7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Starting College
When I started college a long long time ago, I wish someone had trampled all over the fantasy world I was living in. I was in a state of euphoria because I was starting college, I believed I was this uber mature adult (instantly) and I thought college was going to be a piece of cake.
After my first semester I was on academic probation and after my first year I was on academic suspension. Hello, reality check. There were things that no one told me before I started college, things I wished I would have known.
Just because you didn’t have to study in high school does not mean you will not have to study in college. The amount of information covered in your classes, usually isn’t even close to what will be on the exams, therefore on your own time you will have to open that textbook and read. Gasp, who would of thought!
Your beliefs, the ones instilled in you since birth, will be questioned and they might even change. This is OK. Actually, I found this to be a great thing. My views on worldly topics were opened, my narrow-minded scope of the world was shattered and I began to grow into an educated and worldly student.
Do not commit to a major to early. Over the first two years of working on my degree I changed from a COMM major to an education major to a political science major and back to a COMM major. The thing is that while my beliefs were being tested, I was growing and what I thought I wanted to do with my life changed also.
No matter how hard you study or work on a paper, you will not always get an A. This has happened to me. I wrote, what I thought, was an amazing paper for an American Lit class but my professor thought it was only a B+ paper. I was devastated and when I asked about my grade, she simply said she felt it was not an A paper. The deal is that every professor is different, their standards are at different levels and how they interpret what you write is different. Just remember that at this level, passing is passing!
Get to know your professors. Following graduation, you will still need your professors! Surprising huh?!!? Reference letters for grad school and to go with resumes are necessary for landing that amazing job post college graduation.
Get an internship or study abroad. I never realized how important an internship could or would be, until now! With a writing internship I am able to expand my content, build networking relationships and have my content spread to resources I didn’t previously have. My biggest regret was not applying to study abroad for a sophomore American Lit class, two weeks traveling across Europe and earning credit. My hesitation about leaving my children for two weeks is what held me back and I truly regret not going for it. I should have taken the chance because who knows when the opportunity will arrive again.
Use ‘Rate My Professor.’ This nifty little website has determined whether I was or was not going to take a class with a specific professor. This is a place where students are truly honest about how the class was, how they were graded, the amount of work expected and how invested the professor is in the class. I definite ‘no go’ professor is one who has comments like: ‘doesn’t respond to emails’ and ‘hard to get ahold of.’ I have used this website for the last four semesters of college and have based my choices on professor and class by other students comments. I have yet to be disappointed!