If you’re anything like I am, then forming good habits is a daunting task at first. A lot of us just really like to sit at home and play video games without being disturbed. However, when I got into college, I found that most people can’t play Minecraft for 8 hours every single day and maintain the work schedule that is expected of them. So, if you’re like me and coasted through high school without thinking very much about the next step, then read on. If you aren’t, then I still invite you to read on, because no one is that perfect (yes, I am saying that sarcastically).
Surround yourself with quality people.
The people that you choose to spend your time with will have an immeasurable impact in both your college career and life in general. Surrounding yourself with quality people will not only help break you of some of those bad habits, but it will also give you a new sense of unity that you may not have had before. Who would you rather hang out with, the smartest person in the room or the person that hasn’t been to class in three months? More so than that, surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you are will make you smarter in return!
Get to know your professors.
I completely understand not necessarily wanting to get to know your professors well. At times, it really does seem like they are against the class and when you aren’t in class, you don’t want to think about them. However, this isn’t true in most cases as a lot of the professors will sit down and explain the work to you and help you study if you ask them to. Where else would you be able to find a better tutor than the person teaching the course? Also, when thinking of job and internship opportunities, if you have a good relationship with a professor than they might be willing to write you a letter of recommendation that can go a long way. I have found that my college experience has significantly improved once I started taking advantage of the relationships I had with the people teaching me all the information!
Learn how to take breaks constructively.
When deciding your day, you should try and think of yourself as your own boss. Ask yourself, “What can I give myself so that I can utilize my time to the best of my ability?” If this means studying for an hour and then playing video games for thirty minutes, then go for it. The point is that you must be reasonable with yourself so that you won’t mind going back to work so much. Building a habit is a long, and often, annoying exercise in and of itself. If you try to sit and study for 6 hours at one time, what are the odds you will want to get up the next day and do it again? The answer to that question will always be the same: “Not very high." Taking constructive breaks helps to alleviate the stress of work while allowing you to enjoy your day more.
Be involved on campus.
This one is an important one, because it goes hand in hand with surrounding oneself with quality people. While you’re in college, what you’re studying goes right below your name in terms of your identity. So, for these four years, your major plays a big role in who you are and what you hope to accomplish in the future. Why not join a club that heavily involves what you’re majoring in? This way, you’ll be getting practical experience while linking up with like-minded individuals. This is also an easy way to see if you like what your major entails. Finding out if you like your major or not is something, you’ll want to do toward the beginning your college career so you can decide what you might want to try next.
Remember, this is your college experience, so try and form habits/bonds that work well for you. These are just some of the things that I found really helped me throughout my college career and if they help you form a starting point for a college career that you can be proud of, then I am happy with that. I think the point is, not to so much think there is a “recipe” for doing well in college, but to experiment with what does and doesn’t work well for you. What works well for me might not work well for you and that is alright. You have four years where it is your job to learn, so have fun with it and don’t take it for granted!
Kevin is a fourth year at OSU that majors in Strategic Communications. He is also a member of PRSSA and the PRactice on OSU as well as a member of the Fundraising committee in PRSSA.