, the better chance you have at passing the course because, let’s face it, college is expensive!

And repeating the course will not only hurt your pockets, but also possibly push back your expected graduation. Mom and Dad wouldn’t be happy about that.

If you are having extreme difficulty with a professor, talk to the dean in the department about options. If all else fails, most classes are taught by multiple professors before getting into your concentration in the event of retaking a course.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

From a very young age, through TV, social media, or whatever platform, we have been given timelines to help guide our lives.

Go to college at 18, finish by 22, be married by 30 and live happily ever after with the prince/princess of your dream.

Well if you don’t already know, plans do not go according to plan.

In college the material can be very dense and challenging. It might take you two times to pass a course and that’s okay!

You might have to take a semester off to save money to pay out of pocket for school, and that’s okay too. No matter what the reason is make sure to move at your own pace, at your own time.

Your degree will still be as rewarding in six years as it would be if you did it in four. No matter how long it takes you, never give up, and remember the journey to success isn’t a sprint.

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