Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How To Make The Most Out of College

You did it, you made it to college! Congratulations, but now the work begins. A college education is only worth what you put in to it. Put in little effort and you get little out of it. However the reverse is also true put in a lot of effort and you will gain much from your college experience.

So what can you do to get the most out of your college education? Here are the top 6 things (based on my experience in working with college students) you can do to make the most out of going to college;
Practice Time Management. In high school your time is controlled (for the most part) by parental units or the school. In college, you control your time and that means learning how to manage it. Failing to learn to manage your time could cost you the ability to graduate in time and having to take and pay for an extra semester. Advice: My advice: get a planner and use it. Write down all assignment due date sand do some backwards planning. Plan your fun time and your study time.

Stay Healthy. We all need to exercise or stay active. Studies indicate that exercise improves your mental well being and that can help make you a better student. We at USU Eastern are so fortunate to be surrounded by the great outdoors and outdoor activities like mountain biking, kayaking and hiking. Take advantage of the trips offered through Carbon County Recreation. If you like sports, try Intramurals on campus. Check with the BDAC to find out what is being planned for Intramural activities or ask about the numerous physical education classes you can take. Also, be particular about where and what you eat. Make a conscious choice and choose healthy alternatives. Spirituality is a wellness area that is often overlooked in college although it’s an important element in student success. My advice: Sleep at least 8 hours a day, stay active and eat right. (hit the salad bar at the campus cafeteria, best salad bar in Price, UT) Make an effort to schedule exercise and connect with your spiritual needs.

Don’t be another face in the crowd! Stand up and be recognized. The way to do that is to get involved on campus. Join a club and go to the activities on campus. Research indicates that students that get involved on campus are more likely to graduate than those that don’t get involved. Getting involved will also give you an edge in after college. Employers like to hire students that were involved on campus. My advice, join a club and stay involved. Make an effort to get your Professor to know your name.

Won’t you be my Neighbor? Whether you live on campus or off, go introduce yourself and get to know your neighbors. Community is important and it’s that community that can offer help when you need it. My advice, go next door and knock on the door. Bring a treat to share.

Go to class and do the work. It’s that simple. If you choose to go to college, don’t waste the opportunity by choosing not to attend class and do the work. Got a problem in class, talk to your instructor. My advice, got a life problem that seems unmanageable, seek out help on campus by talking to staff member who can steer you to the right staff person. Find 2 classmates to study with for every class.

Know your money. College costs are rising across the Nation, so it’s important that you get the most out of college. Your choice to attend USU Eastern was a smart one as USU Eastern has the lowest tuition in the state of Utah. Dollar for dollar it is your best value for a college education. However, that being said you will still need money to pay for classes, books and extracurricular activities. If you are seeking financial aid be patient that office, you aren’t the only one. Look for a part time job on campus and do not work more than 15 hours a week. Studies indicate that working more than 15 hours a week will affect your studies negatively. My advice: make a budget, stick to your budget and work a part time job. Remember, a credit card is not free money!

Most Colleges offer a course called College Success Skills that can help you adjust to college life and increase your study skills. Don’t think that the class is an easy “A”. You have to do the work and if you do you will learn much. In the past, students who have taken this class show a much higher grade point average in college than students who do not.

Getting through college is not easy but it is doable. The college offers many support services that can assist you but you must take the initiative to ask for help. It’s all up to you but we are here to help. See you around campus.