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An Open Letter to Current & Future College Students

Updated on January 28, 2016

Dear Current Undergraduates and Future College Students,

As a college graduate time has flown by fast and time waits for no one, sadly. This is why I want to share some tips and advice for current and future college students. As we enter into the spring semester; you have been now acquainted a bit with college. The glitz and glamour of college has faded and reality has set in. Where do you go from here?. This is where I enter and my advice comes in. Here it is, my advice on the college experience, from a college graduate to freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors in college. By the way this isn’t just advice for undergraduates but also for high school students everywhere.

Don’t Waste Time, If You Don’t Like Something Stop Doing It.

Know when to get out when something is not working: Be it you have a major that you doubt or can’t see yourself loving or working in. Or the fact that you hate your college passionately Don’t waste time and trust your instincts. Change your major if you hate it. Transfer if you hate your school. You’re putting your credit on the line (or your parents’ credit) taking out loans on a career path or college that may not be worth the time, debt and energy. Know when to change courses and know when to get out. The sooner the better and be smart about it.

F Peer Pressure and Don't Think About What Others think and Do:

F peer pressure. F what others think and do. It’s hard to not think about what others think and do (social media is partly to blame). But it’s harder to stop obsessing about what others think and do. So don’t even start. If you don’t want to do something don’t do it (such drinking, doing drugs, engaging in stupid activities). Think about yourself and think for yourself. If you have to don’t participate (or limit participation) in social media. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be an individual. Develop a thick skin. Trust your instincts and yourself.

Ask for Help: Academically and Emotionally:

If you are having a trouble with classes or having a hard time adjusting emotionally; seek help. Whether from a professor, a tutor from the learning center or a counselor from the health center. Ask for help.

Take On and Be Open to New Experiences:

Be open to new experiences. If you are interested in something, just go for it. Whether through joining a club, volunteering, or studying abroad. Or a job, an internship or a class; even if it isn’t in your major. Open up your horizons. See your community and the world and it’s reality while getting an education. If you’re passionate about something you’ll find a way to make it work for you. Also this will always help you even in ways that you don’t realize yet (such as professionally). Even if you’re not sure, be brave and try it. Experience is everything.

Be Smart: Watch your Social Media and Finances:

You’re a college student, so you already think you are smart. Even so, smart people can make dumb decisions. So be smart. Don’t post stupid, offensive things on social media. Exercise caution and think twice before posting. Also don’t post when you are drunk or high. Clean it up your social media and be careful what you post. Jobs and future employers look at that kind of thing. Also learn to be financial suave. Don’t get a bunch of credit cards, start a savings account, and try to start paying interest on your student loans while still in college.

Try to Graduate Early

Your time in college is ticking (even if you just started). Keep this in mind. It’s never too late to start thinking and preparing for the future; the earlier the better. You don’t have to, but try to graduate early even if it’s a semester early. If you graduate early you can save money. Student loans suck and paying off student loans suck even more.

Tips for High School Students

Now it's time for tips for High School Students.

Think About What You Don’t Want To Do

Same as the point above. Know or at least figure out what you don’t want. If you don’t think college is for you, or you’re not ready don’t feel pressured to go (its expensive and you don’t want waste time and money. If you decide to defer college keep busy, get a job, do some internships, or take some community college classes while you figure it out. Don’t get lazy.

Take and Pass As Much AP, CLEP, or College Credit Classes As You Can:

Taking and passing AP, CLEP, or College Credit Classes can save money and reduce your debt before you even enter college. I know people in college and I was a person in college who already came in with credit from high school. By my second semester freshman year, I was a freshman with sophomore credits.

Learn about personal finance, student loans, credit cards and technology.

A serious failure of the high school system is they don’t teach you about personal finance, student loans, and credit cards BEFORE you enter college. This should be a requirement. Whether it be such personal finance topics like saving, opening up bank accounts, or investing. Or about money that isn’t yours (aka borrowed money) like student loans and credit cards. It’s good to know about these things. This is because it helps you to make smart and informed money decisions instead of making stupid ones. A LOT of college students make stupid regrettable money decisions while in college because they didn’t know better.

Even adults today do this and still don’t know better. All the while it can be preventable. If your high school don’t teach courses about this, learn on your own or find free classes in your community. So adopt healthy attitudes about money. Even if it’s just the mantra: if you can’t afford something don’t get it.

Also Technology is the future to put it bluntly. So learn about technology and its language. Whether it’s programming or coding, software or gadgets keep up to date with the trends, technology and ideas.

Read Earlier Advice In This Hub

Lastly pay attention to my advice I wrote earlier in this hub: Be Smart: Watch your Social Media and Finances. This applies to you too. College recruiters look at your social media. So clean it up your social media and be careful what you post.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Danicole

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