How to make the best out of your College Life
Entering college and building relationships
We all want to make lots of friends the moment we enter the gates of our college or university. But are all the people whom you meet the right people for you?
Spend a few days being friendly to everyone and quietly observing their behaviors. If you find someone to be a bit awkward and crazy and behaving in a impractical way all the time or just bitching about people every single moment, you should probably just avoid them.
Try to find someone a bit better than you so that you strive to learn things from them and try to better yourself than them. Surround yourself with positive people who are healthy critics in the sense, they will support you in your endeavors, yes, but they will also point out when you're going wrong.
Be friendly and respectful to your teaching faculty as well as the non-teaching staff. They're your biggest assets in learning more in college. Most of them are willing to teach you something new whenever you seek their help.
Now that you have good contacts and peers, let's proceed to the next step.
Your very first day at college
Studies...how to keep up?
I come from India and the only thing people care about here are marks. Have you got an A+ or a 9 point CGPA? Then you're doing something great in life. Otherwise you can take the backdoor and leave.
Marks are not a competitive game card. They're just for evaluating mathematically how much you know about a subject and have learnt. But no! People want marks just to show off to other people that they're the best! Any Tom, Dick and Harry can score marks just by mugging up the whole textbook day in and day out but when you step out into the real world, you get tested for how you can practically apply things, not how much bookish knowledge you have.
To study well, read day-to-day lessons as soon as your get back to your dorm room or house from your college. Whatever the teacher taught you that day gets refreshed and restored in your mind and will help you remember better when you prepare for your exams. Every thing we store in my brain memory is like a thin pencil line. The more you revise, the more it is like drawing on the line again and again with the pencil. It becomes deeper and harder to fade away.
Have a neat little notebook with your own fancy sketches and points jotted down as you study. It helps to remember better and have fun while you're learning. Plus, it helps a lot as you revise at the last minute prior to your exam.
Don't take heed if someone calls you a nerd. You have to after all study to learn things and clear your exams and get a degree. And people who can't do it put down those who can so that all's fair and square.
And remember, if someone is speaking badly about you even when you've done nothing wrong, it just means you're slowly on your way to success...
Studying and staying up to the mark
Books? Check. What else?
I'll give examples here of what you should do other than your normal studying.
Are you a computer science major? Well, you will need to start programming and practice it whenever you get spare time so that you'll be really good at coding when you pass out. You will have to learn all the parts of the hardware of your computer by dissecting your PC's CPU. Another cool thing to do would be setting up a virtual machine (VM) on your laptop and meddling around with the options and commands in the operating system you've set up as your VM. Read books by geeky greats and learn from their experiences in life.
If you are a literature student, you definitely need to read lots of books. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and so on. Keep a dictionary with you at all times and learn about 3-5 new words everyday. Write your heart out with all the creative genius inside you inside a small notepad that you can carry around and jot down your ideas for stories which you can later make into a full fledged book.
Archaeology and history is more fun if you visit historical places and learn more about the structure and monuments there. You have travel, fun and gain knowledge all while exploring new territories.
I think you get the hang of it. You need to do something related to your course outside the usual 'book world' and step out in the real world to do it.
Also join online communities where people do the same stuff that you're learning to do and are more than eager to help you out.
Wait a sec...what about my hobbies?
I won't forget this part because right now my life is revolving around it!
Do you have any hobbies or past times like playing a musical instrument or sport or even just collecting stamps and old coins and currency notes?
You can revive all these passions and have a good platform to display your talents in college. Join a music club or a football team and head over there right after college to relax and enjoy yourself after that hard, long day of classes.
Don't have a hobby? No probs! Take up something you've always wanted to learn and join an evening class and spend some time there learning it whether it be playing a piano or even wine tasting.
Having a hobby doesn't hurt. It helps to relax the mind and distract yourself from other worries and once you come out of doing your hobby task, you feel all rejuvenated to spend time doing something else that might otherwise have seemed boring.
Enjoying your hobby
Damn..I majored in something but now my interests are elsewhere..
I understand this perfectly. You may have taken up the subject that you took up by peer or parental pressure (in India, everyone either does medicine or engineering) and now you've realized that your true calling is elsewhere. Or perhaps you liked the subject and took it up but say, a particular dance form has enthralled you more instead and you want to pursue a future in that.
Deviating from your field is a difficult choice and involves a lot of risk. I'm doing my major in computer science and everyone tells me I'll be a good teacher so that's my second choice...doing higher studies and teaching. But my primary choice is not to become a software or hardware engineering but instead to become a game writer. But how do I do that because I'm trained for something else.
You can always spend a maximum of 1 or 2 years to take a risk and try out something different provided you have someone accepting it ready to support you financially for that period of time. I have my parents supporting me for now. If this doesn't work out, I'll probably go for higher studies and go off into an academic profession. That is a safe field anyway.
But if you truly believe in your interests and have the passion that will drive you to work hard and succeed, then go for it! Who knows what unknown treasures await you at the end of the tunnel? But if it doesn't work out, be sure you have a backup plan for survival. And please don't beat me up for this advice. Hehe.
Pursue Your Passion
I've just been facing failure till now. How do I make this stop?
First advice: Don't you dare give up!
Second advice: Time to start working harder pal
Dropping out of a course may seem like the easy way out. But it's going to be a decision that you'll regret much later. Having a graduate degree has a high value and earns you respect from others.
So just think for a moment before you take a wild decision but don't think too much. Sometimes you need to take risks but be sure you have the power to put in a lot of hard work and make it through till the end.
A motivating video
I hope this hub has helped some of you. Good luck with your future and Godspeed!