Whether you are an incoming freshman or a 5th year senior these tips are essential for breezing through college.
It is that time again. September has come and with that, bright eyed and bushy tailed persons embark on college. As I sat, rather impatiently in the financial aid office, jam-packed wall to wall with incoming students, I realized that many of you all are embarking on college for the very first time! Congratulations!
As a gift, I would like to share my five best tips for maneuvering campus life with style and grace. With these tips I hope that you will avoid some of the mistakes of your peers (and myself).
- Apply for Scholarships
I hear some of your groans already, but scholarships will make that college receipt in a few years look much better. The process can seem overwhelming when looking through major databases, listing thousands upon thousands of results, and winning one can feel like winning the lottery. But that is not the only way to score some of that free money.
My advice, avoid those sites all together, and look for resources that you already have a relationship with. Talk to your family, your job, your church, whoever you know; ask them if they are aware of any scholarship money and where you should apply. Often these scholarships are any where between 500.00 to 1000.00 and exceptionally easier to get. Once I began this technique I was able to attain at least 10,000.00 of aid.
- Do Financial Aid early
I mean 3 weeks early, first in line early, 8 am early. Get there and ask as may question that you may need to. The lines for financial aid are notorious for wrapping around 2-3 times during the first week of school, and you don’t want to miss all those mixers and opportunities for friendship because you wanted to procrastinate.Another perk to handling financial aid early, is receiving your refund check before Thanksgiving. Making affording books and food just that much easier.
- Take the Time to Meet your Professors. Teacher’s pet rumors de damned, popping in and introducing yourself to your professor is smart, it lets your professor know that you take your classes seriously. Saying hello throughout the semester, clarifying assignments, and emailing regarding any absences or late assignments is not only appreciated, but also expected. Please don’t be the student two weeks before finals looking to discuss your grade. It won’t be very effective by then.
- Read Your Syllabus
Maybe your professor will remind you of each and every assignment, maybe they won’t. Maybe they don’t mind (although my professors definitely minded) giving you their number 3 times, or explaining where there office is located for the umpteenth time, but one thing for certain is that every thing you NEED to know will be listed on your syllabus. Over the years I have realized that they spend quite some time preparing these little sheets of paper and can become quite cranky when students that make it evident that they did not read it.
Homework, grade breakdowns, email address, due dates are all listed on your syllabus.
- Stay Focused
When going to college you will be faced with a LOT of distractions. STAY FOCUSED. The last thing you want to do is become derailed, failing courses, or missing out on the fun things
College is definitely about having fun and making lifelong friendships, but it is also about attaining knowledge and preparing your self for the real world. Utilizing these five simple tips will allow you to enjoy the best of all college has to offer, meaning you will party until 5 am and still tune your paper in at 10am.